In today’s digital age, Healthcare marketers are drowning in data that demonstrates the power of marketing to build brands, increase engagement, generate leads, and boost revenue. But many marketers struggle to prove their value and demonstrate ROI.
What was a difficult proposition before the global pandemic is even more challenging today, as business needs and priorities change at an unprecedented rate. However business may evolve, leaders will always look to the brands they trust for guidance. LinkedIn can help healthcare marketers with six steps to grow and demonstrate ROI in a post-COVID world.
Know your role
Value is a complex metric that’s hard to measure. Today’s marketers deliver tremendous value to their business. Yet they struggle to calculate and communicate that impact to stakeholders because they are under pressure to deliver results too quickly, often measuring the wrong things at the expense of true ROI.
Earlier this year, we conducted a global survey of 4,000 global B2B and B2C marketing professionals from a range of sectors – including Healthcare – to uncover key behaviors on measurement and ROI, along with recommended best practices for you to consider. We found that Healthcare marketers are measuring ROI too quickly. An average B2B sales cycle is over six months, but only 4% of marketers measure ROI over a six-month period or longer.
As a marketer, you need to know and define your role on the leadership team and the part you play in customer experience and acquisition, brand, media spend and digital transformation. Those who can adapt to a changing world and demonstrate ROI effectively will be most successful.
Current state assessment
It’s important to know your numbers not just to show ROI, but to analyze where your business is going and how you should plan for the future. In their rush to measurement, marketers often sacrifice high-value ROI metrics for low-value KPI analysis. Our survey reveals that many digital marketers use ROI and KPIs as interchangeable metrics, which can lead to confusion.
But ROI and KPIs are two different ways to measure marketing performance. A KPI is a metric that measures the success of a specific marketing objective, while ROI measures the financial return of a ‘full’ marketing campaign. Only by examining all of the information can marketers effectively model and improve on marketing strategies.
You also need to know what your audience is doing and what’s happening in your market space, particularly in uncertain times. In the last year, we have seen a surge in organic behavior on LinkedIn, with a 60% year-over-year increase in content creation and a 55% year-over-year increase in conversations. Showing up in the discussion will drive awareness and visibility for your brand.
Don’t allow pressure to perform to get you to jump the gun. With 58% of digital marketers telling us that they need to prove ROI in order to justify spend and get approval for future budget, it’s no surprise they’re in a rush to measure ROI. Marketers are also having more frequent budget discussions as pressure for funding increases, which further incentivizes them to demonstrate performance with quicker metrics. But taking time to take stock will reap the benefits when you show you have invested in the right content on the right channel at the right time.
Optimize your measurement strategy with LinkedIn
It’s important to look at all of these challenges in a Healthcare context. The healthcare industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before, and ROI may not look the same for every Healthcare marketer. It will mean something very different for clinical trials than for primary care providers. For medical practices, it could be a patient’s lifetime involvement. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon, on the other hand, may measure ROI by the number of procedures performed.
One thing is clear. Healthcare marketers are now more accountable for revenue than ever before, and the ability to drive and measure marketing success is now even more essential. At LinkedIn, we’re focusing on investing in Measurement across Brand, Performance, and Business Outcomes. We have partnerships with Google Campaign Manager, Moat Viewability, Bizable Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), and Acxiom Offline Sales Lift. We can help Healthcare marketers to slow down and measure the impact of their marketing investments over a longer time period, specifically over the length of the sales cycle.
Align on goals
You need to be confident in sharing ROI metrics – and more frequent KPIs – with key stakeholders, ensuring they fully clarify what these metrics mean and how they should be interpreted and used. After you have defined how you would like to use KPIs and ROI differently, get everyone in your organization engaged and aligned on expectations and changes moving forward.
You should also ensure that your goals are aligned with partners like LinkedIn. We will work with you to identify your goals and KPIs, pin down how we’re going to measure success and how often we will optimize your campaigns.
Educating your stakeholders and partners (and sharing the right results more often) could open up new opportunities for budget and additional allocation down the line.
Activate platform best-practices
Whatever the campaign, healthcare marketers need to adopt best practices on organic and paid content, across brand and thought leadership, and demand and lead generation. Now is the time to prepare for the strategy that will steer your organization through the coming recession.
In previous downturns, according to research we undertook with Analytic Partners, recessions do not mean lower ROIs, in fact 54% of brands saw improvement. They also do not mean diminishing returns – of brands on LinkedIn that increased marketing investment in the last recession, 60% did so with improved marketing ROIs.
However, reducing media investment did exacerbate losses for 66% of firms, who on average lost 18% in incremental sales when they cut marketing budgets. It’s hugely important to continue brand-building and communicating with customers throughout good times, bad times and uncertain times.
Learn more from Measurement Experts on September 19
Join us on September 18th, 11am PST, 2pm EST for our Live with Marketer’s event: What Marketers Should be Measuring Now. Register HERE.