Nov 21, 2016
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How Can Search Marketers Reduce  Healthcare Marketing Costs or Improve Patient Outcomes?

Last week I had the honor of attention the Innovation LA conference, a life sciences and biotech event put on by the New Orleans Bioinnovation Center.

The conference featured panels exploring ways for early stage businesses to establish product/market fit or how to raise angel or venture capital to scale a biotech business, to name a few topics.

During the Angel & Seed Investment Funding panel, Cian C. Robinson, Executive Director of the Lafayette General Foundation, made two very pointed comments about the challenges that a health system like Lafayette General is going to face headed into 2017:

  1. Health systems need all the help they can get REDUCING COSTS, as impending federal budget changes will remove “trillion(s) of dollars in federal support
  2. Health systems are now measured by IMPROVING OUTCOMES; if a patient is discharged and returns within 30, 60 or 90 days insurance payers will not reimburse the full cost of their care

Since we have a handful of healthcare customers in our portfolio, I couldn’t help but ask myself:

How are we helping our healthcare customers reduce costs or improve patient outcomes?

Step 1: Reducing Healthcare Marketing Costs

A case study that came to mind quickly is the Paid Search work we’ve done for Planned Parenthood in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and Alaska.

When they hired our team to manage Paid Search activity, the tenants they needed to deliver against were:

  • Capture search intent as the nature of search behavior changes (device, voice vs. text queries, etc)
  • Reduce cost of online appointments being scheduled

While I won’t take you all the way down our strategic rabbit hole, I can highlight two strategic changes we executed for Planned Parenthood that reduced their cost per appointment scheduled by more than 65%!

  1. Mobile-First Paid Search Campaign Structure: Keyword research combined with an account audit revealed that Planned Parenthood booked most of their appointments online from users on a computer (laptop/desktop). At the same time, the average age of appointment bookers was <34 years old, a mobile-heavy audience segment. By building out campaign structures as well as landing environments that were mobile-first, we were able to completely flip the performance tables – now more than half of online appointments scheduled in those states come from a mobile device (usually a smartphone)
  2. Rule & Bid Automation: Healthcare queries and search trends change rapidly based on the time of year. Think about it: Fall = back to school. This means welcome to cold and flu season. There are other trends as well! Our Paid Search Manager led the charge by setting up a series of Adwords rules focused around catching these trends earlier and either automating big increases for keyword query performers on the rise OR cutting keywords out entirely before they ate up too many SERP impressions and clicks.

Improving Healthcare Outcomes with Fewer Resources

We’d love to hear from you: Do you have any case examples or tactics where you’ve seen improved outcomes?

Share them in the comments section below and we’ll update this blog post as we go 🙂

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About the Author

CEO of MKG Marketing Inc

Mike Krass | CEO

Aside from being the CEO at MKG Marketing Inc, Mike is a dark beer aficionado with a healthy appetite for travel and pushing personal boundaries. A proud graduate of Washington State University, Mike currently calls New Orleans home.

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