Everybody’s different, so why not treat them as individuals?


Everybody's different, so why not treat them as individuals?


Welcome back!

For the second part of this short digital marketing course, we'll be looking at data. We all know that data is vital, though we're often thinking of the value of aggregated data – general conclusions that we can draw about everyone. There's another kind of data though that is just as important...

How data makes you relevant to each person

This guide contains a very simple case study that demonstrates how technology enables a personalised approach - and how that can help you reap the benefits of closed loop marketing.

We’re all individuals

Great things happen when you focus on the individual customer. Yet in healthcare we often talk about ‘medical professionals’ without really considering that each doctor, nurse or specialist has a unique set of interests, challenges and knowledge.

And it all impacts the effectiveness of your communication.

To see the difference that a closer focus on the individual can make, let’s invent a simple case study.

Introducing Exemplar

We’ll need a product; let’s call it Exemplar.

For simplicity, imagine that Exemplar has just three potential customers.


First let’s run a traditional marketing campaign. There will be a specific campaign every quarter about safety, efficacy, onset of action, and ease of use.










Right, it’s time to find out what happened…

One year later…

At the end of the year, we have one customer. That’s a 33.3% market share. Just two customers left to convince!

So let’s run those campaigns again.

Another year later…

Huh. Same result. Two years have now gone by and we still only have one customer.

OK, let’s try those campaigns again.

Yet another year…

What?!! Same result again. This doesn’t make any sense. The campaigns must be OK because they worked on Customer 1.

What’s going on?


Let's start again. Imagine that we can have those three years back and can start again.

We’ll do exactly that same thing but with one small difference. This time, we’ll pay close attention to how each campaign was received by our audiences. Nothing else.

OK run those campaigns again!

One year later…

OK we’ve found the problem areas:

  • Customer 2 didn’t understand the efficacy campaign
  • Customer 3 didn’t understand the onset of action campaign

Putting the data to work

Now we have something to work with:

  • Customer 1 understands all the campaigns, so we can move on to another topic. Let’s go with reduced healthcare costs through more efficient treatment.
  • Customer 2 needs more information on efficacy.
  • Customer 3 needs more information on onset of action.

Another year later…

Well, Customer 1 is prescribing as before but also sees that there are major cost benefits of Exemplar too.

Customer 2 is also prescribing. We just needed to explain efficacy properly. That went well, so we moved on to cost reduction in the second quarter.

Customer 3 was tough. It took a whole year to demonstrate the better onset of action – but we got there by providing the detailed information that was required.

So what was learned?

First the results: at the end of the second year, we have three customers where before we had only one – just by paying close attention to individual needs.

Sounds simple? You're right. It generally is straightforward. The introduction of digital technology enabled us to understand how individual customers are responding to communications – and then react quickly. And we can do this with thousands of customers, not just three!

This wasn’t possible in a ‘paper world’. Only very broad campaigns – the  same message sent at the same time to everyone – could be run.

Digital changed everything.

We can now relate to all our customers at an individual level, and in any channel that they require. In fact, the main limitation now is often our own thinking. So it pays to keep asking: if everybody really is different, why not treat them all as individuals?

Coming up...

So now we’ve very briefly looked at the application of data and why it is essential for making our communications relevant. Next time we’ll go a little deeper and explore three factors that dramatically increase your relevance to HCPs and patients.

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