Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Supporting growth in healthcare through digital and tech investment

By Garry Hamilton, Chief Growth Officer, Equator

Choosing a content management system (CMS) is a critical decision affected by cost, speed, scalability, security, and flexibility for any business. It is even more crucial for those businesses that collect sensitive data and for organisations dealing with growth trajectories, as is the case in the healthcare sector.

According to our research, more than half of traditional healthcare providers are yet to reap the rewards of digital transformation. This presents an opportunity for accelerated value creation through investment in digital and tech. If healthcare businesses are to grow, they need to understand customer needs to deliver seamlessly connected journeys.

Prioritising CMS for growth

A staggering 85% of websites surveyed as part of our research are running the free Linux-based CMS WordPress, a broadly unsuitable platform for enterprise scaling or acquisition. With its history of security vulnerabilities, increasingly bloated code and overreliance on third-party plugins, WordPress cannot reasonably be relied upon by enterprises looking to scale, personalise and maintain the utmost security.

Contemporary CMS like Sitecore, Umbraco or Episerver, which are more scalable and secure, are far better choices. Reflect on the statistics uncovered in our research. 90% of websites surveyed do not perform well on mobile or load fast enough and with users leaving a website in just two seconds, resolving this issue is pivotal – and a dynamic CMS is critical.

Whilst platforms like WordPress have plugins for many different systems, at its heart, it remains a basic web content management system. Meanwhile, the world of the CMS has moved on, with platforms that are more comprehensive and complete, offering CMS, CRM, personalisation and omnichannel out the box.

Boosting sales with enterprise-wide personalisation

This ability to put the customer into the heart of every aspect of your digital solution is what makes tools like Sitecore and Episerver far more valuable in a growing healthcare enterprise. They offer the ability to personalise the entire customer journey and prioritise CRM as the foundation of it all. Without personalisation, it is proven healthcare businesses will lose sales and fail to deliver models that consumers increasingly expect.

Personalised services do a lot of the heavy lifting for customers, removing their need to explore static site architectures, which in turn drastically reduces journey lengths and increases repeat-order effectiveness, especially on mobile. Personalisation capabilities, the kind delivered by a platform such as Sitecore,  is proven to reduce acquisition costs by up to 50%.

Creating omnichannel experiences

Healthcare is a notoriously fragmented sector. Healthcare businesses have fallen behind in creating contiguous omnichannel experiences. In a post-COVID world, omnichannel has moved from aspirational niche to consumer expectation. Customers expect to be dealt with equally well online, as on the phone or in person. They expect businesses to understand them and respond to their needs. And critically in healthcare, they expect to be able to bring their health and wellbeing data with them.

Healthcare enterprises need an enterprise approach to content and customer relationships. Platforms like Sitecore, with their eXperience Platform (XP) and eXperience Database (XDB), energise these personalisation and omnichannel capabilities right into the heart of the enterprise. Far more than a CMS, platforms like Sitecore enable healthcare journeys to carry smoothly from phone to PC to mobile to app, without the need for disparate systems.

Businesses in the sector, however, continue to struggle to meet modern consumers’ needs and expectations. While delivering an omnichannel experience can be relatively straightforward, it requires thorough planning, a genuine understanding of the audience and a critical assessment of its needs, wants, and aspirations. By fulfilling all three, companies can deliver seamlessly connected journeys that offer higher satisfaction, lower costs and radically improved sales.

This omnichannel thinking can enable visitors to connect to the right product or service, making it easy for them to engage further with the healthcare provider. After all, prospective wayfinding and the surfacing of relevant content to drive sales inquiries are as relevant in B2B growth businesses as they are in B2C.

Conclusion

The rush to digitisation is to be expected in the aftermath of the global pandemic. The pandemic created a patchwork of fixes from doctors using Zoom to standalone Cloud solutions for data management and storage. These, however, may not be GDPR-compliant or genuinely fit-for-purpose – they may be unconnected and inefficient. Therefore, the sector’s challenge now is to convert this impetus into a serious, connected, and sustained solution – one that is patient-friendly and compliant while delivering cost and time efficiencies.

Opinion

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