The healthcare industry is evolving rapidly because of technology. Big changes are happening almost every week, and mergers and disruptive startups are becoming more common. Tech companies that previously had no ties to the medical industry are now entering it boldly. These shifts leave healthcare marketers wondering what innovative steps to take next. Marketing professionals and companies must focus on growing revenue, and they must do it without inflating the budget too much. They must also design customer-centered experiences that connect people with a brand and help them build trust in it. Krishen Iyer is the CEO and founder of Managed Benefits Services, a company focused on assisting dental and health insurance companies with lead generation and consulting.
In a press release, Krishen Iyer said that his company developed a new platform with multiple levels of customized tools, and those tools will meet the needs of facilities or companies that must find innovative ways to improve customer experiences. Managed Benefits Services is a digital marketing company that offers online marketing strategy formation, consulting and lead generation services to clients in the health, dental and life insurance fields. The company shows other entities how to structure their marketing verticals and contracts to maximize their profits, opportunities, and prospects. Additionally, the company designs lead to traffic and work with publishers to create strategic contracts.
His Business: MBS
The new platform for Managed Benefits Services took a considerable amount of time to design. According to Iyer, the platform may completely transform management services for benefits in the future. He is hopeful that the platform will help customers of the company realize its full potential, and Managed Benefits Services is excited to grow along with its clients. Although Iyer is dedicated to the future of his company, he is also conscientious about the good of society. This is why he helps others break into the insurance consulting field. Although what he does relatively new to the field, his ability to help other companies succeed only strengthens his reputation as a leader. He believes that success for companies in the health economy means success for consumers as well.
Today, customer experience plans must address the expectations of consumers and their concerns for the future. The related multiple levels of tasks are complicated for marketers. As trends continue to shift, the role of companies who partake in marketing within healthcare will become even more important. Since marketers have to be prepared for changes before they happen in order to stay ahead of competitors, they must have some knowledge of what the coming years will bring. These are some of the top predictions that will affect health care marketers during the next 12 months and beyond. Recently, the American Marketing Association released a list of predictions that will impact marketing as a whole. Krishen Iyer elaborated on the list in relation to his field of expertise in health and dental insurance.
The Rate of Digital Engagement Spending will Increase
This number is expected to double in the coming year. Health care providers and patients rely more on mobile devices and apps today. Companies that provide products or services to patients must use every possible resource to reach them and to keep them engaged. Although millennials are often viewed as the ones who spend the most time on their mobile devices, research shows that most people who were born after 1955 spend even more time on their phones than millennials.
Marketers must take this finding into account when they develop content that targets different age groups. Also, they must use it to set their priorities. The older generations are more likely to make online purchases today as well. Strategists must find ways to attract these consumers to keep up with competitors. Major companies such as Apple and Amazon have already started to make plans to target older people for health products and services.
In the C-suite, healthcare consumerism will grow in importance. Systems will undergo reorganization processes to address the challenges of consumerism. Also, they will embrace the opportunities that consumerism creates. Consumerism will be especially important to hospitals and their board members. Additionally, finance will be a critical consideration that is tied to consumerism. They will also focus on improving safety and quality standards, and population health will remain a top priority as well. As hospitals and other large healthcare organizations realize the importance of combining marketing with patient experiences, the demand for specialty services will increase. Marketers must help them understand the importance of creating a unified brand experience, which is directly connected to revenue growth.
One of the biggest points of frustration for healthcare consumers is confusing prices. They are not sure why they have to spend so much money on insurance, medical equipment, tests, medications, and other necessities. Pricing transparency is expected to rise drastically. Big companies such as Amazon have already started to push for more transparency. In the past, some prescription drugs were excessively priced because of the incentives that multiple entities along the distribution chain shared. When some consumers discovered this, it made them angry.
Large companies that have the financial and legal ability to enter the market may cause disruptions, and those disruptions will lead to an improvement in pricing transparency in addition to other benefits. In some states, price transparency is part of the law. A few examples are Maine, Colorado and New Hampshire. Startups such as Amino and a few others are making transparency a part of their core values. If a company provides public pricing information and explains every detail, it will be more likely to gain the trust of health care consumers in the years ahead. With access to a wealth of information on the internet, healthcare consumers are smarter and more informed than ever.
Natural language processing will increase.
With natural language processing, organizations can easily and instantly understand what customers say. Algorithms are designed to analyze the comments of patients. They can detect sentiments, demographic factors, commonalities, and other factors. For marketing teams and professionals, these programs will be especially valuable because of their time-saving abilities. In the past, marketing teams had to comb through pages of information to determine some of these important factors. This change will allow marketers to focus on other high-yield tasks.
There will be speedier service recovery.
Combining natural language processing with real-time feedback from customers will make interventions easier. Algorithms that are sensitive to words from patients who are upset will sort their information for quicker processing. Such a change will provide opportunities for improved follow-up measures, and patients will not have to wait days or weeks for a human to find their complaints. Companies in other industries have already employed such programs. According to statistics from their usage results, the programs have been beneficial. For example, Delta Airlines has been using a system that recognizes tweets about the company. If a customer posts a tweet about a bad experience, an algorithm-based bot responds to the tweet within one hour. Humans would have to tirelessly search common terms that relate to complaints to find such information. In today’s fast-paced world where nearly everything is available on demand, customers expect immediate responses. This is especially true when they are upset about bad experiences or disappointing products. Health systems that perform in a similar manner will be more satisfactory to health care consumers. Also, immediate responses may help give them more peace of mind.
Continued Focus on Wellness
In recent years, there has been a greater focus on wellness rather than on treating problems. With a fee-for-service insurance model, physicians are more likely to recommend a larger number of tests and procedures. However, the medical system seems to be shifting toward a value-based healthcare system. With a value-based system, physicians are rewarded for aiding in better patient outcomes instead of recommending more services. This model has the potential to reduce medical costs for healthcare facilities, physicians and patients. Currently, the wellness industry is valued at about $3 trillion.
According to research, the wellness industry is growing fast and will thrive even more during the coming years. Wellness focuses on prevention. When people get their annual wellness checkups, they visit a family doctor to discuss health concerns. During the checkup, the doctor identifies potential problems that could lead to chronic illnesses. The doctor makes suggestions for the patient to improve his or her health. For example, a patient who is obese is at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and several other chronic illnesses that are costly and permanent. In such a case, the doctor may recommend healthier diet options, exercise, and other steps. Patients are encouraged to go to the gym, purchase biofeedback machines or attend health classes.
Some apps are even joining the movement. One example is the app called GymPact. When people sign up for it, they enter a credit card number. They make a commitment to stick to a specific gym routine. With their smartphones, they take pictures of themselves doing different exercises. If they stick to their commitments, they are rewarded with a modest sum each time. However, if they do not stick to their commitments, they are charged predetermined fees. Research shows that incentives such as this are more effective in helping people stick to their wellness goals. If health systems can find ways to capture this market, they may become leaders quickly. In the past, systems with compensation structures failed with that market. Ultimately, the execution tasks will fall into the hands of marketers. They must be ready to design unique customer experiences that will help their programs excel.
Advertising Will Shift to New Platforms
Although many healthcare facilities and companies still use printed ads and billboards, they rely more on digital advertising today. There have been recent shifts in digital advertising. According to research from the University of North Carolina, one of the biggest trends in the coming years will be interactive platforms. When customers click on an ad from a medical facility or a company, it redirects them to an interactive platform. They can visit it regularly, and there are methods in place to keep them engaged. One example is a blog for mothers that is maintained by Lowell General Hospital. Procedures are explained and discussed infrequent posts. The blog welcomes feedback, which promotes further discussion. This approach is subtler and helps the facility sell certain procedures better. It establishes a relationship that is based on authority and trust, and it provides prospective patients with vital information and education rather than promotional content.
Another important point that ties into this topic are medical emergencies. When hospitals design their marketing strategies, they must think about where people will go for emergencies and why they will go there. When there is an emergency, a person does not stop to think about catchy ads or expensive marketing campaigns. For this reason, marketers must think about the services that they advertise as priorities. Today, a focus on wellness says a lot about a medical facility. Since people would rather not be patients in the first place, they are more likely to trust a facility that promotes wellness programs rather than a hospital that tries hard to sell procedures and services.
Improved Customer Service
Since both younger and older people rely more on apps now for nearly everything, healthcare companies and facilities will upgrade their app-related customer service. Consumers must be able to pay their bills, contact their providers, view important information and receive updates electronically. Also, they want to be able to access wellness tips and referrals instantly. When it comes to customer service, they want to be able to contact a provider at all hours. Chat representatives, FAQs and resolution follow-ups will continue to grow in importance.
An article from California State University in Long Beach stated that empathy is important to health care consumers. This finding came from a research panel. Health care consumers said that they preferred a facility that showed empathy. If patients feel like health care providers understand their problems, they are more likely to come back to that provider or facility. When people face uncertainties that are tied to illnesses, one of the most important feelings is hope. If a facility creates feelings of hope with its marketing and backs its claims with statistics or solutions, it sends a powerful and attractive message to worried healthcare consumers.
Krishen Iyer Inspires Marketers To Set Higher Goals
In an interview, Krishen Iyer said that he sets lofty goals for Managed Benefits Services. As a hardworking entrepreneur, he says that his accomplishments are hard to define because of how he always sets higher goals. When it comes to marketing in the healthcare sector, he encourages insurance providers to set increasingly higher goals to stay competitive. As the founder of his company, Krishen Iyer maintains his motivation to reach his goals while he looks for new channels of innovation. Insurance companies must use this thinking pattern as well. If a company looks for pain points or problems to solve and develops innovative solutions, it holds an advantage over competitors.
Krishen Iyer stated that his understanding of his company’s needs, long-term goals, and short-term goals helps him make stronger plans that minimize risks. Minimizing risks is also critical for insurance companies since risks only cost them more money. While these marketing trends and related strategies may sound intimidating to marketers in the health insurance industry, they are important to study. Krishen Iyer encourages people to embrace trends and changes and to find ways to make them advantageous to a company. Today, solid marketing strategies and strong execution methods have never been more important. The future of health insurance is still uncertain, and it could see additional shifts if the former ACA is replaced in the coming years. Marketers must be ready for those changes.
Krishen Iyer encourages companies and professionals to understand the formula for success in healthcare marketing. The formula is finding the right consumers at the right time and engaging them properly. If companies can master this formula and can make it an integral part of their strategies, they will see more revenue. Also, there are advantages for society. Improving marketing may mean analyzing business practices, services, and products.
If improvements are made in those areas, customers can benefit from them and may become healthier as well. This makes a company emerge as a leader, which is an asset for long-term success. Krishen Iyer lives in California and is a licensed insurance agent. He attended college at San Diego State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and urban development in 2004. Before creating his current company, Managed Benefits Services, he founded Name My Premium LLC, which was an Inc 5000 winner in 2015. His love for the industry, passion, and ability to adapt has helped him stand out as an entrepreneur.