Liz Phillips, Executive Vice President, Customer Insights at PatientPoint, and Yesenia Bautista, Vice President, Point of Care Media at Publicis Health Media, sat down for a candid discussion on today’s multicultural marketing landscape and strategies to find, reach and engage every possible patient in the care moments that matter most.
Q: What are some of the challenges and opportunities for inclusive marketing today?
Yesenia: There are challenges we face, but if we take the time to embrace a tailored approach to engage the right patients with the right messages we can embody a new way to be inclusive. This can start by truly understanding our patient audiences, social determinants of health and what messaging could resonate and be meaningful to them. A General Market message is no longer appropriate. Settings are also of importance when meeting our target audiences; those settings can and should look very different from one population to another. While we might reach one segment in a large practice environment, we might reach another through telehealth, at the pharmacy counter or via a caregiver.
Liz: Just like in other aspects of their lives, today’s patients expect a personalized care experience that recognizes them as a unique individual. As marketers, that means aligning messaging to those unique, lived experiences and recognizing the social determinants of health that may prevent them from receiving the best possible care. When we get channel, strategy and context right, patients are more likely to receive our message and are empowered to have better conversations leading, ideally, to better outcomes.
Q: How can precision marketing help marketers shape more inclusive point-of-care campaigns?
Liz: We often use census and zip code data for targeting specific demographic populations. While these approaches can be generally reliable, they’re not as nuanced as we’d like them to be. For instance, you can miss insight into the diversity of a population living within a zip code as well as how and, importantly, where segments of a population access care. By leveraging a precision targeting approach using patient demographics associated with medical claims, we can more accurately identify the places where targeted audiences are seeking care. Marketers can leverage precision targeting to tailor and maximize engagement opportunities for those target audiences to ensure they reach every possible patient.
Yesenia: This is so important when it comes to social determinants of health and access to care. For example, if a patient we need to reach lives in a medical desert and/or lacks proper transportation, we can assume that they’re not receiving care within their home zip code. Through medical claims data we can pick up on those nuances and widen our lens to focus on messaging to audiences who have unmet needs.
Q: Why is culturally relevant content so important for point-of-care campaigns?
Yesenia: For the longest time we have seen General Market ads implemented in marketing campaigns and at the point of care. These ads may not resonate/make sense to diverse audiences. In fact, the term general market is being eliminated from our way of planning. When diving into understanding diverse audiences, we have the opportunity to develop authentic, inclusive and better content that is meaningful and can resonate. It’s essential to have genuine portrayals of real patients living with a condition who we want to reach and engage at the point of care. Rather than using one-size-fits-all content, we need to take a more inclusive approach focused on informing the patient in a meaningful, culturally relevant way. What do patients need to know about their condition? What is their level of health literacy? Is English a language barrier for them? Addressing these critical considerations in campaign creative is essential to building brand relevance and trust.
Liz: Trust is such a key sentiment—especially in healthcare. And it comes, in part, from acknowledging lived experience that we talked about earlier. Content that doesn’t consider the lived experience of its audience misses the mark for building that trust and maximizing impact. Content that reflects the patient is more likely to generate the desired reaction and response in those key moments at the point of care.
Q: Why should inclusive marketing be a top priority for brands?
Yesenia: The U.S. population is becoming more diverse each day, with minorities expected to compose the majority of the population by 2045. It’s our responsibility as marketers to ensure we’re putting in the work to reach diverse communities in meaningful ways. We must go all in to understand audiences, see how conditions affect them individually and do market research on how best to message different demographics during different parts of the treatment journey. When we put in the time to understand the patient and build the relationship from the ground up, we grow our audience, build trust and inspire conversation and action.
Liz: Inclusive marketing should be a top priority for brands because it’s the right thing to do. While altruism is a component, when brands walk the talk and invest in inclusivity they’re investing in growth. That growth is accomplished by reaching every possible patient that could benefit from their therapy and through enriched engagement that improves brand perception and drives preference among key audiences.