Population Health at Work: 3 Steps to Reach Adults with Diabetes

by Tiffany Parnell, Senior Copywriter - 09/15/16


In a healthcare era that prioritizes value over volume, content marketing strategies that emphasize wellness have become increasingly important. Find out how you can employ the principles of population health-based marketing to reach an underserved but surprisingly large segment of American communities: people with undiagnosed diabetes.

The 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report reveals that 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and of these people, 8.1 million don’t even know it. Diabetes, especially diabetes that isn’t well controlled, can have a major impact on patients—and health systems. Take a look at what the data says:

What does this mean for healthcare marketers? Using audience segmentation to identify people who are risk for undiagnosed diabetes and developing relevant content designed to educate this group not only fosters engagement and builds brand awareness. It also leads to healthier communities—a key population health focus—and results in cost savings for health systems. Patients receive the right level of care and are less likely to visit the emergency department.

Get started on your campaign with this step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Harness the power of your customer relationship management (CRM) software. 

CRM software is one of the most important tech tools for digital marketers. These platforms compile a wealth of data about physicians, patients, and community members who aren’t patients—yet—and store this data into their searchable databases. Available data typically includes basic demographic information, such as age, gender, and ethnicity, as well as information about health conditions, daily habits, and prescription and over-the-counter drug usage.

Simply put, CRM software allows marketers to identify community members at risk for health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancers. It enables them to then send spot-on messages to the most appropriate audience. Use the query list created by your CRM to identify the right people to enroll in your digital and/or mixed media campaign.

Step 2: Say ‘Hello’ to your target audience. 

Once you’ve identified community members using CRM who are at risk for undiagnosed diabetes, you’re ready to craft your message. Developing a patient persona can help at this stage. People who are at greatest risk for developing undiagnosed diabetes are typically younger men who make a lower income.

Consider this example person: Bill is a 45-year-old who has visited a primary care physician affiliated with your organization in the past, but he hasn’t been to the doctor in several years. Bill is overweight and has a family history of diabetes. But he feels fine, so seeing a doctor isn’t high on his list of priorities.

Step 3: Craft your message.

Content that resonates with community members like Bill will focus on education. People in circumstances similar to Bill’s may not realize that even though they feel fine, they are at risk for diabetes. Creating a digital campaign that sends prospects to a microsite devoted to diabetes education can provide the tools people need to manage their health. Microsite articles can discuss symptoms and risk factors. An assessment can also allow visitors to evaluate their personal risk for the disease. Make sure to include with the assessment an option for users to enter their email address, as well as a trackable phone number they can call to schedule an appointment with a provider.

If the assessment reveals users are at high risk for diabetes, they will be more likely to call to schedules an appointment with a primary care provider for a blood glucose screening.

You can now work on continuing your relationship with individuals, not simply demographics. Send automated reminders when it’s time for their annual wellness exams and repeat screening. Invite newly engaged patients to events or educational classes that focus on diabetes. You’ll build brand loyalty and help ensure that the condition is managed appropriately, preventing costly hospital visits.

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Topics: Audience Segmentation & Targeting, Content Strategy

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