The word “intel” gives everything the feel of a Mission Impossible film but the reality is much more prosaic. Intel is information. When it’s customer intel, it’s information about your customer. It’s the most fundamental component of a marketing strategy, yet it’s often glossed over. So here’s what healthcare vendors miss in their customer intel.

Goal of Customer Intel

Customer intel is not meant to read like a spy novel. Think of it more as a really boring diary. The point is not to uncover something unusual; it’s to gain insight into the mundanity of day-to-day life.

What you want, above all, is to get inside your customer’s head.

Yet all too often, marketers focus on role description: what is the customer’s title? How much power do they wield? How big is the corporation they work for?

Sure, that’s important – but it won’t help you craft your messaging. It won’t help you write your web copy.

To do that, you need to go deeper – and that’s where most healthcare marketing teams lose their way.

Customer Intel Should Be A Deep Dive

A typical buyer persona reads like a fiction. Like some made-up person as superficial and lacking in believability as a sitcom character. Is it any wonder that the marketing derived from such personas falls flat?

Much better is to build personas based on the minutiae of the actual people your company serves. Sure, you want to know how much education they’ve had and what their title is – but none of that will be as useful to you as:

  • What is their day-to-day work life like? 
  • Who comes in to talk to them?
  • How often are they interrupted?
  • How urgent are the interruptions?
  • What are the interruptions about?

And, in relation to the healthcare area you help address:

  • What do they worry about?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What do they believe about the problem? (And are their beliefs correct?)
  • Can they influence the buying decision?
  • Do they make the buying decision? 

And don’t forget their career goals:

  • What would constitute a win for them?
  • What are the problems they most want to get off their desk?
  • What would make them look great in front of their boss?

Go Deep With Your Customer Intel

The answers you get to the above questions will paint a detailed picture of your customer’s work life – and that’s what you want your personas to be. They should help you see your customer’s aggravations and struggles. They should show you the pace of their work day and the little wins and losses along the way. So dive deep – it will make the rest of your job much, much easier.

Photo by Omid Kashmari on Unsplash.