Written by Richard Marcil on November 15, 2016
in Healthcare Marketing

There’s one reason why people are still talking about patient centricity — because it’s really hard to achieve. Everywhere you turn, patient centricity is there.  The concept is top-of-mind in all corners of the health industry – as it should be.

For many organizations, patient centricity is mostly bluster. It’s a buzzword that looks good on a business plan, a corporate website, an investor portal, etc. But this does nothing for patients or the business.

For some, though, patient centricity is seen as a path to competitive advantage. In 2016, we’ve seen a deepening of patient understanding and a more meaningful investment in technology. The goal of patient centricity isn’t to impress others in abstraction, it’s to drive engagement, improve health outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction.

Check out Forrester Research’s recent report on this titled Chart Your Course to Customer Obsession. It helps identify a path to patient centricity.

“Talking the talk” are the organizing principles that ground an organization’s commitment to patient centricity:

  1. Customer-led – Organizational planning around the customer.
  2. Insights-driven – Understanding customer journeys and
  3. Connected – Having direct access to customers and vice versa.
  4. Fast – Being real-time responsive.

“Walking the walk” are the capabilities needed to make it happen:

  1. Culture – Shared customer priorities.
  2. Structure – Marketing, Sales and CX alignment.
  3. Talent – People to challenge the status quo.
  4. Metrics – Identifying customer measures that correlate to business results.
  5. Processes – Workflows that deliver on new marketing and CC strategies.
  6. Technology – The data and tools needed to put it into practice.

Consultancies like PwC, Accenture and Deloitte have been doing yeomen’s work on getting organizations to “talk the talk”. Where companies struggle is the transition from “talking the talk” to “walking the walk”. Consultancies don’t have the deeper, more pragmatic knowledge of the business to operationalize their recommendations, while ad agencies don’t have enough operational capabilities to blueprint, implement and run patient-centric programs and campaigns. That’s where Ariad has been playing a role, i.e. catalyzing culture, structure, talent, metrics, processes and, of course, technology.

With 2017 around the corner, the opportunity is there for healthcare marketers to truly bring patient centricity to life.

Richard Marcil in the Head of Commercial Innovation at Ariad, Bluespire, and Guidemark.

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