As Patients Increasingly Seek Care Outside of a Healthcare Organization’s Homepage, the Healthcare Sector Recognizes Its Need for Improved Off-Website Engagement Data Monitoring
Yext, Inc., the platform for Brand Verified Answers in search, announced new research on the digital maturity of the healthcare sector as part of its Brand Control in the Age of AI study conducted in partnership with Vanson Bourne, an independent research group.
Brand Control in the Age of AI surveyed 400 marketing decision makers from organizations across the United States — including 100 healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing decision makers. The study reveals that healthcare appears to lag behind other verticals in brand management, with a majority (62%) of respondents stating that large improvements are required in their monitoring of patient engagement on off-website sources.
“Healthcare organizations are increasingly facing challenges in patient acquisition and journey optimization, especially as patients are more financially responsible for their care and ask more questions about that care across search engines, maps, apps, and voice assistants,” says Carrie Liken, Head of Industry, Healthcare at Yext. “To ensure that patients find the answer to who is the right provider for the right condition at the right time — without falling into the care of a competing provider or system — healthcare organizations need to shift their focus to include not only their owned properties, but everywhere patients are looking.”
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Healthcare lags behind other verticals in brand data visibility and management
As a whole, only 41% of healthcare marketing decision makers report that their organization’s marketing strategy is comprehensive, with no flaws to be addressed, or very thorough, with only a few flaws to be addressed. This is the lowest proportion of any sector measured, indicating that those in healthcare and pharmaceuticals are lagging behind and have several challenges to address.
- 34% of healthcare respondents report limited access to patient engagement data from off-website sources is a challenge
- 34% cite not enough visibility over how they compare to their competition
- 32% believe their organization suffers from a lack of investment in the latest marketing technologies
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Monitoring patient and consumer data from off-website sources is the missing link
The evolution of search from chaotic results to structured answers, paired with the rise of third-party sites, has created the conditions for more patients to find information about healthcare providers without ever visiting an organization’s homepage.
While this new landscape makes monitoring consumer and patient data from off-website sources ever more important, only 26% of respondents cite monitoring consumer engagement data from off-website sources as an area of brand management focus — which could help to explain the difficulties that they are having with up to date information.
- Additionally, it is believed that an average of only 29% of consumer engagement data from off-website sources is up to date
- Respondents report that only 33% of the information about their organization that is available to consumers in the digital ecosystem is up to date
Healthcare marketers are optimistic that marketing strategy improvements will improve patient experience
Despite problem areas in brand management compared to other verticals, healthcare organizations appear aware of the need to invest in improving their marketing strategies. Of those who believe they need to make changes over the next 12 months:
- 59% cite an increase in patient loyalty and/or an increase in patient satisfaction as potential benefits that can be realized if improvements are made to their marketing strategy
- 57% report that improving their marketing strategy will drive an increase in sales/revenue
With key investments in improving their marketing strategies, healthcare organizations can confidently provide answers to prospective patients’ questions online, enhancing the patient experience and driving an increase in revenue as a result.