As consumers, most of us have grown to expect personalized and relevant messaging from the companies we interact with. Think of the pleasant surprise when you receive a coupon for a product you wanted, or by contrast, the irritation of irrelevant messages about something you were never going to buy cluttering your email inbox before you eventually flag as spam. There are two ways for organizations to provide the better experience: a lucky guess (really a broadcast message that at least a small percentage of the audience will find useful) or aligning outreach with individual-level data. In order to earn and maintain consumer attention and ultimately drive action, successful organizations understand that each touchpoint must happen as part of a coordinated, long-term relationship, not in one-time campaigns. This means each piece of content delivered in any given consumer engagement program must be timely and tailored.
Healthcare organizations must deliver this same integrated experience in order to truly engage members and patients. With multiple outreach programs in place, often across departments with competing schedules and priorities, this poses a unique challenge. Barraging members with excessive information only causes frustration and damages trust, especially if some of the messages aren’t relevant to each person. Getting members to engage with content and ultimately act upon it requires first knowing what content will be important to them, and delivering it at the right time.
mPulse Mobile built our proprietary content recommendation engine, mCare, to solve this problem a few years ago. Our customers were engaging members in dialogue via text, but were struggling to leverage the insights from their responses to inform the next touchpoint days or weeks later. Since most 3rd party recommendation engines are not focused on healthcare or conversational engagement, we built our own to fit with the kinds of activation-focused solutions that healthcare requires.
mCare not only delivers relevant content designed to drive action, but it also orchestrates each touchpoint over time, so that members are engaged rather than overwhelmed. We get a lot of questions about mCare and the Activation Intelligence process that it drives, so we put together a quick overview here.
Understanding, Tailoring, and Activating
The first step in this process is understanding the individual. We maintain persistent and dynamic profiles of members that combine a range data attributes, including demographics, health status, psychographics, engagement data, and more that can depend on the customer and solutions. Member profiles constantly evolve as we learn more about each individual, including information gathered through dialogue interactions automated by Conversational AI. This comprehensive understanding is key to determining the right topics for each member.
mCare matches members to content by comparing key profile attributes to our content libraries, and then selects the single next best content topic. Say you have a new member who we know to have a chronic condition such as diabetes. mCare will search all available content and dialogues to match this individual to topics that are relevant—a new member welcome, prompts to schedule an eye exam, or educational health tips.
While all of these subjects are pertinent, receiving several messages, or even several multi-message dialogues, at once could overwhelm and frustrate the member while dulling the impact of each. mCare uses rules configured for each customer and population that are informed by mPulse’s behavioral data science principles. It selects the best topic and prioritizes that conversation – for instance, a new member welcome over an immediate ask to schedule the eye exam. As the person engages (or doesn’t), their profile will update, along with any new data we get directly from the customer. So at the next touchpoint (e.g. a week later), mCare will make an even better informed decision.
This is also where automatically tailoring content can become very powerful. In that diabetic member example, the person may not have responded to the welcome dialogue. So when mCare runs again, it notes the lower engagement level and selects an eye exam reminder that has been written to target hard-to-reach and lower engagement populations instead of a more standard one. Whether mCare sends a follow up eye exam reminder, or changes tailoring tactics later on, would depend on whether the member engages and takes action.
Tailored and timely delivery of content is the beginning of effective engagement. mCare starts with the most important topic first and ensures that all subsequent touchpoints are delivered in a coordinated, prioritized fashion over weeks, months, or years. The ranking and importance of each topic within mCare is determined customer business goals and desired program results, as well as input from our team of behavioral data scientists to drive health outcomes. This means that a series of diet and exercise tips for a member population would be superseded by a vaccine reminder at the beginning of flu season.
Starting a conversation with the right message at the right time earns members’ trust, attention, and builds stronger relationships. To truly deliver optimal engagement, mCare handles diverse types of content and can send them across channels. Flexible and scalable, these content libraries can expand and the content recommendation engine can adjust based on shifting business needs and priorities. Rather than starting over for each campaign, mCare views each person in the context of an ongoing and evolving relationship to ensure your consumers are engaging with valuable, tailored content to activate healthy behaviors.
To learn more about what our customers have been able to achieve with mCare, read our case studies on orchestrating dozens of topics for a large Medicaid population and helping a diabetic population with self-management.