Things are changing so quickly these days, it’s almost impossible for marketers and sales reps to know what to say that will resonate with prospects and clients. That’s especially true for people who work in sensitive industries related to healthcare. Share the wrong messages — or say insensitive things — at inopportune times and you could lose your chance to do business with someone forever. It’s easy today to offend — or lose the trust of — both medical professionals and patients.
So, what can you do to avoid this?
You could go the traditional route and leverage focus groups, market testing or surveys to get a read on how people in your target market react to different messages.
The issue: These methods take time. In most cases, they don’t provide results quickly enough to allow marketers and sales reps to respond to marketplace changes in today’s fast-paced times. They can also be costly, which is an issue in the current economic climate. On top of that, the results may be off because they’re generated in artificial environments instead of real-world situations.
A better option is to test your messages on social media and through paid search advertising. Both of these provide actual-world results quickly and cost-effectively. In most cases, you could get solid metrics in a few days or weeks for a few thousand dollars or less, depending on the scope of your testing. If you structure the social campaigns correctly, you may also be able to get a read on how certain messages perform when paired with images. This is an important consideration as more and more messaging is conveyed visually.
When looking for disease information and treatment options, patients and healthcare providers search online. It’s usually the first thing they do. They also pay attention to content distributed through social media, which is becoming a trusted source of information for both audiences. Physicians and other medical professionals spend a lot of time networking and reading content on Linkedin. Every day people get much of their news — and information about products and services — through Facebook and other social networks.
In both search and social media, people take action in a few seconds or less. They decide quickly whether something is attractive, intriguing, and worth clicking on. If not, they move on.
When people are put into a situation where they’re forced to act fast, they’re more likely to respond honestly. This is especially true when compared with other testing options. In those situations, subjects may be given too much time to think about what the “right” answer is in a survey or the things a focus group facilitator wants to hear.
The insights you gain from this type of testing can inform the messaging you use in other early funnel marketing executions such as collateral, print, emails, digital display, and web content. The same is true when it comes to leveraging them in sales interactions. You may even generate some new leads and business through the testing program.
How does this type of testing work? Let’s say you have a product with multiple features or benefits that could appeal to people in your target audience. You feed messages about all of them into your search and social campaigns when you set them up. Then you allow Google, Facebook, Linkedin, and other platforms to do all the work for you. They’ll figure out which messages perform best based on their systemic logic and knowledge about their users. You’ll even gain insights about what did well within different subgroups.
The truth is, the back end systems of these companies are all-powerful. They’ve been developed and refined over time to deliver results and provide satisfying user experiences. It is how they earn money and grow their businesses. It’s that simple.
You can do much of the analysis on your own using the data supplied by the platforms or through third-party software like Hubspot. Or, if you want deeper insights, hire a data expert to help out. Many are available to provide part-time or on-demand support through services like Upwork.
Did you know: You may already have a lot of search and social data available to you that you’re not taking advantage of? If you’re running campaigns now or did so in the past, you were probably focused on what was working and ignoring the rest. It could be worth taking a fresh look at all your available metrics. You may find that certain messages that came in second or third overall actually topped the list for certain demographic groups.
Are you ready to start testing your messages in search and social? It can be a smart move to coordinate your activity through the Mobile Locker app. It provides a central resource to collaborate on developing new messaging. You can use it to gather and share results across your organization. You could also leverage it to develop new campaigns and collateral that contain the messages and train salespeople on how to sell using the new messages and materials.
What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to speak with a Mobile Locker rep to find out how we could help you make the most of your new messaging testing strategies? It could give you the edge over competitors who can’t figure out what to say to connect with prospects and clients during these trying times.