Monday, March 15, 2010

Experience Mapping Adds Value to Your Marketing Efforts

What is experience mapping?

This is a marketing analytic technique that allows you to identify the communication channels and categories of service that individuals move though in a relationship building process. It allows you to more fully understand visually the relationship, and messaging opportunities. Created originally by the Boston Consulting Group for retail shoppers, I have taken the concepts and applied to healthcare. This analysis can be used for any audience or service-line. For our purposes today, here is a simplified version of a patient experience map.

First create a chart that contains 5 columns or more and three rows. Each column is a different chevron and each row contains different information. Touch points can be in multiple columns.

What an experience map looks like:

The Patient Experience

First column first row box: Relationship Iinitiation

First column second row box: Patient is exposed to hospital information

First column third row box: Referral Touch Points:

Family; Friends; Physician referral service; Wellness program; Advertising; Direct mail; News articles; Web site; Call center; Employees; Community programs; Chat rooms; Social media; Health insurance; Government; Employer; JCAHO etc.

Your matrix of chart should be at least five columns by three rows. Now complete columns and rows for Evaluation- Patient considers information; Utilization - Initial utilization; Patient management - Managing the patient relationship; Payment - Patient action.

What it all means:

Now these chevrons and listings are not all inclusive, nor should they be. This exercise requires the marketing department to lead the discussion seeking input from all corners and levels of the organization. The right chevrons, with the right touch points can lead to aha moments for the organization while providing a not before seen picture of how the sum of the individual experiences work together- separate yet one experience in totality. Think of the possibilities and ideas that this can generate in how you message and coordinate the experience of your medical staff, employees, service-line efforts, referral services, community programs etc.

This simple yet effective tool, done correctly can assist greatly in creating an integrated strategy-based and tactical organizational or service-line marketing plan across the hospital. The end result is a more effective and integrated messaging; creation of a stronger brand and new opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

If you would like an example of experience mapping, just drop me a line at and I will be glad to send you one.

If you need assistance or would like more information, I can be reached directly at 815-293-1471 or for marketing strategy development, public and media relations, and crisis communications consulting services

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