The bionic opportunity: how AI is transforming healthcare marketing
For The Drum’s AI and web3 deep dive, Will Reese of healthcare marketing agency Evoke looks at AI and what he calls the emerging ‘bionic health marketer’.
Evoke on the advent of the ‘bionic marketer’ / Possessed Photography via Unsplash
I had the benefit of growing up with an early-digital-adopter father who encouraged tech curiosity. As digital technology transformed our lives, I had a front-row seat to all the successes and failures.
Which will artificial intelligence (AI) prove to be? It isn't a bubble or misstep; it will fundamentally shift how we unlock value for customers and teams. In the 1970s, there was a show called The Six Million Dollar Man, and a spinoff called the Bionic Woman. When I envision AI transformation within healthcare, I see AI augmenting the human experience, not replacing it. Like the Bionic Man and Woman, AI augments our skills and expertise, allowing us to be smarter, better, and faster and to help others more effectively.
Healthcare is individualized and highly personal. It impacts communities, families, and all facets of our lives. AI can only be successful in healthcare if diverse teams and disciplines inform the data and use cases. Brands and agencies that connect human science with data science will have more successful transformations. AI should make the healthcare experience more human, not less.
AI is augmenting the healthcare marketer in three ways: our vision, our intellect and our speed.
AI enhances marketers’ vision of their customers, helping uncover insights, identify patterns and provide context to lived experiences. Imagine looking at all the fluid details and context surrounding a patient, and rather than a chaos of data points, you clearly see their needs at that moment.
Often in healthcare, we see customers in just a few monolithic segments, losing all their context and texture. This works for simplifying in-person message delivery, but discounts most other omnichannel interactions. AI can help marketers make actionable connections between data sets and generate deeper customer segmentation that is more reflective of individual behaviors and interests. Marketers can use AI to identify patients with the highest potential to lapse, who may need additional services and support.
AI can expand a marketer’s view of the social determinants of health impacting their customers. We can use this lens to address health equity gaps through improved health literacy and real-time preferred language communication. Our vision is only as good as its accuracy; we must diversify the inputs that go into AI models and validate the quality of the outputs.
AI expands a marketer’s intellect rationally and creatively, helping them to prioritize and communicate. Marketers have one mind to cover dozens of tasks of varying complexity. What if you had a dozen minds creating, ideating, calculating and solving, all running in parallel? Multiply that across your teams and partners, and you have a hive of intellectual curiosity. AI allows us to chase down hypotheses and ideas, and gather research while we focus on other priorities. AI doesn’t replace your ethics, experience or passion. It grows best from these roots.
Creatively, generative AI tools like ChatGPT and MidJourney can be powerful thought starters, beginning the creative process. AI is being used in healthcare for modular content generation, creating more personalized iterations of healthcare marketing assets. Rationally, AI is driving ‘next best action’ models to create more relevant experiences; predictive market models are helping marketers make smarter investment decisions.
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AI enhances marketing speed, giving the gift of time to marketers and customers. The most significant barrier to making the impossible possible is time. Speeding up marketing tasks gives you back time for more valuable activities.
Speed up the time it takes a customer to find helpful information or access a service and you give them back time in their lives. AI-centered tools can quickly respond to natural language questions and curate research and insights. Advanced AI solutions will revolutionize today’s chatbots and virtual assistants. Social and CRM content can be more quickly personalized for different customer scenarios, while AI can help facilitate medical reviews of this dynamic content.
Incorporating AI-driven tools in your marketing workflow will increase your speed to market. How much time do your teams spend summarizing meeting notes? There are AI solutions for that. How long do they spend searching for stock imagery or creating icons? There’s an AI-driven tool for that too.
The bionic healthcare marketer
Marketers must start to put these enhanced AI abilities into practice. One way to get started is to ask questions that begin with: “how might AI..?”
How might AI help us uncover this local insight? How might AI save time at this journey point? Look for use cases that drain your organization's or customers' time or energy.
Sign up for a beta account for a few tools and practice your prompt engineering. ChatGPT can provide a jumpstart to organizing available information or inspiring a fresh perspective on a communication challenge. Ask the tool to explain a complex condition in a more health-literate fashion, or to summarize a scientific video transcript.
Digital wasn’t, omnichannel isn’t and AI won’t be a panacea for all marketing issues. The accessibility of recent AI solutions has started a generation of bionic creators, inventors and problem solvers, bringing a fresh approach to healthcare transformation.
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