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The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986, so how do you know that your healthcare communications and content is reaching your audience in the way it was intended?

During this year’s eyeforpharma conference in Barcelona, Lee Wales, Vice President Strategy, wanted to demonstrate how “It’s no longer enough to simply deliver communications to meet your medical plan objectives – communications need to be tailored towards the individual consumer.

To ensure healthcare communications reach their intended target and generate true engagement, we need to adopt a customer-focused mindset.” This involves:

  1. Gaining a deeper understanding of your audience

But what does this mean?

“Well it means going beyond the generic categories of ‘healthcare professional’ and ‘patient’ when creating communications. We need to understand the subtleties within the audience and design plans that address them.”

The easiest way to do this on a broad level is to create personas that represent your audience segments – these are often visual representations that can include a range of different information. he important thing isn’t what they look like, or what specific information they contain, it’s the fact that they force you to really consider your audience not as one homogenous group but as people with different needs, emotions and requirements.

2. Creating strategic and personalized communications plans

So how does a deeper understanding of your audience feed into the planning process?

“Often communication plans are developed using the same assumptions, attending the same meetings, working with the same experts and producing the same content. If we’ve taken the time to define our audience and really understand the barriers and drivers, then on a basic level our plans should be created to target these. Each activity, or piece of content, then has a purpose and a reason for existing. You can justify it and measure its effectiveness.”

3. Developing personalized content that connects

But what about the content itself?

“There are a number of options open to us when developing materials that create meaningful engaging experiences. The three we like to focus on are:

I. Personalization based on the obvious
II. Personalization based on the hidden
III. Personalization based on the moment.

The level of complexity increases as we move from I to III, but the potential to make a real difference increases too.”

This intelligent, data-driven approach to communications is where Ashfield sees the future, and why we’re excited about helping to shape what’s to come.

For further insight into the future of personalized healthcare communications, why not take a look through Lee’s slide deck below.

Alternatively, if you’d like a more in-depth discussion about developing a customer-focused mindset to create more engaging and effective medical affairs programs, then why not get in touch with Lee via

Lee Wales, Vice President Strategy

Lee is a strategic lead within the digital and creative team at Ashfield Healthcare Communications, part of UDG Healthcare plc, working with clients to provide strategic solutions to support their multichannel communications plans. Lee has over seven years’ experience in digital consultancy and strategic planning in healthcare, bringing innovative ideas and creative thinking to create healthcare marketing and education programs that make a difference, are measurable and are aligned to business KPIs.

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