How Blockchain is Already Improving Healthcare Marketing
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies originally emerged because they could be used as digital currency for financial transactions verified by algorithms, not banks. What later grabbed the attention of the business community, however, was blockchain, the technology used to process and record those transactions.
Although blockchain is used in many industries, including healthcare, the concept is still a bit of a mystery to most people, which is preventing more widespread adoption. On the other hand, forward-thinking organizations are exploring innovative use cases for blockchain that could create competitive advantages in the marketplace.
Let’s start with the basics of blockchain before moving to its potential for enhancing healthcare marketing.
What Is Blockchain?
In the simplest of terms, blockchain is a database, albeit an unconventional one. While a traditional database is centrally managed and maintained, blockchain is a distributed digital ledger with many copies across a network of computers, called nodes.
This ledger is described as a chain comprised of individual blocks of data. Each time a data transaction occurs, a new block is added to the chain and all nodes are updated to reflect the change. This creates a linear, chronological history of all data transactions, each with a digital signature to verify its authenticity.
Because a change to data would require a coordinated effort across many distributed user groups and devices across a decentralized network, blockchain is virtually tamper-proof. Because each node has its own copy of every transaction, blockchain enables high levels of transparency and traceability.
Although blockchain is relatively “young” technology, the use cases in healthcare are well-documented. For example, blockchain medical records not only keep data private, but they can also streamline the sharing of data, which can contribute to better outcomes through faster diagnosis, fewer mistakes, and more personalized care plans. In the supply chain, blockchain is used to track drugs, prevent data tampering, and drug counterfeiting, and streamline research.
Emerging Use Cases for Blockchain in Healthcare Marketing
Suggesting that blockchain has gone mainstream in healthcare marketing would be disingenuous. However, both advertisers and publishers should become familiar with blockchain and start having conversations about how it can be applied to their marketing efforts.
Here are three emerging applications for blockchain-based software and apps in healthcare marketing that are worthy of your attention and research.
1) Tracking Media Buys
Direct advertising online often involves data management across multiple platforms, each with a different way of purchasing ads and processing payments. Ad buyers often make mistakes because of this complexity and waste time bouncing between platforms.
Blockchain can be used to streamline media buys for both healthcare advertisers and publishers. Activity can be tracked efficiently and transparently, enabling buyers to manage multiple programs simultaneously. The inherent security of blockchain can be used to ensure you only pay for ads and impressions served while providing a path to more accurate performance measurement.
These capabilities also enable the healthcare publisher to provide a better customer experience with more accountability and more reliable analytics.
2) Social Impression Management
Like traditional media buys, social media advertising often involves data and campaigns across multiple social media platforms and applications. To measure ROI, healthcare marketers need to be able to organize and analyze accurate data that paints a clear picture of activity. At the same time, healthcare publishers need to be able to show how their content and platforms deliver results.
Blockchain can collect and store social media advertising data so you can see exactly how many times your ads were viewed and how much level of engagement your ads received. For example, a high number of impressions and low engagement translate to higher costs and lower return. You need to understand both metrics to measure ROI, make the right adjustments, and improve performance.
3) User Authentication
The presence of bots is a major obstacle to online marketing success. Nobody wins when ads are served to Twitter bots instead of live, active users. Bogus accounts on any online platform can drive up ad rates and clicks while draining budgets, leading to higher costs and poor results.
More than a tamper-proof record of data, blockchain can be used to verify and authenticate users. Blockchain also provides more reliable midpoints for checking and verifying data in a way that’s difficult to cheat.
Blockchain is not an easy technology to grasp. Companies generally don’t offer blockchain training like they do for business software. That said, the potential of blockchain in healthcare marketing should not be ignored. Blockchain can improve data reliability, accuracy, and security, all of which make advertising platforms more marketable.