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4 Digital Front Door Imperatives for Life Sciences

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The idea of the digital front door is a hot topic in healthcare circles. The concept of meeting healthcare consumers where they are and creating a seamless, supportive experience at every step of their journey puts the patient squarely in the driver’s seat. And while this idea has swept through the hospital and health system community, there has been far less discussion on how medical device, pharma, and digital health circles can implement a similar approach.

The beauty of the digital front door concept is the idea of putting audiences at the center of a cohesive experience. And that is just as relevant for a life sciences consumer. Here are four imperatives for creating a digital front door strategy for your life sciences audiences.

1. Deep segmentation is more important than ever before

I’ve written many times about the value of personas and journey maps as a foundation for a solid consumer experience strategy. However, I find this is one place where organizations across the healthcare ecosystem seem to cut corners. Sure, ”current patient,” ”new patient” and ”provider” journeys are helpful to know. But there are many nuances and insights lost when you cut audiences so broadly.

Take patients, for example. A persona this broad won’t take into consideration:

  • Economic disparity
  • Cultural and racial differences
  • Challenges and concerns men, women, and trans individuals experience
  • Different preferences that those who identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or asexual hold

That’s a great deal of nuance lost. And the real power personas and journeys have often are in those details.

2. Integrate clinical influencer efforts

Just as important as finely cutting audience segments is the need to consider those microinfluences that can impact audiences. For example, clinicians can be a major influence in OTC device, pharma, or digital health usage. But let’s break that down further. How does the influence of a PCP differ from a specialist, or a nurse, or even a home health aide? At what point in the journey will they be more likely to make a recommendation? What tools, digital or otherwise, will they want to have to help support their patient? And backing up even further, how are you influencing them? How does the full journey from influencee to influencer look?

Consider these questions as you’re building out journeys for your influencer groups. You can leverage many resources across the desperate audience types and their journeys, but it’s hard to see what messaging, resources, and experiences are required until you look at the full lifecycle of an audience segment.

3. It’s not only about the digital front door. Your audiences may use a side entrance.

Homepage experiences get a lot of attention, and for good reason. When we think about a digital front door, its often the homepage we are picturing. But audiences can always come in a side door — say, through a great blog post they discovered on social media or to a product page they found through a digital ad.

Whatever page an audience member lands on, its important that they can pick up and continue their journey easily. And that will look different depending on what section they land in. Someone who hits a product page may be ready to buy or view a testimonial, whereas someone who lands on a blog article may be ready to learn more about the product line before they purchase. As you consider each section of your site, think about what those next best actions are based on the stage of they journey they are most likely in.

Think of your content in terms of the marketing funnel. The overall goal is to ease the user’s journey through to conversion and being one step ahead of them allows you to open the door to the next phase.

4. Give consumers the power to advocate

For many, the digital front door is about awareness and conversion, but I encourage your life sciences organization to consider the possibilities with retention and advocacy. Word-of-mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold, but many sites don’t offer an easy way to advocate for a product. Think through what that recommendation journey can look like for your consumer audiences. Creating an experience that delights a consumer and gives them an easy and memorable way to share their excitement with their peers will help open the digital front door to a whole new group of prospects.

Our Digital Healthcare Strategy team helps healthcare and life sciences organizations better understand their audiences and create memorable digital experiences. Contact us today for more information.

Thoughts on “4 Digital Front Door Imperatives for Life Sciences”

  1. Great blog! AI/ML coupled with an individual’s profile, such as, demographic, race, ethnicity, language, current and past medical history. Are vital to creating a more personalized digital front door. While recently work with a client, I realized the front door did not know have a peephole to see who was there. The client price transparency by having the person search 50,000+ procedure codes by a common name. If a consumer authenticates, the home page should know them. It isn’t enough to greet them by first name. Using AI/ML is critical to demonstrating to understanding your audience.

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Marlana Voerster

Marlana Voerster is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Perficient, where she works with providers and MedTech, pharma, and digital health organizations to build brand loyalty and enhance the patient experience through customer-centric digital experiences.

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