Customer engagement lies at the heart of any marketing strategy. In healthcare, these customers come in many forms—consumers, patients, employees, partners, institutions—but the goal is always the same: they’re there, and we want to reach them.

SPM recently had the chance to attend the 2017 Salesforce World Tour in Chicago. Salesforce is global cloud computing company that develops Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms for companies in essentially any industry looking to optimize sales teams and/or better engage with customers. Their World Tour stop in Chicago invited “trailblazers” everywhere to learn about the latest innovations and how some of the best-known brands in the world are using their tools to connect with customers in a whole new way. Basically, if customer relationship management is an art, Salesforce is Picasso—they even trade stock under the initials CRM. Meanwhile, marketers are craving more from their data—autonomy, cost transparency, etc.—as CRM’s automation capabilities grow. But according to Digiday, the notion that agencies are falling out of favor to third-party data managers simply isn’t the case. In reality, the ability for an agency to work in unison with top-notch CRM platforms is actually what sets them apart.

As a strategic partner, SPM supports any opportunity for our clients to expand their data and tech chops. By leveraging our programmatic specialists and unique Consumer Healthcare Decision Journey and working directly with leading platforms like Salesforce, we’re confident our combined strategies and deliverables can reach an exciting new potential in integrated targeting and engagement.

So after a busy day of watching, learning and engaging, here are some of the biggest things we took away from the 2017 Salesforce World Tour.

Marketing is No Longer a Linear Process

No matter which platform—digital, automated or data-focused—each of Salesforce’s marketing software products are centered around the tenet of reaching the customer at every touchpoint they share with the brand. This reaches further beyond traditional media: through an interconnected web consisting of social, the internet of things, apps, communities and more, the consumer can be targeted at truly any point in their journey. Not just the points between acquisition and advocacy, but every step linking those together, too. As EVP of Product Marketing Stephanie Buscemi explained in the day’s keynote speech, the culmination of each effort delivers powerful insight into product usage, which ultimately helps understand the consumer, putting them center stage in the marketing process

Embracing the Artificial Intelligence Revolution is Essential

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the day—a feature infused into almost every presentation and demonstration—was Einstein AI, Salesforce’s first artificial intelligence tool. Einstein was recently released to all users this spring, built directly into the Salesforce platform. Einstein uses predictive intelligence to offer compelling recommendations to marketers at essentially any step in their business process. This includes prioritizing leads with a self-generated lead score to analyzing images in real-time to keep sales reps up-to-date while on a call with a client. Its capabilities are endless thanks to its deep learning and predictive analytics. Einstein sits comfortably in the corners of your desktop, working away at its next recommendation.

The shift to using AI in everyday business practices isn’t just a trend—it’s a larger movement on the horizon of digital marketing’s near future. In fact, 51% of marketing leaders are already using AI, with more than a quarter planning to pilot in the next two years. AI offers benefits both internally and externally, with the biggest expected impacts in improved efficiency and advanced personalization. AI is expected to pack a powerful punch—and right now, it’s up to marketers to decide which side of the adoption curve they want to be on to put them at the top.

In Big Data, Quality Outshines Quantity

 One of the biggest needs for artificial intelligence comes from the intimidating heaps of data that marketers collect every single day. To put this in perspective, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. That’s a lot—and unfortunately, most of this is stored in different silos, leaving little room for cross-platform analysis. So what’s the most efficient way for companies to leverage data from different sources to create a seamless, integrated approach? Salesforce’s proof is in the pudding: with the use of CRM clouds that reaches across multiple channels between multiple industries, they tackle this problem head-on by creating a single customer view that solidifies a relationship with strong connections.

Healthcare and Digital Can Intersect Through Engaged Communities

So, what does all of this look like on the healthcare landscape? A personal relationship with a healthcare provider is what everyone wants, but that can be a complex request. Salesforce suggests that the key to the problem lies in the unified patient platform—an online digital community of sorts. By putting providers, payers and patients in the same conversation, brands can maintain a relationship with a patient through each step of their unique journey and help them connect with who they need to. That way, the areas in between every major point can be focused on—such as health, wellness and exercise initiatives. Your provider isn’t just with you during your ordeal, but before and after, too.

What’s Next?

Although we’re in a time where Big Data holds more power than ever before, it’s important to remember that only a human mind can strategize and implement the information at hand. That’s why SPM has put programmatic media’s capabilities at the forefront.

 Working together with technology like Salesforce can empower marketers to transcend beyond basic engagement practices.  From supporting our customer-centered mindset to the amazing things artificial intelligence can do in the healthcare marketing sphere, our discussions around these topics are well aligned to strategically evolve our clients’ consumer engagement strategies.

Sure, at a cursory level healthcare marketing revolves around the basic life cycle and marketing funnel, but it doesn’t have to. Combining our SPM Consumer Healthcare Decision Journey with predictive AI data and programmatic targeting looks to round out the story with links in the middle, before and after. And with the latest digital innovations, like the ones Salesforce featured, integrating that perfect consumer connection into the complete marketing and media strategy is a partnership that we believe can truly be fruitful if properly and strategically managing. We’re excited to continue our discussions with our clients and partners like Salesforce to constantly push  What’s Next In Healthcare Marketing.

Integrating the perfect consumer connection into the complete marketing and media strategy is a partnership with true potential.


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