How Predictive Analytics Capabilities Can Help You Understand Audiences

HIMSS Analytics

There are over 5,000 hospitals in the United States registered with the American Hospital Association. The sheer number of healthcare arenas virtually guarantees you'll have widely varied audiences for your technology solution.

Different hospitals and even departments within those hospitals have different needs; and different decision makers have different triggers. Messages you craft must apply both broadly and individually, and you always need to be shifting channels to ensure you're learning about and connecting with the right audience. The marketing challenges are many, but with the right predictive analytics capabilities, you can identify better groups to tailor your messages and your distribution strategies.

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Use Predictive Analytics Capabilities to Nail the Details

One of the most important activities you can do to better tailor your marketing strategies and tactics is a grouping exercise. Historically, you would need to ask an analyst to comb through piles of unstructured data to categorize health systems or individual hospitals into trait- or need-based groups. Today, you can gain access to a predictive analytics platform that does that bit for you.

"Identifying similar organizations isn't just about identifying one 'like' characteristic, such as size," says Blain Newton, executive vice president at HIMSS Analytics. "Academic medical centers, for example, aren't just a subset of all healthcare organizations. In most minds, an academic center is a one-size-fits-all concept. But using advanced analytics, you start to realize that within that fairly narrow subset, some things are not like the others," Newton says.

Within the academic medical center community, two distinct cohorts emerge, along with a handful of outliers. By going through that exercise for every possible hospital archetype, you can start to identify much narrower bands that are dealing with the same challenges and opportunities as one another. Moving through that data without an advanced analytics platform would be next to impossible (or at least prohibitively time and dollar consuming). So whatever predictive capabilities you have must include the ability to categorize based on detail, sussing out the guts of an organization rather than just its overarching "type".

Categorization like this allows you to better understand individual audiences. Details like bed size might not be enough to develop a well-tailored message, but details like hierarchal structure might be.

Getting to the "Why"

Another major detail that strong predictive analytics capabilities might help you understand is a prospect's motivation. Analytics platforms that partner with content providers could help you gain insight beyond "what is this hospital or person like?" through evaluating the type of content a prospect (within one of the groupings we addressed above) consumes and predicting that prospect's (or group's) likely reason and response. Knowing why a prospect might be interested in any technological solution is compelling, and can help you craft more targeted messaging and campaigns.

How Tech Savvy do You Need to Be?

If using a predictive analytics platform sounds like a technological hassle to you, shake that worry off. As Newton puts it, "A good predictive program involves a lot of incredibly intelligent math and science minds on the backend, partnered with incredible user interface creators on the front. That means you get the benefits of analysis without having statistical method or technical experience. Every insight should be served up to you, the user, in an actionable way."

If done right, this sort of thing can seem like magic, which can make it hard to trust. But with some education on methodologies and what's possible from a results standpoint, you should be able to fully capitalize on your capabilities without concerning yourself with accuracy any longer. The right platform will give you confidence as well as details about your audience.


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