What can healthcare marketers learn from retail CRM practices?

by Clay McDonald, IRM Data Analyst - 05/22/14

Hospitals are sitting on a treasure trove of data about their patients. Now is the time for marketers to adopt practices from the retail industry to bring in profitable patients.


The consumer retail sector has used predictive analytics for decades to better target and reach their consumers. The healthcare industry is now experiencing a similar trend. Marketers are finally unlocking the rich data stored in their EHR systems to solve a wide variety of challenges, including lowering readmission rates, reducing avoidable emergency department use, and increasing volumes for highly profitable procedures.

Here's a chart that illustrates how retail and healthcare marketers can leverage CRM data to gain customer insights:

Retail MarketingHealthcare Marketing
Use customer data to find cross-sell opportunities, such as sending a coupon for tomato sauce to someone who regularly buys pasta. Use patient diagnosis data to identify people who are at risk for more serious conditions.
Calculate customer lifetime value (CLTV) to find which customers have the highest potential for developing a profitable relationship with the brand. Identify patients with chronic conditions who will need repeated treatment as well as emergency department “frequent flyers” who can accrue thousands of dollars of costs without substantial reimbursement.
Use demographic targeting to find people most likely to respond to marketing messages and purchase their products. Use demographic targeting to identify people who are more likely to need certain procedures, such as aging “weekend warriors” who would benefit the most from a joint replacement.
Deploy specific messaging to segments of the population. Tailor messaging and creative elements based on rich demographic and psychographic factors.

Get more expert perspective on how a CRM system can make your marketing more effective. Download a free report illustrating five key areas where healthcare marketers can modernize their approach to solving common problems.

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