Healthcare marketers face unique challenges around the use of data – integrating personal medical data with standard marketing data – but if done appropriately this can help brands and institutions connect more effectively with health consumers as well as educate them.

Writing in the current issue of Admap (topic: digital strategy in healthcare marketing), Hilary Gentile, global chief strategy officer for McCann Health, observes that any discussion about data improvement in the healthcare field needs to recognise that these two areas are not automatically or easily integrated.

One stumbling block is the question of data ownership. While non-healthcare brands are almost in sole ownership of the data they collect on their customers, Gentile notes: “The same cannot be said in the medical field, where sensitive data can include personal health records, health insurance and payment information.”

But even if medical and marketing data are separate domains, “there is a core shared value regarding both sets of data – and that is to establish trust in the way the data will be used”. (WARC subscribers can read the article in full: How health brands can combine medical and consumer data to play a meaningful role in people’s lives.)

Health brands, however, are relative latecomers in leveraging data on behalf of marketing, according to Gentile, and even the best ones are only now starting to curate and assimilate data to intimately understand and influence the health stakeholder.

“It’s a given that health consumers need to be in control of their own health and data, and a brand needs to be able to earn its place in the health consumer’s circle of trust,” she states.

Beyond that, she offers five broad guidelines toward achieving that and addressing how to conceptualise data to best leverage its value and ensure its protection from misuse.

One of those is to offer some kind of value exchange and here healthcare marketers can learn from the example of the banking industry in understanding how to help people make better and easier decisions.

“Banking’s continual innovations allowed for clients to have an increasingly simple experience,” Gentile points out. “It took a long time for people to come around to trusting financial data, and we need to learn how to accelerate the model based on what banking has done.”

The ten articles in January 2020’s Admap examine how digital is fuelling innovation in the health and wellness sector globally, from the emergence of new sub-categories like connected fitness, to AI-fuelled diagnosis. In addition to the articles, WARC subscribers can access a deck summarising the expertise and insights from all our contributors.

Subscribers can also register here for a WARC webinar on Thursday 16th January, presented by Michael Leis, Chief Content Strategy Officer at Publicis Health. In Creating Healthcare Content that Matters, he will discuss the repeatable, strategic guides that can be built to clarify decision-making and drive the world’s largest, most engaged therapeutic-area audiences. 

Sourced from Admap