MedCity Influencers

Health Tech Startups Should Consider Adding Data to Their Marketing & PR Strategy

Creating a successful primary data marketing campaign relies on asking the right questions, keeping the end user in mind, proper analysis and a long-term plan for its use.

Marketers are used to dealing with data to support the multitude of campaigns they run and programs they support, but many might not consider the role it can play in supporting or driving efforts to establish their brand as an industry leader.

Health tech companies that find ways to position executives as thought leaders with unique ideas and insights can successfully stand out from the competition. One way to do that is by collecting and analyzing primary data that is valuable to your key audience(s). For example, a remote patient monitoring (RPM) company with solutions for provider organizations that serve the aging population might look to understand the circumstances under which Americans 65+ would adopt RPM for themselves and/or their loved ones. Those findings can become the basis of a new report that not only paints a fuller picture of Americans’ preferences, but also offers guidance for providers looking to integrate remote monitoring into their practices.

Creating a successful primary data marketing campaign relies on asking the right questions, keeping the end user in mind, proper analysis and a long-term plan for its use.

Identify a topic that will position you as a valuable resource for your key audiences

It is so important to be a resource for your audiences. As you begin to make a plan for the data you will collect, think about the insights that will be desirable to them. Rather than surveying your audience, go directly to their audience(s) to demonstrate you understand their needs, preferences and barriers to entry. For example, as an RPM start-up, imagine how valuable it would be to share findings from a survey that reveal exactly what the aging population is looking for in terms of technology-assisted healthcare. Armed with that information, you stand out as a partner that can help a provider break through those barriers.

You should consider repeating the research annually to highlight changes in preferences. In doing so, your audience will come to expect – and anticipate – the yearly insights.

Consider the questions most valuable to your audience 

A survey to support your thought leadership efforts should not be used to collect information about product market fit. All too often these projects get tangled up in cross-departmental efforts which results in watered-down data that isn’t valuable to anyone. When developing a questionnaire, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What insights about their audiences would be helpful to collect, measure and share? Is there information you can provide that would help them better understand their end user’s pain points and how to address them?

Analyze the data through the lens of your audience 

Once the data has been collected, look at it as though you are a customer. What is the headline? What story do the findings tell? How can they position you as an industry leader and resource? Wellframe, a digital health company, conducted a survey to measure members’ sentiment around managing their health plans. Not only did they reveal that more than half are overwhelmed, but they positioned themselves as an expert to help health plans address that overwhelm.

Like that example, the insights gathered from your survey can – and should – tie back to the services and/or technology you offer, but should not be a commercial for them.

Plan for success 

The last thing you want to do is have access to all of this great data and no plan to share it. Start your project by developing a timeline that includes design, planning and execution so you can ensure the right amount of time and resources are allocated along the way. For example, schedule weekly meetings to ensure that everyone responsible for each piece of the project remains aligned. Gather departments from across the company to work together to create and execute a launch plan that will drive significant value for everyone. Marketing, PR, sales and customer success should collaborate to ensure the pieces are in place that will serve their needs. While each campaign is unique, each should include tactics such as: media, webinar(s), email, design, social media and content. The resources created can be used months after the initial launch as a way to support ongoing marketing efforts.

Intelligent automation company, Notable, used the HLTH conference as a forum to launch data that revealed patients’ frustrations with and preferences for their digital experiences in healthcare. The company secured media coverage, created content that offered insights for how healthcare executives can leverage technology to meet patients’ expectations and made the insights easy to find on their website.

Data can be a game changer when it comes to building a brand, especially in an industry like health tech where start-ups need to differentiate themselves to secure market share. As we face economic uncertainty, it’s even more important for brands to stay in front of audiences in relevant, timely and valuable ways. Even if they’re tightening their wallets now, if you remain a go-to resource, you’ll be their first call when they start spending again.

Photo: LumineImages, Getty Images

Editor’s Note: Notable is not a client of the author or her employer.

Kristin Faulder is principal at Heurisay, a Nashville-based PR and communications agency that helps technology-based start-ups elevate their brand.

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