Can Patient Segments Identified for Print Tactics Be Used for Digital?

Dear House Rules,

Over the years, we’ve invested a lot of thought, time, and money developing specific patient segments, from the Engaged Believer to the Show-Me Skeptic, for our brand’s print communications. Can we use this information with our growing digital communications so our investment continues to pay marketing dividends?


21st Century Segmentation?

Dear 21st Century:

You absolutely can, and chances are you can take that data even further. Patient focus groups led by market research experts used to identify which print communication tactics would resonate most with which groups. Nowadays, however, those focus groups can be supplemented by online surveys, click-through rates, and even eye-tracking software to tell clients which messages have the greatest—and most immediate—impact with consumers. In addition, this data can be analyzed with respect to patient age, gender, socioeconomic status, and even interests to provide a much more detailed picture of the consumer than was available before.

You can also use the patient segments you have already developed to monitor the search behavior of those groups. When you identify what term or terms a particular patient is searching for, you can deliver a targeted, segment-specific message more efficiently than ever.

Keep these “watch-outs” in mind as you recalibrate your marketing strategy:

  • Don’t forget the creative: Ashik Desai, executive VP, business growth and analytics at ContextMedia Health, reminds us that “The overall success of a marketing strategy is dependent on the creative, the execution of the creative, and the follow up with the audience.” He continues, “Delivery based on different demographic variables of patients, including ethnicity, age, gender, socio-economic levels, etc., drives some of the deepest engagement rates in digital health education. The perfect audience segment means nothing if a marketer can’t connect with those individuals and influence behavior.” Great creative connects.
  • The medium is as important as the message: In pharma and device marketing, we’ve all sat in front of the TV at night and seen an ad about a treatment that had nothing to do with us, This is not a successful impression. Custom fitting no longer just means customizing the copy of a messaging, it means delivering the messaging in the right context, in the exact moments when the target audience is making a health-related decision. These are called “resolution moments,” and they are very high impact.
  • Remember the #1 goal: As marketers, your primary goal—100% of the time—should be to improve patients’ experience with the brand. Empathy is at the heart of this. For example, in sensitive verticals such as infectious disease or oncology, there are certain instances where a segmented message might make the audience uncomfortable or alienated. In instances like these, it’s important to create a sense of community among the consumer. In that circumstance, the intention isn’t to reach patients as individuals; it’s to communicate that they are not alone. It’s the exception that proves the rule of segmentation, and it’s guided by empathy.

Tailoring and curating a brand message can substantially increase receptivity and engagement, and that can lead to improved brand awareness and deeper loyalty. With an experienced partner at your side helping you use your print-era segmentation data into the digital age, you can bring your brand confidently into the next generation.

About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

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Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House