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8 Ways Healthcare Marketers can Eliminate Content Fragmentation

By: Leslie Pinkerton, Marketing Content Manager, 5/31/17

When creating content for members, patients, and partners, healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers are faced with an enormous challenge; battling content fragmentation.

Whether this content is lacking key messages, expresses them incompletely, or contains improper branding, fragmented assets come with serious business implications in the healthcare industry.

  • 90% of companies in a recent study on content consistency report that content measurably influences revenue at their organizations. When that content is fragmented and inconsistent, its ability to generate revenue is diminished.
  • Two-thirds of all study participants lose sales when needed content isn’t available.
  • 85% of companies who admit to having fragmented content assets report this content to be “very poor” or “neutral” at meeting buyer needs.

Nearly every company who participated in this study agrees that content measurably influences revenue, yet more than half rated their content effectiveness at “Neutral” or lower. There’s clearly work to be done to meet the demands of healthcare brand management, while providing other departments or reps with the assets they need to foster strong customer relationships.

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How can healthcare marketers avoid this fate, and eliminate content fragmentation in their organizations? The road to recovery for healthcare content fragmentation has eight key steps:

1. Identify and track metrics
The #1 driver for content fragmentation in our study is a lack of data or measurements on content performance. Data can help provide visibility into the content fragmentation process. Measure how each content asset performs in terms of engagement and revenue influence.

2.  Commit adequate resources

40% of respondents report lacking enough talent or resources to develop content. The development of new assets requires adequate staffing, as does the maintenance of existing content assets to meet changing industry regulations and field rep needs. Commit the right amount of resources to keep up with demand.

3. Have a process and set of tools

A lack of systems or tools for producing content was found to be one of the top reasons that content fragmentation occurs in our study. Define process and marketing tools needed to reliably produce content, easily. Aim for consistency in your content for all stages of the customer buying journey.

4. Govern content development with standards

37% of companies in our study had no formal standards in place, leading to major problems with content fragmentation. Set clear guidelines as to how the brand and key brand messages are expressed, and govern content development according to these rules.

5. Collaborate with agents, reps and customers

Ensure that input from sales reps and customers heavily influences the content development process. Without buy-in from your team (who are responsible for much of the content’s distribution to customers) you risk the chance of team members “going rogue,” creating their own content and risking brand inconsistency, non-compliant images or copy, or other content fragmentation problems.

6. Be agile

When developing content, having a responsive process is critical to developing content that is both consistent and meets buyer needs in every stage of the journey. Over half the time, marketing is slow in responding to team requests for content, so team members resort to improvising their own content.

Consider implementing a service level agreement that spells out what kind of responsiveness your content stakeholders can expect on their requests for new or modified content.

7. Personalize content

Content that is personalized does a much better job of meeting the needs of buyers during their journeys. 75% of content is rated “consistent” in our study when it also enjoys a high degree of personalization.

The content development process should exploit the organization’s data and use tools that facilitate produce more personalized content. A further benefit is that when content is personalized, it is also less fragmented.

8. Streamline content distribution

44% of study participants use group emails as the primary way of distributing content when the sales team creates little to no content of its own. Digital repositories are the primary means of content distribution to sales teams.

The content development process can work beautifully until the final step, where distribution to other departments and reps occur. The most popular approach is to use an online portal or document repository to make content assets available to the team. Streamlining the distribution of content is one way to reduce content fragmentation and minimize the need of agents and reps to improvise their own content.

Content plays a crucial role in the revenue cycle for healthcare organizations. Our study found that fragmented content impairs the revenue cycle, while consistent content enhances it. Healthcare marketers that use marketing assets are wise to care deeply about how consistently their content expresses their brand’s key messages and promises.

For more insights behind the statistics mentioned in this post, download the full study here. This study was conducted by MarcomCentral in partnership with marketing research and advisory firm Demand Metric.