2020 has been a challenging year for the urgent care industry. But 2021 holds undeniable promise — and data is your key to making the most of the opportunity.
According to Business Insider, urgent care facilities handle about 89 million patient visits each year, including more than 29% of all primary care visits in the U.S and nearly 15% of all outpatient physician visits. But statistics showing that patient volumes remained strong in 2020 don’t tell the whole story.
Those numbers, buoyed by a huge influx of COVID testing visits, mask a sharp pandemic-inspired decline in visits for your most profitable services lines. But with wide vaccine distribution and seasonal effects approaching, it’s time to be ready for the return of your more profitable patients.
As American society begins its gradual return to “the before times,” you can expect your patients to return to normalcy too. And that means a return to regular check-ups, activity-related sports injuries and more in-person appointments for your higher-margin service lines.
At the same time, it’s important to recognize the opportunity that has been created through the past year of urgent care center COVID-19 testing. It has introduced a whole new audience of potential long-term customers to the shorter wait times, convenience and capabilities of their local urgent care center.
How can you re-engage with your new and old patients more successfully in 2021? It starts by making the most of your data, and then using those insights to inform and shape your marketing engagement[amsive_tooltip term=”engagement”] strategy. Here are four key steps to getting started.
Get to Truly Know Your Patients
Deeper knowledge of your patients and their needs is critical to re-engaging with them more successfully. Examine the first-party data[amsive_tooltip term=”first-party-data”] that you manage in-house. What do you know and understand about your patients beyond their basic demographics? If the answer is “not much,” then you need to acquire more data.
More detailed patient insights are the foundation on which a more effective engagement strategy is built. Your data should tell a story about your patients’ needs, interests, health issues, insurance coverage, preferred media channels, and more. You should understand who they are, what services they are most likely to need, and what services they’re most likely to use your urgent care center for based on their insurance coverage. And to reach them effectively, you need to communicate with them in the channels where they live and breathe. We call the sum of this information “patient intelligence.”
Build Audience Profiles
Once you have acquired greater knowledge about your customers, you can continue to supplement that knowledge with additional insights from third-party data[amsive_tooltip term=”third-party-data”] sources. And you can start to segment your pool of new and existing patients into specific target audiences that share similar needs, seasonal trends and lifestyles. These insights will help you build better predictive models[amsive_tooltip term=”predictive-model”] to find new people who resemble your ideal customers.
Create Effective Predictive Models
Many marketing services companies claim they can build models and predictive audiences. But what’s more important is the ability to build an effective, data-informed model that maximizes your marketing budget. You need to focus specifically on the prospective patients who are most likely to visit when the need arises. And you need to reduce waste across multiple media channels by choosing channels and messages that reach and resonate with these target audiences.
There is an art and a science to modeling. Maximizing its potential is only possible with the help of a data partner who can both access and integrate all the patient data you need. Even more important are the data interpretation and analysis skills to transform that data into insights that inform more relevant messaging. You need to learn what matters from the data and then speak to each important audience with creative that connects uniquely to their needs.
Identify Trade Areas More Effectively
We find that many retail operators use a standard benchmark or static radius to identify potential trade areas for new urgent care center locations. In our experience, a more intensely data-centric approach is better at identifying the most promising trade areas to attack. There are many factors that should be considered in a trade analysis on a clinic-by-clinic basis. Considering and including these insights can drive better decision-making than is possible with a more generalized expansion model. These considerations are critical as you evaluate expansion to accelerate the momentum that your business may generate in 2021.
Amsive is a data-centric, omnichannel marketing[amsive_tooltip term=”omnichannel-marketing”] services agency with real-world experience guiding urgent care centers in customer acquisition and engagement. We offer enterprise-level tools and services that make the amplified results of data-centric marketing accessible to more than just the largest companies.
We help you acquire and interpret the insights to shape better marketing strategy, audience identification and segmentation, omnichannel media plans and creative execution. We also measure and analyze your results for continual marketing improvement over time. And we deliver it all in-house with the efficiency of an integrated team.