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You’ve held an internal messaging workshop, gathered cross-organizational input, evaluated the data and hired an agency to help you craft your wonderfully unique story. You’d say your brand voice sounds great and it’s time to pat yourself on the back about a job well done. But hold on a minute, you’re not there yet. 

You still need to know your new messaging will actually work in the real world. That’s where testing comes in. 

With that in mind, here are a few ways to bullet-proof your messaging and how you communicate your brand value in an increasingly crowded telehealth market.

Panels, surveys and focus groups

While COVID-19 makes it difficult to do in-person marketing research, online survey and interview data can be instrumental in helping you understand how a message will be received by potential customers. Organizations such as those compiled by American Marketing Association have access to large pools of physicians and other providers who are available to provide qualitative and quantitative data. Don’t have a big research budget? Tools like Google Surveys or Survey Monkey can be useful in a pinch.

Also be sure to segment by demographic, region and other data that can inform how you roll out your messages. For example, if one market trends toward older providers who are not as familiar with telehealth technology, lead with educational messages. If you’re targeting a region hit hard by COVID-19, highlight just how quickly your solution can be deployed to get them up and running. 

Beta users/physician advocates 

Tap into existing internal programs such as beta users or physician advocates. These contacts can be useful not just for debugging your technology, but to serve as a sounding board for how you plan to go to market. As users of your product, they know your strengths and weaknesses. Use that intel to improve your solution and identify what value propositions will resonate. 

Once you launch, turn to these advocates to participate in your external marketing efforts to help validate your solution. Enlisting these contacts for video testimonials, case studies, social media marketing and press references are all good ways to create a chorus for your messaging. 

Healthcare IT industry analysts

Getting unfiltered feedback from third-party analysts that know the telehealth space inside and out can be incredibly valuable. Engage firms such as Gartner, Forrester, KLAS Research and others early in the messaging process to pick your positioning apart, poke holes you never knew existed and provide insight into how you match up against competitors. 

Keep in mind that full-day analyst whiteboard sessions and ad-hoc consultations do come at a price. However, the upfront investment to get your messaging right from the start can pay off for your brand long term, especially if you’re a startup new to the market.

Campaign-based analytics tools

If you don’t have a budget for testing messaging before deployment, you should at a minimum track data once you roll out your marketing campaign. Check out digital analytics tools like Qualtrics, Mix Panel, Optimizely, Google Analytics, HotJar, Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange and others that allow you to uncover audience sentiment, track website behavior, understand content performance and more. 

At a minimum, try to A/B test your website, emails, social and other campaign elements in a controlled way, one variable at a time. Don’t be afraid to experiment, iterate and see what works best so you can double-down on marketing strategies that work best for communicating your telehealth services. 

Download our free guide “How to Break Through in Telehealth with Marketing and PR” to learn how to optimize your health care marketing plan and grow telehealth market share. 

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

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