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Clarity, even in crisis: Market Insights keeps healthcare organizations on track

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behavior like no other event in modern history. Already, many healthcare organizations are observing profound shifts in the ways that customers interact with their brands.

Even the most optimistic of healthcare leaders believe that some of these shifts will be permanent. A new normal is asserting itself in the marketplace—and if they are to survive, healthcare organizations will have to adapt to it.

To do that, they’ll need robust and reliable intelligence to guide their decisions, to ensure they meet the post-pandemic healthcare customer where they are.

Here are four ways NRC Health’s Market Insights will help them do just that.

Up-to-the-minute insights

The coronavirus has proven decisively how fast consumer sentiment can change. A few weeks marked the difference between a normally functioning economy and one that had virtually shut its doors. The whiplash sent many organizations reeling.

This was a powerful illustration of the need for rapid iterations of consumer research. In a world where customer sentiment evolves every day, effective organizations can’t wait for quarterly survey results. They need to hear the voice of their customer as often as they can.

Market Insights is ready to keep up with the cadence of change. With it, not only can surveys be administered as often as once per month, but they can also be redesigned before every new iteration.

(To see why this is important, consider NRC Health’s series of reports on consumer sentiment during the COVID-19 outbreak. These monthly updates captured—with scientific validity and precision—exactly how consumers’ worries and desires are changing as the pandemic persists.)

Even better, Market Insights also includes Community Insights, a platform that enables organizations to rapidly build and query customer panels on the prevailing issues of the day.

MetroHealth, for example, used Community Insights to construct an 1,800-member patient panel in just one month. This yielded thousands of helpful data-points that the organization used to fine-tune its approach to care.

Reliable data drives change

For any organization’s marketing department, proving the efficacy of their work can be a major challenge. Objective proof-points can be hard to come by.

Market Insights can make a difference here by bringing substantive data to the discussion. With its large data set (300,000 American households—the largest of its kind in the country) and state-of-the-art segmentation system, Market Insights supplies reliable data that can help spur institutional change.

Consider, for instance, the case of Augusta University Health (AU Health). This large Georgia-based academic health center used Market Insights data to validate their approach to brand-messaging.

“NRC Health’s Market Insights is the barometer that can show AU Health executives that the money spent is worth it, and can help prove ROI.”

—Brianne Clark, Sr. Marketing Analyst, AU Health

Through repeated Market Insights-based testing of their ad messaging, AU Health’s marketing team managed to bring overall top-of-mind awareness from 33% to 64% in the region.

Now Market Insights is a foundational part of AU Health’s overall communication strategy.

Expanding organizational reach

Ad messaging, of course, is just one of the modes of interaction health brands have with their consumers. Modern health-system strategy must be much more comprehensive—encompassing every possible touchpoint between patient and provider.

Market Insights helps to shed light on all of these interactions by capturing a broad range of consumer sentiments. This enables health systems to craft a unified strategy that includes wider considerations of institutional influence.

Community Health Network, in Indiana, is a case in point. CHN found multiple uses for Market Insights data, which enabled them to expand the system’s reach in a variety of ways.

“Market Insights has given us a heightened sense of confidence in the work we do…especially in the results we share with the executive team.”

—Deb Kenemer, Executive Director of Digital Marketing, CHN

For CHN’s mammography program, Market Insights helped increase likelihood-to-recommend by 48%. Using Market Insights to examine CHN’s brand as an employer, they were able to position themselves as a premier workplace in their markets. And finally, CHN used Market Insights to assess the plausibility of a service-line expansion into telehealth, arriving at realistic revenue estimates for leadership.

Meaningful competitive intelligence

A final use-case for Market Insights can be summed up in a word: benchmarking.

Even if leaders have every confidence in the excellence of their care teams, they may still struggle to understand how their organization stands among its competitors. Yes, they may be doing well—but how well? Compared to what?

To win and retain consumer loyalty, organizations must have a frank understanding of their relative strengths and weaknesses, weighed against those of other players in the market.

“Market Insights helped better us track and measure consumer-awareness data.”

—Lisa E Henry, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communication

Market Insights is able to achieve this bird’s-eye perspective precisely because it’s not restricted to a health system’s current customers. It can assess why consumers did not choose a given organization; it can rank organizations by how much local consumers recognize and trust them; it can point out the precise reasons why consumers prefer one brand over another.

Mary Washington Healthcare, in Virginia, leveraged this capability to hone in on specific actions to bolster market share. Through Market Insights, the organization’s leaders developed a strategy that revolved around increasing top-of-mind awareness in the region. It worked—awareness increased by 3.8%, and a 2.4% increase in market share followed in the six-month period thereafter.

Persisting clarity

Even in more stable times, clarity was rare enough for healthcare leaders. Now it may be even harder to come by—and therefore, all the more important. Whether organization leaders are navigating a crisis or contemplating expansion, Market Insights remains a vital source of broad-based, comprehensive, and actionable consumer intelligence.