Your Prescription for Content: Healthcare and Digital Asset Management

You wake up one morning with a mind-numbing headache. Or maybe it’s sudden ear pain or a mole you never noticed.

Before you grab a pain reliever, you might head to your laptop and do a quick online search of your symptoms and pinpoint one of a dozen conditions it could possibly be.

It turns out you’re not the only medical Googler in America. More people are searching for health information online, with some even using the Internet to self-diagnose. Searching for health information is the third most common online activity and four out of 10 Americans do it, according to the Pew Research Center.

As more people turn to the Internet to learn about their health, it’s more important than ever for trusted sources to provide this information.

Today’s healthcare organizations need to create more and better content, and this content needs to be designed for reuse across channels — sometimes with localization and customization for specific audiences and platforms. The right system — such as digital asset management tools — can help healthcare organizations quickly and efficiently create and manage large volumes of content, so they can get relevant information to the right people, at the right time, in the right way, or via the right device. The key is having your content where your customers are, when they are there. A digital asset management system not only can help these organizations streamline content creation, it’s a valuable tool that allows healthcare organizations to achieve something even more important — loyalty and trust with their target audience and improved consumer health education.

Healthcare’s big content play.

Digital is forcing more industries to focus on customer experience. Healthcare is no different. Not only are consumers searching online for health information, they’re using their smartphones and computers to manage every part of their lives — whether it’s everyday tasks like grocery shopping and vacation planning to booking doctor’s appointments. Consumers now expect convenience and value at every touchpoint, and as they increasingly turn online to make their healthcare decisions, producing informative and useful content is a key way healthcare brands can engage them.

Some healthcare organizations already realize this. According to research conducted by Adobe in 2017, 29 percent of healthcare organizations plan to prioritize content marketing in the next few years.

“Content is gradually earning its place in healthcare campaigns, and the next few years will see content creation and storytelling emerging as prominent, very in-demand skills,” according to Econsultancy.

However, the healthcare sector faces unique challenges in integrating content into its marketing efforts. The industry is highly regulated, so gathering the data necessary to tailor content to specific audiences requires these consumers to opt-in or to authenticate their identity. Consumers also have a wide range of medical concerns and medical histories, so it isn’t always easy to segment audiences in healthcare in the same way a retail brand can.

But an even greater challenge may be how healthcare companies structure their content organizations and content management process.

“With some companies, it’s a manual or a completely disjointed digital method,” says Tom Swanson, head of Healthcare Industry Strategy at Adobe.

Tom says different business units may have their own siloed collection of assets and their own digital asset management systems, none of which speak to each other. This hinders efficiency, but it also creates an even bigger problem with revision control.

“If you have the same piece of content existing in multiple locations, if for some reason that content needs to be pulled or changed, it’s a very manual process of identifying where all of those different versions are housed and making sure that the revised version replaced the old version. In healthcare, that can literally be a life or death situation,” Tom says.

The benefits of digital asset management.

Having a centralized digital asset management system within a healthcare organization can address this problem and make the content production process much more efficient.

Healthcare organizations create a lot of content and often have distributed workforces across multiple offices and time zones, so they need a robust tool to help them execute their content strategy and deliver effective communications.

A digital asset management system offers multiple capabilities to streamline content production. It safely and securely stores all the content assets — including text articles, photos, audio files, video clips, animations, banner ads, and brochures — and supporting materials an organization needs to deliver health information to its audience. And it allows content creators to design their workflows and easily take a piece of content from concept, to review and approval. Everything is tagged, properly categorized and organized into a hierarchy with consistent taxonomies, so companies can easily find and reuse content in different ways, tailor it to various channels and audiences, and review performance data to optimize their campaigns. Tom says even with all the benefits a digital asset management system offers, it’s also important for healthcare organizations to ensure the system they’re using is HIPAA compliant (if required) and features tools that provide a clear audit trail for regulatory agencies like the FDA.

“If you have centralized management, you are mitigating the risk of version control. You are also mitigating the resources required to monitor this content,” he says. “You’re also reducing the amount of content that needs to be approved by your legal and regulatory bodies and you’re increasing reuse. All of this drives down costs in multiple areas.”

Some healthcare organizations are already seeing these benefits. Alere, which manufacturers point-of-care diagnostic tests, used a digital asset management system to centralize its global content creation. The company delivers content to 29 countries in 15 languages, so it used the DAM to ensure brand consistency and design, while allowing content authors to customize each asset for a local audience. Using a DAM cut down the time Alere’s content authors spent creating new content, reducing asset duplication by 53 percent across the company’s 2,000 web pages. The tool also helped Alere create a self-service asset library that reduced asset requests by 80 percent, which is remarkable considering Alere’s creative services team handled 70 such requests each week.

Covidien, a leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, also relied on a DAM system to improve the content production process. The company had to deliver multiple messages to different audiences, including employees, sellers, patients, and providers across different platforms and in different languages. Covidien faced risks with waste and inefficiencies, version control, legal and regulatory compliance, and ensuring that the wrong audience didn’t receive the wrong message. A DAM helped the company mitigate these challenges by enabling dynamic content authoring and regional approval workflows; by simplifying the creation of seller collateral, presentations, and e-learning content; and by creating a robust content stream to the company’s CRM and automated marketing tools — all within a secure, analytics-driven, cloud-based system.

The approach led to significant cost savings and reduced risk for Covidien — it created a single FDA-validated system for content creation, approval, distribution, and revision control; improved speed to market by 124 percent and content reuse by 200 percent; and led to $1 million in printing and warehousing savings, $1.2 million in translation savings, and $1.8 million in savings from creative redundancies.

“Centralizing content management provides the benefits of having a single source of truth for content,” Tom says.

As more consumers head online for health information, providing truthful and accurate information will be the most effective way for healthcare companies to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and build trust with their audience. But trying to manage the content process without a centralized system opens the doorway for all kinds of risks, waste, and inefficiencies that healthcare organizations can’t afford. A basic CMS doesn’t give these organizations the capabilities they need to produce, publish, and distribute large volumes of content, and it certainly doesn’t provide the version control and auditing trail necessary for legal and regulatory compliance. But a digital asset management system does. It helps healthcare organizations deliver the right message to right audience — whether that’s a new patient, a healthcare provider, or your average medical Googler.

Learn more about our Best Practices For Healthcare series from Adobe’s healthcare team.