Part 3: Personalization: Omnichannel Checklists for Health and Life Sciences

Part 3: Personalization: Omnichannel Checklists for Health and Life Sciences
Photo by SHAMBHAVI SINGH / Unsplash

A continuation of Part 1 and Part 2

Practical Implementation: Navigating Omnichannel vs. Multi-Channel in Healthcare and Life Sciences

As we continue our exploration of personalization strategies in the healthcare and life sciences industry, it's essential to revisit the key frameworks discussed in Parts 1 and 2: omnichannel and multi-channel approaches. Both these strategies have unique merits and challenges when effectively engaging with customers, nurturing loyalty, and building a robust brand perception. In Part 3, we will navigate the common challenges and best practices for implementing these approaches, focusing on ethical considerations and practical solutions. Let's delve deeper into how to optimize the strategies for maximal impact in the unique context of healthcare and life sciences.

Review: Comparing Personalization Approaches

  • Omnichannel Personalization: The omnichannel approach to personalization is rooted in the concept of unified experiences. Here, personalization thrives on a seamlessly connected ecosystem, where customer interactions transcend channel boundaries. Vendors like Adobe, RichRelevance(now part of Algonomy), and Dynamic Yield are all Martech industry frontrunners and champion this approach by empowering businesses to create a consistent brand narrative across various touchpoints. In life sciences and healthcare, Adobe's tools and governance solutions for Healthcare enable organizations to provide patients with a continuum of personalized care, from informative online content to tailored follow-up communications, fostering a holistic and reassuring patient journey. Axtria and, Omnichannel consultants can help Life Science companies forge better Omnichannel experiences using the data they help collect for these organizations but also help coordinate strategies and platforms across the various vendors the Life Science organizations license for these initiatives.
  • Multi-Channel Personalization: While still focused on delivering tailored content, multi-channel personalization operates within the confines of individual channels. This approach can be advantageous when targeting specific demographics through specific platforms. Tealium, a prominent player in data orchestration, aids businesses in efficiently managing data across channels. In healthcare, Tealium's solutions enable organizations to deliver data to personalization delivery tools. If you use Tealium, you must integrate with other solutions to get a more end-to-end perspective to deploy full omnichannel initiatives.

Seamless Continuity and Unified Data

In omnichannel experiences, the critical differentiator is seamless continuity facilitated by identity resolution and profile centralization. Rather than treating customer interactions as isolated events, an omnichannel approach knits together data fragments from various touchpoints into a unified profile. This centralized identity ensures that patients and healthcare providers receive consistent, relevant information and experiences, further elevating the efficacy of personalized healthcare solutions.

However, a seamless experience isn't just about a unified customer profile; it's equally about delivering high-quality, adaptable content. In this context, the content supply chain becomes indispensable. A robust content supply chain ensures that every fragment of content delivered has undergone rigorous quality control checks and can adapt to the platform, browser, or device no matter where it is viewed. This real-time content optimization ensures consistency and elevates the user experience, building trust and eliminating the likelihood of conflicting information.

In contrast, multi-channel strategies may capture audiences effectively but can suffer from disjointed experiences due to a lack of profile centralization and agile content delivery. In sectors as critical as healthcare and life sciences, this disjointed content breakdown can result in conflicting health information, leading to patient confusion and a loss of trust. Therefore, for organizations committed to delivering exceptional patient care and accurate information, a move towards an omnichannel approach with a unified identity and agile content supply chain is crucial. Two vendors on the content supply chain side of the equation stand out. Look at Adobe AEM Asset and workflow solutions and Cloudinary Next-Gen Omnichannel DAM solutions.

Impact on Customer Perception, Privacy, and Loyalty

The differences in these personalization approaches profoundly impact customer perception, privacy, and loyalty. Omnichannel personalization elevates the brand by offering a coherent and highly individualized experience, reinforcing the idea that the organization understands and values its customers. This cohesive experience can lead to heightened loyalty as patients and stakeholders feel their needs are anticipated and addressed across their journey.

Multi-channel personalization, while increasing reach, may not foster the same depth of engagement. Fragmented experiences could dilute the brand's impact and create inconsistencies that undermine customer trust. However, when executed adeptly, multi-channel personalization can still drive loyalty by meeting customers on their preferred platforms, but there is the risk of making mistakes with profile data, messaging, and for patients' empathy.

As we navigate the intricacies of personalization in the life sciences and healthcare industry, it becomes evident that the choice between omnichannel and multi-channel strategies goes beyond technicalities. It shapes the perception of the brand, the patient experience, and the longevity of relationships. In the upcoming sections, we'll further explore the execution of personalization within each strategy, delving into real-world examples and practical insights that can guide organizations in this ever-evolving landscape.

Comprehensive Guide to Implementing Omnichannel Personalization in Healthcare and Life Sciences

  • Define Clear Objectives: Before embarking on any omnichannel personalization strategy, set objectives tailored to the healthcare industry. Whether the focus is on patient engagement, streamlining medical processes, or driving better health outcomes, a clear goal is crucial for success.
  • Data Collection & Integration:
    • Profile Fragment Unification: Begin by collecting profile fragments across various data sources. Use data collection tools to unify these fragmented profile snippets into data sets centralized in a cohesive, singular data lake of historical data. This is where metadata starts to become critical in the data management strategy. Labeling data as PII, PHI, and governance compliance. Chosen vendors need deep metadata governance tools to apply across data as it is centralized.
    • Identity Resolution: Once the profile fragments are centralized, leverage identity resolution capabilities to unify and merge them into a single-customer 360 profile. This step allows you to create different datasets for the gold record and send those to the right systems that can use them in the proper context. For example, you will not store PHI-labeled data in a marketing dataset used for omnichannel personalization.
  • Segmentation: Using advanced analytics, segment your audience based on variables like demographics, non-PHI health history based on regulatory rules, and previous browsing interactions. These insights will enable a more tailored, targeted approach. There are many layers of segmentation and audience curation. I will write another article detailing all the aspects you can expand into for audiences and segments.
  • Leverage AI & Machine Learning: Employ AI-driven algorithms and machine learning to sift through complex datasets. The tools recognize patterns and draw actionable insights to anticipate patient needs, allowing for proactive health interventions. These tools can help drive audience discovery and better segmentation. They also can supplement the AI/ML personalization engines that make real-time decisions based on events during the user journey. These tools can do much more and help tremendously with security, privacy, compliance, and regulations concerning patient rights.
  • Craft Tailored Content and create a content supply chain:
    • Strategize and Budget: Lay out a comprehensive plan for content creation, setting aside the necessary resources and budget.
    • Plan and Brief: Clearly define the objectives, topics, and types of content that will resonate most with each audience segment.
    • Align and Create: Assemble a team of content creators and strategists to produce quality content per your objectives.
    • Review and Approve: All content should undergo rigorous quality control checks to align with the healthcare standards and your set objectives.
    • Store and Share: Utilize a robust content management system to store approved content, making it readily accessible for future use.
    • Activate and Scale: Deploy the content across various channels, ensuring it can adapt on-the-fly to different platforms and devices it's viewed on.
  • Measure & Optimize: Utilize analytics and other performance measurement tools to assess the effectiveness of your personalization efforts. Regularly monitor engagement metrics, patient feedback, and health outcomes to refine and optimize your strategies continually.

The Role of Data Collection, Segmentation, AI, and Machine Learning

Data Collection: Accurate and comprehensive data collection is paramount. Tools provided by vendors like Adobe and Google for traditional Tag management allow for seamless data collection across various digital touchpoints, ensuring a consistent narrative in the patient's journey. These two vendors also have batch and stream APIs. Other vendors also provide deep data ETL/ELT capability to prepare enterprise data that may not be ready to port to the martech stack datasets or data lakes. All major CDPs have SOURCE data integration tools but can be limited. Make sure you map the right CDP vendor to the data Source integration needs. If you tend to build these integrations in-house, you have many more choices. Some tools I do not like for cost and other reasons, like dBt or Fivetran. Here are a few I do like for in-house ETL processes for stream and batch:

  • Estuary
  • Keboola
  • Nexla
  • SnapLogic - CDP vendors like Algonomy use Snaplogic for their data collection-only capability, which is included in their overall SKU package.
  • Workato - Then use a tool like Workato for building the other ETL data engineering integrations you might need.
  • and there are many more

Segmentation: With Adobe's AEP Segmentation and Audience Framework and API, you can load segments from other solutions and vendors. The ability to pre-configure and load segments from any source gives you extreme flexibility and openness in a fully vendor-neutral approach.

AI & Machine Learning: These technologies revolutionize how healthcare and life sciences industries approach personalization. AI can predict health trends, patient needs, and effective treatment plans by analyzing vast datasets. Integrated with tools like Adobe's suite, machine learning helps refine personalization strategies based on real-time feedback and interactions. More than this, they help with core marketing. Some vendors will eventually incorporate Gen-ai to automate Q&A and surface the data the ML models surface when you run them. I listed some examples in the "A CDP Checklist, No!" post - check out the "Advanced Segmentation and Predictive Modeling" section.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Personalization Efforts

  • Engagement Metrics: Monitor metrics like click-through rates, app engagement, and content consumption to gauge the effectiveness of your tailored content.
  • Feedback Loop: Regularly solicit feedback from patients and stakeholders. Tools like Qualtrics or Foresee allow for real-time feedback collection, enabling immediate refinements.
  • Health Outcomes: Ultimately, in the healthcare and life sciences sectors, the effectiveness of personalization is gauged by health outcomes. Monitor the impact of tailored experiences on patient health, adherence to treatment plans, and overall well-being. Axtria,, and others have tools that collect and manage this type of data.
  • ROI Analysis: Utilize Adobe, Google, or other digital web analytics vendors' analytical tools to measure the return on investment of your personalization efforts. Assess the cost versus the benefits, like improved patient engagement and better health outcomes.

Navigating Challenges and Best Practices

The journey to effective personalization in the healthcare and life sciences has its hurdles. While the potential benefits are enormous, ranging from improved patient outcomes to efficient medical processes, the challenges can be equally daunting. Here, we'll explore the common obstacles faced, offer solutions grounded in industry best practices, and delve into the ethical nuances of data collection and utilization.

Common Challenges in Implementing Personalization Strategies

  • Data Silos:
    Fragmented information is a significant obstacle in healthcare, where patient data may reside across multiple systems, hindering effective personalization efforts.

  • Privacy Concerns:

    • PHI and PII:
      Handling Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) with utmost care is crucial to maintaining patient trust and complying with healthcare regulations.
    • Consent Management:
      Given the sensitive nature of healthcare data, securing patient information is paramount. Effective consent management systems are needed to obtain, store, and manage patients' permissions for data usage.
  • One-size-fits-all Approach:
    The use of generic strategies often fails to cater to individual patient needs and expectations, negatively impacting patient engagement and satisfaction. However, you must leverage omnichannel strategies in a staged layered approach. See the first diagram in this post. Look closely at the black arrow and the boxes to the right. Audience segmentation becomes critical, and managing the rules from top to bottom to coordinate the messages as they get closer to 1:1 is critical for omnichannel success.

  • Rapid Technological Changes:
    The healthcare sector faces the added challenge of rapidly evolving technologies, making it tough to keep pace with new trends and tools for personalization.

  • Complex Content Supply Chain:
    This bullet deserves its own article. It is nearly as complex as the profile unification process. Managing an efficient content supply chain can be challenging, especially when the content has to undergo rigorous quality checks and adapt dynamically across multiple platforms and devices. Many vendors have decades of experience with content, and with AI, it can be automated to lower costs and eliminate or speed up regulatory compliance.

  • Layered Omnichannel Personalization Engine:
    Not having a sophisticated personalization engine with customizable machine-learning decision models that can integrate with existing systems seamlessly. This bullet is closely tied to the One-Size-Fits-All above.

  • Scalability:
    As healthcare organizations grow, the systems should scale efficiently. Failing to do so may result in reduced performance and effectiveness of personalization strategies. Pick vendors with large operations that have grown over time and not stayed static for 10yrs or more. These latter vendors are not used to scaling and often have high employee turnover and skeleton crews to keep the lights on.

  • Regulatory Compliance:
    Adhering to industry regulations, such as HIPAA in the United States, adds an extra layer of complexity in crafting and implementing personalization strategies.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Personalization

As healthcare and life sciences evolve, so does the personalization landscape. Here's a glimpse into the future. I start with a few vendors I like that work in the Health industry. I chose them because of the resources they are dedicating, their staff, and their history with the health industry. Of course, there are others, and these are only my opinion. The top 3 are probably the safest bets. Be careful and super cautious of newer entries. Do your due diligence.

Some Leading Omnichannel CDPs & Personalization Journey Vendors:

Adobe Experience Cloud and AEP Journey Apps
Microsoft Health CDP
Salesforce Health Cloud
Treasure Data
RedPoint Global
Segment's-Zaidyn-Personalization platform specific to Life Science
  • Emerging Trends in Personalization: We are transitioning from generic personalization to hyper-personalization. Leaders like Algonomy and Dynamic Yield are paving the way, enabling companies to tailor experiences so intricately that they almost perfectly mirror individual patient needs and preferences. While these two vendors do not work closely with healthcare, they offer profound examples of what could be possible by looking at their retail clients using these marketing techniques. Dynamic Yield and its parent, Mastercard, do have a few healthcare clients, so they are worth exploring.
  • New AI Advancements with Gen-Ai in Omnichannel Personalization: Gen-Ai stands at the forefront of the AI revolution, offering potential game-changers in omnichannel personalization. Gen-Ai can predict user behaviors and preferences more accurately by mimicking human cognitive functions, enhancing the patient journey further. Additionally, martech vendors will develop tools to help marketers create auto-audiences that adhere to strict rules and triggers and automate audience profile workflows directly to the destinations without massive manual configurations and rule creation. However, these new tools will expose capabilities that help with privacy and regulatory compliance and numerous steps along the content supply chain, data supply chain, profile unification process, audience segmentation automation, and finally, automating rules, triggers, and decisions up and down the omnichannel personalization flow.
  • Reshaping the Omnichannel Marketing Landscape: These advancements and trends will redefine how healthcare providers and life science companies approach marketing. The emphasis will shift even more towards patient-centricity, with a strong focus on understanding and catering to individual patient journeys.


Navigating the intricate landscape of healthcare and life sciences requires a meticulous approach, and omnichannel personalization stands at the helm of this journey. Through our exploration in this third part, it's evident that omnichannel personalization isn't just a buzzword—it's the key to unlocking deeper patient engagement, privacy adherence, loyalty, and improved health outcomes.

Choosing between omnichannel and multi-channel personalization isn't merely a matter of preference. It hinges on the overarching goals, available resources, and the specific nuances of the target audience. As the lines between digital and physical blur even further, ensuring a consistent, tailored, and meaningful patient experience across all touchpoints becomes paramount.

The future beckons with promise, and for those prepared to embrace these changes, the rewards of enhanced patient experience and engagement are limitless.

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