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Beyond the Scrubs: Understanding Healthcare Providers as People for Increased Engagement


The benefits of adopting a humanized approach to healthcare provider marketing extend across the healthcare spectrum, enhancing engagement rates, brand loyalty, and marketing ROI, while also driving better outcomes for patients.

Image credit: Delmaine Donson/peopleimages.com | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: Delmaine Donson/peopleimages.com | stock.adobe.com

The focus in healthcare has rightly been dominated by the pursuit of patient-centricity—a noble effort aimed at humanizing the healthcare experience and ensuring that treatment plans revolve around the individual needs and SDOH factors of patients to improve outcomes. Yet, amidst these commendable strides towards enhancing patient care and engagement, an equally important facet of the healthcare ecosystem often remains overlooked: the healthcare providers (HCPs) themselves.

With the right tools and data that provide insight into HCPs, not just as professionals but as unique individuals, organizations that serve HCPs—such as healthcare institutions and pharmaceutical companies—have the opportunity to foster an environment that empowers providers to do their best work. This unique perspective has the ability to not only enhance the relationship between HCPs and their partners, but ultimately elevate the level of care they offer, potentially helping them better serve their patients.

Humanizing HCPs

HCPs, much like their patients, come from a tapestry of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Beyond their scrubs, stethoscopes, and professional demeanor lie rich stories of individuality, personal interests, behaviors, and motivations.

A nurse might have a passion for running and using physical fitness to manage the stresses of the job. A physician could be a film buff, finding solace in stimulating stories after long days in the clinic. A provider with a keen interest in technology may be more inclined to eagerly adopt new solutions that align with their tech-savvy nature. Conversely, a provider who values personal interaction may prefer traditional, face-to-face educational opportunities over webinars or online forums.

Understanding these attributes is crucial in recognizing how HCPs engage with their work, the information they value, and how they interact with healthcare products and services. With this type of insight into the multifaceted lives of HCPs, B2B healthcare brands and marketers have the opportunity to tailor their targeting and communication strategies in a way that truly resonates. For example:

  • Pharmaceutical Companies: Leveraging provider-as-a-person intelligence and informing HCP targeting strategies with personal insights, pharmaceutical companies can cultivate increased interest and engagement with their content and products, which is crucial in an era of information overload. Furthermore, when any customer—including HCPs—feels that companies understand their unique needs and preferences, they are more likely to develop a strong, positive association with those brands leading to increased brand loyalty.
  • Healthcare Institutions: With insight into HCPs, organizations and brands are able to enhance workplace environments through a better understanding of the personal needs of their HCP audiences or employees. For example, having insight into the fact that many of the HCPs on staff have young children, HCP employers could optimize scheduling or offer services to assist in this area. Or perhaps an institution recognizes their target HCPs have a high interest in continuing education. They could, in turn, offer continuing medical education opportunities that align with both the personal and professional interests of their practitioners.
  • Impact on Patient Care and Outcomes: Perhaps the most significant impact of utilizing provider-as-a-person intelligence—and the common goal of all entities across the healthcare ecosystem—can be seen in patient care and outcomes. Well-supported HCPs, armed with knowledge, tools, and solutions that align with their personal and professional identities, are in a better position to provide high-quality care. This enables HCPs to stay at the forefront of medical advancements, apply the latest evidence-based practices, and offer personalized care tailored to the unique needs of their patients.

Provider-as-a-Person Intelligence

While utilizing people-based data to personalize marketing strategies is not a new concept, it is usually associated with traditional marketing use cases such as B2C targeting. So, how can this be achieved for companies marketing to HCPs in the healthcare space?

Luckily, thanks to innovations in data and analytics, the type of insight historically reserved for marketers and brands offering consumer products and services is available on HCPs for healthcare brands. One reliable way to make this happen is by linking National Provider Identifiers (NPI) to people-based consumer marketing data which unlocks individual-level insight on HCPs and bridges the gap between seeing them as mere practitioners and understanding them as individuals with unique characteristics, behaviors, and motivations.

Armed with enriched data that provides a view into the personal characteristics of HCPs, healthcare brands and institutions have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance Targeting: Marketers can optimize targeting HCPs based on a comprehensive understanding of their demographic, psychographic, and professional attributes. This includes data points such as demographics, channel behaviors, and lifestyle interests.
  • Personalize Messaging: With predictive data linked to NPI, HCP marketers and health brands can create highly personalized messaging and content tailored to the unique preferences and behaviors of their target audiences. This can be especially valuable for brand awareness messages related to pharmaceutical treatments, clinical study initiatives, grant opportunities, employer benefits, and more.
  • Improve Analytics & ROI: By targeting the right HCPs with the right message at the right time, marketers can maximize the effectiveness of their analytics, measurement, and overall campaigns, ultimately driving higher returns on investment.

By harnessing NPI connected to consumer marketing data, healthcare organizations targeting HCPs can move towards a more humanized approach to supporting the providers they serve. It enables a shift from a one-size-fits-all strategy to one that acknowledges and accommodates the individuality of each provider. Doing so not only improves engagement and helps address the personal needs of HCPs by understanding their lives outside the office, but also indirectly impacts patient care quality.

Envisioning a Future of Empowered Care

Recognizing HCPs not merely as conduits of care but as individuals with their own unique characteristics, interests, and life stories marks the beginning of a powerful transformation. The integration of predictive consumer data linked to NPIs can serve as a cornerstone in realizing this vision, offering unprecedented insights into the personal attributes of HCPs.

The benefits of adopting this humanized approach to HCP marketing extend across the healthcare spectrum, enhancing engagement rates, brand loyalty, and marketing ROI, while also driving better outcomes for patients. However, navigating this path requires a mindful approach to data privacy, ethical considerations, and maintaining trust and compliance, underscoring the need for robust data governance and ethical marketing practices.

Organizations across healthcare must embrace the power of predictive consumer data to unlock a new realm of possibilities in HCP engagement. By doing so, we can move toward a more humanized, empathetic healthcare ecosystem in which providers are supported as individuals, leading to an uplift in patient care and outcomes.

About the Author

Christine Lee is head of Health Partnerships for predictive data innovator, AnalyticsIQ. Christine has over a decade of experience in the data and analytics space and has worked with industry leaders across verticals like healthcare, pharma, non-profits, and more. Christine lives in Central Florida with her family, dogs, and cats – a house full of love!

About AnalyticsIQ

AnalyticsIQ is the leading people-based marketing data creator and predictive analytics innovator. Our mission is to fuel better outcomes for all by creating reliable and predictive people-based data by blending cognitive psychology with data science to help B2C and B2B organizations across industries understand who people are, what they do, and why they make decisions. Our PeopleCore consumer data, BusinessCore B2B data, and Connection+ B2B2C linkages provide insight into individuals that empower organizations to achieve better outcomes for all. Our fast and flexible approach makes it easy to get started using sophisticated data to grow your business. Whether you’re looking to improve your marketing results across channels, build predictive models, power research, or drive better outcomes, AnalyticsIQ can be your partner. For more information, visit https://analytics-iq.com and follow us on Twitter @AnalyticsIQ and LinkedIn.

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