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4 Attribution Takeaways for Healthcare Marketers

February 08, 2018 - By Ginna Hall, Senior Writer, Visual IQ

4 Attribution Takeaways for Healthcare Marketers

Healthcare is evolving rapidly.  Advances in marketing and advertising technology have given both healthcare providers and marketers new ways to harness information for data-driven decision making.

But some organizations are not prepared to take advantage of this transformation. A common challenge facing many marketers is how to capture, integrate and analyze vast quantities of data across different audience segments.

In our recent webinar, premier healthcare services company Kindred Healthcare described how it uses analytics to make sense of its data and advance its business goals.

“We picked Visual IQ to be our partner. They really helped us be able to see the full customer journey all the way into the Kindred Contact Center.”

Kindred Healthcare, a Fortune 500 healthcare services company, is on the forefront of marketing analytics in the healthcare space. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the company has 86,400 employees providing healthcare services in 2,475 locations in 45 states, including hospitals, sub-acute units, home health, hospice, and rehabilitation units.

In the webinar, How Marketing Analytics Drives Decision Making, Enterprise Marketing Manager Samantha Radford shared the objectives and the obstacles Kindred Healthcare faces as well as their three-tiered approach to analytics. Radford was joined by James Colvin, Marketing Analytics Lead at Kindred’s agency of record ndp and Wayne St. Amand, Chief Marketing Officer at Kindred’s attribution solution provider Visual IQ.

Radford described four main objectives for Kindred’s marketing and advertising:

  • Assist patients and families in navigating healthcare so they can make more informed decisions and access the care they need and deserve.
  • Grow referrals and admissions across the system.
  • Leverage cost efficiencies to increase ROI.
  • Increase qualified calls to the Contact Center.

“We can stay lean because we have such wonderful partners like ndp who brought in Visual IQ so we can use all this robust data,” said Radford.

Takeaway 1: Focus on a Single CTA

A majority of Kindred’s advertising campaigns drive prospects to a single Call to Action: Reach out to the the Kindred Contact Center. The Center is a free service staffed 24/7 by registered nurses who are on-call to answer healthcare questions. The Center has helped Kindred become a trusted resource for consumers throughout their healthcare journey.

While the ad campaigns have successfully increased qualified calls, driving prospects to a single CTA has had other benefits. “Having that narrow focus allows us to do a lot of tracking and measurement from analytics perspective,” said Radford.

NPD’s Colvin noted that a multi-touch attribution platform allows the agency to understand the customer journey to that CTA. “[With Visual IQ] we can now understand the true contribution that display and paid social and the other digital channels are making to the business. Even if they're not the very last click that someone takes in their customer journey, we know that it was a very important first or middle step that they were taking that would ultimately end up in a call into the Kindred Contact Center,” said Colvin.

Takeaway 2: Know Your Challenges

Radford acknowledged that Kindred faces multiple obstacles to its marketing and advertising goals.

  • Healthcare is complicated (who knew?) and the post-acute care industry is largely unknown and often misunderstood.
  • Kindred’s business is complex. It offers varying services that are different in every market across the country. This adds layers of complexity in messaging as well as reporting and measurement.
  • The company has many audiences: B2B, B2C, as well as patients with greatly varying needs.
  • Analytics isn’t “one size fits all.”

Takeaway 3: Adopt a Multi-Faceted Approach

Because Kindred’s footprint is large and complex, marketing must report into several internal stakeholders on outcomes of advertising campaigns, each of whom wants to see a different KPI.

To meet these needs, Kindred has established a multi-faceted analytics approach that allows it to look at results from many different angles so that marketing can get specific reports to the appropriate individuals.

Its approach is three fold:

  • Marketing Mix Modeling to measure ROI and guide future advertising investments and market selection.
  • Multi-Touch Attribution to monitor the consumer journey in real-time in order to optimize digital and broadcast plans.
  • Monthly campaign reporting to track performance and make optimizations as needed.

This solution allows Kindred to make optimizations both on the macro and micro level by cross-analyzing market performance with advertising performance.

“One of the benefits of our partnership with Visual IQ is being able to see the full customer journey and not just being siloed into each digital media channel. We got a much better idea of how many times we needed to touch someone with digital advertising and a more global view of how we should cap the frequency,” said Colvin. “That allowed us to go farther with every dollar spent in our display campaign because we were able to increase our reach knowing that we weren't decreasing the efficacy of the campaign.”

Takeaway 4: Use the Right Tools

The webinar ended with a question about whether adding more tools was the right move for marketers scrambling to manage expanding martech stacks. While the speakers agreed that there are a growing number of tools available, Radford noted that the partnership with Visual IQ allows them to "connect all the dots."

Ndp’s Colvin agreed, saying “Visual IQ is becoming the central place we go to because it’s taking in data from all touchpoints so we can see the touchpoints that matter most to Kindred.”

St. Amand added, “The tools that rise to the top in usefulness are those that act as hubs -- consolidators for data -- then digest and provide insights that help you become a better marketer with better performance. We’re always trying to discover what our best performing marketing is and direct that to the people who matter most.”

The Future of Attribution in Healthcare

Digital tactics are transforming healthcare, including how organizations deliver care, value and consumer engagement to their audiences. New tools and holistic attribution approaches are helping practitioners, researchers, caregivers and marketers discover and apply answers to some of our biggest questions in innovative ways.

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