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buyer personasIt is very rare to come across a person without a smartphone these days. Whether it is an Apple, Samsung or one of the many others, the era of smartphones doesn’t appear to be slowing down. There is a common misconception in Australia that Apple has the greatest market share and that you should only make applications for iOS. However, the truth is out. A recent study by Kantar World Panel found that Android had over half of the market share in Australia, while iOS had only one third as of September, 2015. On a global scale, Android has over 80% of the market share versus iOS with just over 10%.

If you’re not familiar with the different operating systems, here’s a recap. Apple’s iOS is the operating system for iPhones, iPods and iPads. Google developed the Android operating system, which is licensed for use by smartphone manufacturers. Brands such as Samsung, Sony, HTC and Motorola use Android as their operating systems. Google’s smartphone, Nexus, also uses Android.

The question most companies face is which operating system should you develop apps for? If you have the resources to do so, find out what platform your customers prefer. If you find your customers use both Android and iOS, which is most likely, then the answer is simple, develop applications for the both of them.

At Thrivase, we believe in developing applications across the different operating systems. If you are interested in app development, we’d love to have a chat and show you some of the apps we have developed to help both healthcare professionals and patients.

email marketingWith an abundance of email marketing already filling your digitally savvy customer’s inbox, it is essential to send personalised and relevant communication to engage them. Email marketing remains a powerful in the development of customer relationships. It provides fast communication, is cost-effective, targets selected audiences, personalises communication and allows for campaign tracking.

A recent Australian email metrics report found that the highest open rates occur on Monday and Friday, respectively. However, the industry average does not apply to all audiences. Finding what works best for your company and your customers can take some trial and error.

Automated email marketing is a great option to consider for customer engagement in a cost effective way. Automated emails could include welcome emails for new customers, product support emails, product review requests, Happy Birthday emails, reminder emails and more.

Email marketing is now a preferred form of communication for Healthcare customers. Email open rates, click through rates and bounce rates are just some of the metrics used to assess a campaigns performance. The metrics report also found that the Healthcare industry performed higher than the overall industry for open rates, click through rates and had a lower bounce rate for email marketing. If you are interested in an email marketing strategy for you customers, give the team at Thrivase a call.

retargetingRetargeting is a popular new trend in online advertising. If you haven’t heard of it until now, chances are you’ve probably been retargeted by someone else. Retargeting can be a useful tool for reaching potential customers who have already visited your website and there is a great opportunity for the Healthcare industry to re-engage with their customers.

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses unobtrusive code called a “pixel” to drop an anonymous browser cookie when a new user visits your website. The pixel can record what time and date the user came to visit your site, what pages they landed on and for how long, and their rough geographical location. Once they leave your site and browse the Internet, your retargeting provider will deliver your advertisement to those that have the browser cookie. Retargeting is a useful tool to reach current users and drives conversion rather than traffic to your website. As it does not target prospective users, retargeting works best as a tool within a larger digital marketing strategy.

Measuring the way a visitor uses your website can speak volumes about their interests and consumption behaviour. Utilising this information can help send tailored messages based on your users prior engagement with your website. This is referred to as “intent-based retargeting”. There is a common misconception that retargeting is only used for e-commerce purposes. However, it can be an effective tool for any company that does not see a 100% conversion rate. This also extends to the healthcare industry. The behaviour of a healthcare user can change throughout the duration of a campaign depending on a number of reasons, retargeting can be useful to communicate messages according to those changes.

At Thrivase, we believe that retargeting current users is an important tool within your greater digital strategy. If you are interested in adding retargeting to your strategy, the team would love to help.

buyer personas

There are more channels and platforms to communicate with customers than ever before. However, studies have found that only 1 in 5 customers feel that the messages they receive are tailored to their needs and wants. There are many companies stuck in the days of mass marketing where one communication is expected to change the behaviour of diverse customers. Some companies have recognised the need for improvement, but often find they lack the expertise or resources to communicate in a more personalised way. This shift from product focussed marketing to a more customer focussed marketing approach, has brought customer journey mapping to the forefront of marketing strategy.

Customer journey mapping follows the consumer throughout their entire experience, from the initial discovery stage of a product or service right through trial / use to becoming a loyal customer. Customer journey mapping has proven popular due to positive outcomes such as improved customer experiences, increased company value, reduced cost and it provides a platform to build competitive advantage. The shift towards a more customer-centric approach encourages an in-depth understanding of what influences consumers’ perceptions, attitudes and motivations.

The following are the steps to developing a customer journey map.

1. Defining customer personas

Defining customer personas should be conducted at the initial stages of developing a customer journey. Customer personas are often used interchangeably with customer segmentation; care must be taken as they are in fact different things. Customer personas reveal insight into a customer’s attitudes, feelings, goals and motivations, whereas, segmentation refers to grouping customers according to similar demographics and characteristics. Defining customer personas may be as simple as using the customer knowledge you currently have, however, conducting customer interviews to gather further understanding and insight is often required.

2. Planning the customer journey

Customer experience is the cumulative impact of many touch points along the customer journey. Customer journey mapping follows the customer throughout their entire decision-making process so it is important that it is as frictionless as possible to help you stand out from the competition. Just as companies have different customer types, it is important to have separate journeys for each of these groups.

3. Building the map

A visual map of the customer journey can be an effective and concise way to share it with employees. When building the map there are five stages to take into consideration.

Stage 1: Capturing customer triggers:
Triggers are the motivators that begin the buying cycle, such as, need fulfilment or problem seeking.

Stage 2: Research:
Customers seek further information to assist with their decision-making process. Some customers are reliant on the web or print media, others ask their social networks. Generally, research is gathered across several different channels, both online and offline to make buying decisions.

Stage 3: Tap into your buyer’s feelings:
Integrating emotions into the customer journey can be used to enhance the relationship.

Stage 4: Buyer channels:
Communicating with your customer on the channels and platforms they prefer is an opportunity to provide the ultimate customer experience.

Stage 5: Foresee the future:
Plan ahead for customer needs and questions to eliminate or address concerns or support issues before they arise.

If you are interested in customer personas and journey mapping, you may like to read this whitepaper from IBM / Silverpop.

At Thrivase, our clients are increasingly interested in tailoring channels and content to provide a more personalised marketing experience. We would love to talk to you about how you can use multi-channel marketing to move towards a more personalised experience for your customers.

merry_christmasFor Thrivase, 2013 has been a great year, building new relationships and partnerships and innovating in new ways for our customers. We would like to give something back this Christmas.

Christmas is all about giving and this year we have decided to give a Christmas gift to the charity chosen by our team, clients and partners.  Please let us know who you would like us to donate to in our Christmas Giving poll.


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Thanks for giving this Christmas. We will let you know the outcome early in 2014.

Thrivase 2013 RecapIn 2013, we have seen an increase in interest in multichannel marketing and digital channels and in addition to multichannel strategy and consulting, we have implemented various online channels for our customers, including websites, apps, email marketing, webcasting, internal communications, online learning and social media.

Here are our thoughts and reflections on healthcare digital marketing in 2013:

  • With patents expiring, months of falls in prescription volume and declining sales (e.g. the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is down 11% in the last year), companies have been looking for alternative, cost effective opportunities to reach and engage customers. Not surprisingly, the focus on digital channels has increased.
  • Use of mobile devices has moved well into the early majority, with 30%+ of Internet usage coming from mobile devices in some of our online activities. If your website or email campaign is not mobile optimised – you are seriously missing an opportunity.
  • iPad detailing has become mainstream – over 80% of US based pharma reps now use iPads. Adoption across Australia and Asia Pacific is not quite at this level, but it is getting close. Now the device alone is not enough to be innovative, you must innovate with content.
  • Clients have started thinking about tailoring digital content to the customer – see our November article on personalised iPad detailing content.
  • Thinking is slowly moving from product, to product + value added services to optimise the patient experience. We like this post by Robbie McCarthy on the importance of focussing on the patient experience. We’ll share about patient experience next month.

In January, rather than looking back, we will look forward and share our thoughts on the multichannel marketing trends to watch in 2014.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at Thrivase.


Multichannel marketing is like an orchestraMultichannel marketing is simply utilising multiple marketing channels to interact with your customers. This includes combining traditional offline channels such as sales representatives, journal advertising and face to face meetings, with online channels such as websites, mobile apps, email, SMS, search engine marketing (SEM) and social media.

A Cap Gemini study in 2012 found that less than one third of doctors have a single preferred channel for interaction. Most doctors prefer to interact with companies via multiple channels. In a CMI study, the average numbers of channels through which doctors wanted to interact was three, double that of three years prior. Yet many companies struggle to add new channels, continuing to focus primarily on their sales force.

In other industries, studies show the benefits of multichannel marketing are compelling:

  • Brand recall increased from 50% to 74% following a multichannel experience.
  • 72% of consumers want an integrated marketing approach, yet only 39% get it

It is clear that companies should offer multiple channels in synergy with traditional field force investment. Those that do not risk competitive disadvantage.

A multichannel marketing strategy is necessary to reach your target customers in a way that suits their work practices and lifestyle.

Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing

  • Increase reach and frequency: Being present across additional channels means you will reach more customers and increase brand recognition.
  • Customers Can Use Their Favourite channel: Giving your customers greater choice on how they will interact with your business means they can use their preferred channel.
  • Learn more: multiple channels means more customer insights so you can refine your campaigns.
  • Consistent brand experience across channels:  You increase the chances that your customer will have a  consistent brand experience if you support multiple channels. E.g. if you do not offer a mobile web solution, then your customer may look elsewhere for information about your brand.

Considerations for Multi-Channel Marketing

There are certainly benefits to multichannel marketing, but there are also some disadvantages to consider:

  • Your own channel preference: you may prefer your customers use a specific channel. This may be because it is cheaper to provide e.g. Bank ATM or because it is the one you have the most experience with e.g. pharmaceutical sales rep.
  • More time and money: more channels = more effort. In some cases, investment from one channel can be divided across several channels, but multichannel marketing, can mean more time and more money.

How to Succeed at Multi-Channel Marketing

  • Develop a multichannel marketing strategy and campaigns: Ensure you have a strategy to identify and leverage the most important channels for your brand. Plan how your channels will work synergistically.
  • Test and learn: Test the effectiveness of your multichannel marketing efforts by using benchmarks and control groups to continually learn and improve.
  • Get to know your customers better: Understand which channels your customers prefer, tracking their channel preference and behaviour.

At Thrivase, we believe in developing multichannel marketing campaigns including launching, testing and learning, then refining channels to optimise the marketing mix. Talk to us about how we can develop a multichannel marketing campaign that will be music to your customer’s ears.

The proliferation of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, smart or web connected TV, means there are many more digital channels or screens that consumers are using.

An eMarketer study in August 2013 found US marketers expected to increase their budget allocation to multiscreen campaigns from 20% in 2013 to 50% in 2016.

Smart phones, tablets and web TV were the biggest growth areas, at the expense of computers and traditional TV.

iPad detailing content enhances sales interactionsA recent survey of pharma marketing activity showed iPad detailing as one of the most popular digital marketing activities, second only to websites. With 65% of pharma marketers reporting they provide sales reps with iPad content, this is now a mainstream activity.

In our experience, both marketing and medical are increasingly comfortable with interactive and multimedia content that leverages digital capabilities, however few are willing to adopt tailoring content to customer preferences.

We were very pleased recently to develop iPad detailing content that tailors the iPad messages to customer segmentation data captured during the call. As marketers and sales representatives become more comfortable with the use of iPad’s during sales calls, we believe this is the logical next step to close the loop. If you are interested in increasing the effectiveness of your sales calls by tailoring iPad content to your customers, please ask us how.