CRM Best Practices: Attribution

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12/26/2017 in Blog

This blog is part of the Healthgrades CRM Best Practices series.  For more insight and information about healthcare CRM trends and techniques, make sure to read the other blogs in the series, including Personalization 101Personas and Pathways, and Predictive Modeling.

An effective marketing strategy requires a clear road map, guided by the measurement of previous campaigns and tactics. Consumers are increasingly selective and tech savvy, and marketers must be able to easily determine what messages, channels, and tactics are successful. This is why it’s important to understand attribution.

Attribution is the process of breaking out and identifying the actions marketing can take to help bring about a desired outcome, and then determining the value of each of those actions. Attribution helps measure impact, see which campaigns have yielded the most value, and how to refine and repeat efforts for the best results.

The first step in attribution is to identify touchpoints along the care journey where patients can be influenced to make particular choices. Successfully influencing the patient at one of these touchpoints is known as a conversion.

By using attribution to divide credit for a conversion among certain touchpoints, you are able to determine how much ROI any particular touchpoint is generating. Used correctly, attribution can provide data that helps apportion the budget more effectively by accurately pinpointing the specific tactics that convert new audiences.

Accordingly, attribution helps answer two difficult questions:

  1. How do we accurately attach the value of the consumer to the marketing media chosen, based on ROI?

  2. How do we properly allocate value to the consumer’s various interactions with our health system?

But attribution is hardly used repeatedly or effectively. Too often, the focus is on just one tactic and one touchpoint at a time, instead of the entire series of events along the care journey. In an incredibly crowded marketplace, where hospitals are competing not only amongst themselves but also with other industries — focusing on one tactic at a time jeopardizes the ability to capture new patients.

An optimized CRM provides the ability to attribute values to touch-points along the care journey and measure channel, campaign, and service line performance. Attribution can even demonstrate the ROI of an individual patient.  

For instance: When a consumer has scheduled a doctor’s appointment, how can you determine what series of steps led the consumer to take that action?

With attribution, it’s possible to identify the touchpoints and messages that made the biggest difference in capturing the appointment. Focusing on those critical steps maximizes results using fewer resources. By analyzing a wide swath of data, it’s easier to target consumers at pivotal moments in the care journey. The methods in which you effectively influence an audience should serve as a guide for future marketing decisions.

Optimized CRM utilization will make it easier to perform data-based inquiries on multi-touchpoint tactics, rather than focusing on single touchpoints. Test multiple tactics simultaneously to more quickly determine the most successful approaches. Through attribution, you’ll be able to identify not only which campaigns yielded better results, but also a given campaign’s success with specific consumers.