Every potential customer and attendee of your programs is on a journey. They may be at different places in their career, have different educational needs, have differing perceptions of your company/brand, and may also have a unique set of expectations they hope you will fulfill.
By providing integrated customer experiences, a brand can generate better engagement with healthcare providers (HCPs) and more memorable experiences before, during, and after an event. But to generate these experiences, you must understand the day-to-day routine and expectations of an HCP. Before HCPs receive a single communication about your event—whether it is a dinner series, product theater, or satellite broadcast—you must consider that target audience’s current environment, preferences, and perspectives.
Put Yourself in the Perspective of Your HCPs
Considering the point of view of an HCP and making note of all of the opportunities to interact with them along their journey is often called journey mapping. It’s a great way to discover new opportunities and tactical touch points to help resolve issues that might otherwise hinder you from meeting your goal. As the journey starts, your prospective HCP already has perceptions about your brand, how programs should work, and what they expect to gain from attending, as well as potential apprehensions about participating. But unless you know and understand your audience, it will be challenging to reach them.
For example: if your goal is to get HCPs to participate in your event or educational activity, consider the practitioner’s daily routine or even office stakeholders that may filter information before it even reaches the HCP. If you know that an office manager is going to sort and filter the physician’s e-mail, what can you include (or not include) that may help it get to the intended recipient? The channel, the content, and the visuals of the message will greatly affect the appeal, prominence, importance, and ultimately, the response from the HCP.
Details Matter and Timing Is Everything
Early on, HCPs need to know the basics—such as the program title, date, time, location, and speaker details—but perhaps not always in that order. The name of the speaker and their relevance as a recognized expert is a highly valued detail. But it’s not the only detail. As the nature of HCP communications evolves over the recruiting phase, the title, date, time, and location of the series all have changing levels of prominence. Even the call to action can and should modulate throughout the recruiting phase. “Save the date,” “Register now,” and “Seating is limited” messages help readers understand the context of timing.
The medium of communication also greatly affects the nature of the communication. For digital communications, the call to action needs to set expectations for the user experience. For example, “Click here” has no value to the reader, while “Register now” and “Update your calendar” help set expectations for what happens next. Careful consideration needs to be given to the sender, the subject line, and the header information in e-mails. Understanding the context of the message delivery helps increase open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, conversations (registrations).
Personalized Engagement Is Key
Evolving your strategy throughout the journey is critical to supporting a fully integrated customer experience. The transition from HCP interest to registration should be seamless, even if the outcome is nonattendance. Capturing feedback about non-interest also helps support that part of the model that needs to be interactive (vs only one-way). For those prospects who may abandon a registration form or decide that the opportunity may not work for them after all (conflict in time or location), follow-up re-engagements that share alternative ways to attend (other dates or times, or even other delivery formats) can empower the HCP with more options that may fit their schedule.
And finally, whether an HCP transitions into registration or decides not to engage, a successful campaign can be measured by more than just the headcount for a series. Throughout every touch point along the HCP’s journey, if you have carefully shared key content and messages through your communications, there may still be an impact from your recruitment efforts alone. Whether perceptions around the disease state, product, or even your company, changes in these insights can be measured and the value of integrated customer experiences can be demonstrated.