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Performance Marketing October 07, 2015

Digitising the Healthcare Sector


We are all aware that in order for organizations to meet the evolving needs of their customers, they must invest in technology and commit to developing a digital DNA. The healthcare industry is no exception to this requirement. The sector is currently under enormous pressure to address how it responds to the changing ways in which healthcare products and services are found, purchased and used.

The healthcare sector is on the cusp of digital change. There is a huge digital capability variance across the sector, with companies implementing digital transformation strategies at very different speeds.  It is clear that the sector is in need of the support from technology experts and innovators to help steer a new course, to help them maximize the benefits that digital presents.

A recent study carried out by Econsultancy in partnership with Ogilvy CommonHealth and OgilvyRED, supports the view that the healthcare sector needs a helping hand from innovators, in order to move away from their outdated methods.

When asked to ‘what extent does digital permeate your own organization’s marketing activities?’ 30% described it as ‘very much separate’ – nearly 60% more than other sectors.

Improving Customer Experience

It is becoming increasingly important for healthcare providers to offer the same level of personalized care that they offer offline, on their digital touchpoints.

Econsultancy’s survey highlighted that ‘customer experience management’ is the leading focus point for all consumer-facing sectors, including healthcare, with almost 20% naming it as their most exciting opportunity.

Customers are becoming increasingly digitally mature. They expect a personalized experience by default, and behavior has shifted towards a demand for services tailored to their specific needs.

Customers want accessible services that can easily be integrated into their lifestyles. It’s undeniable that a customer experience is a winning strategy for business; happy customers are far more likely to purchase additional services, spend more for premium services, write positive online reviews, and develop long term loyalty to your brand.

The report went on show that at the root of healthcare marketers’ feedback was the aspiration to be able to control the conversation with their customers, across channels and time. In order to achieve this single view of the customer, they need to successfully implement personalization and automation, which is reliant on trustworthy and accessible data.


The convenience of Self Service applications enable customers and employees to access information and perform routine tasks via digital tools, without requiring time and labour intensive interactions with a representative from your organisation.

By utilising Self Service Applications, healthcare organizations can not only improve their customer experience, but also make extensive cost savings, by reducing the amount of resource needed to manage customers and employee’s information requests.

For example, a detailed knowledge base could replace a telephone support system or an account setup processes that currently requires a dedicated team, could be replaced with a digital system that enables customers to manage their own information.

Digital Measurement Framework

Failure to capture, analyze and act upon data is often a pitfall across many industries. For healthcare marketing, it is important for strategists to consider how they want to use the data to positively influence the customer’s experience consistently, not just with the short term use of a product or service.

A robust analytics strategy and digital measurement framework can help greatly with this.

Digital Foundations

To evolve in line with other sectors where digital is embedded in the fibers of their infrastructure, the healthcare industry must take voluntary action before the outside world’s demand for it forces them to innovate.

Where it can sometimes be difficult to inspire change internally due to fear of change or the lack of in-house digital capabilities, healthcare marketers should look to partner with digital agencies which can help them develop an achievable digital roadmap to lead them on the journey to digital transformation.

At Dept Design & Technology, we strongly believe that the key to digital transformation is to build a strategy from solid foundations. From our experience of working with some of the world’s largest healthcare organizations, we have developed a Digital Foundations Workshop – our tried and tested method of kick-starting digital transformation within our clients’ organisations.

Questions? We are here to help!


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