You’ve probably heard the phrase “big data” being tossed around over the last few years, especially as it pertains to marketing. Before you begin tuning it out as just another useless buzzword, consider another popular phrase: “data-driven.” It’s a driving force in marketing, focused on using large collections of data to speed up processes and remove the clouds of human bias and indecision. Data-driven processes can be hugely helpful to businesses hoping to free up time for important tasks and functions. These processes utilize sets of data so large they require computer assistance to be understood, hence the phrase big data. Big data is changing the way practices can target and reach patients.

An extensive survey conducted by McKinsey & Company revealed 4 main areas of data analytics’ impact:

  1. Improved generation of leads. Big data allows enormous sets of potential patients to be analyzed in the blink of an eye. It does so with a degree of specificity that would take a human weeks or months of work to match. The data provides a 360° view of potential patients and examines a multitude of factors that can reveal the degree of quality they possess as leads. This can remove a large portion of the guesswork from lead generation.
  2. Improved pairing of deals and patients. Not only can big data analyze how likely a prospect is to become a patient, it can apply its skills to examining the behavior of current or past patients. Analyzing buyer behavior can reveal a treasure trove of analytics that can help businesses see the big picture. What’s more, one firm was able to study data related to the behavior of their own salespeople and use it to improve training procedures.
  3. Increased patient lifetime value. In addition to converting prospects into patients, big data can also help drive existing patients to schedule routine appointments. Relying entirely on human sales can lead to missed opportunities to sell patients on related services since they don’t have expansive customer data on hand the way big data systems do. Big data can devise and execute “microcampaigns,” or small sales pitches targeted towards specific patients based on their individual behavior and habits. Not only that, big data can increase patient retention because it can recognize patterns and behaviors indicating they may be unhappy and reach out to them much more proactively than a human could.
  4. Efficient transactions. This ties in to programmatic advertising, which utilizes big data to make efficient sales and purchases of ad space. These capabilities can help practices secure local advertising in the blink of an eye, specified to their budget and the parameters they set for the campaign. For instance, they can focus advertising efforts on certain geographic locations from which they’d like to attract new patients.

Big data is becoming less of a trend and more of a staple with each passing day. Stay tuned to our blog for more industry tips and insights.

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