Tea Buzz



The Case for Personalization and Variable Data Printing

Posted December 17, 2018

If there was ever a personal industry – it’s healthcare. Patients want their healthcare system, hospital, and physicians to care about them, connect with them, listen to their needs, and help them through whatever they’re facing. When you’re handling an individual’s health, the conversations you’re having are extremely personal. From an industry perspective, the human connection in healthcare is more important than in other industries such as travel, hospitality, finance or retail. Healthcare systems should be connecting with people on a one-to-one, individual level.

Patients receive care, and consumers make choices. People are always consumers, and sometimes they’re patients. Now more than ever, people are making choices when it comes to their healthcare – so marketers need to have a direct conversation with them.

The idea of ‘individualized marketing’ is crucial to build long-term relationships and loyalty. People want to be individuals, not numbers. According to RR Donnelley’s white paper, Why Personalization Matters to Healthcare Marketers, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language. Research has shown 68% of consumers leave a brand because they perceive that it is indifferent to them. And in a consumer-related survey by Accenture, 60% of consumers prefer doing business with brands that use personal information to provide real-time promotions and offers.”

RR Donnelley goes on to call personalized marketing, “one-to-one marketing in the truest sense — one brand speaking directly to one consumer. It means meeting a member’s needs more effectively and efficiently, making interactions faster and easier and, consequently, increasing member engagement, satisfaction and retention.”

More than a third of men (37%) and women (34%) said they would ignore or refuse digital healthcare communication if it wasn’t personalized with their name.

Not only do people want to be addressed by name, they also expect you to have a level of understanding into their interests and needs when you’re talking to them. This is where personalized communications come in to play.


In a time where building a superior customer experience is everything, hospitals are dramatically changing their approach to marketing. In Lola Butcher’s article, Is Your Hospital Ready to Answer Consumer Demands, she states, “Americans [are becoming] more demanding, cost-conscious, impatient and sophisticated about their healthcare” for various reasons:

  • Americans have more financial responsibility for their healthcare – therefore individuals are starting to behave like consumers when making healthcare decisions.
  • Many consumers are not satisfied with their healthcare experiences.
  • Consumers want more information, more convenience and a higher degree of service than many health systems currently provide.

To meet these demands, forward-thinking health systems are working to become more consumer-savvy. They’re getting to know their patients better than ever. They’re fostering loyalty via digital communications. They’re using a combination of tactics such as direct mail, email and mobile to welcome consumers, provide them with relevant content, solve their issues and improve their experience.

While there is no doubt personalization is a necessary component to any outreach program, it can still be difficult to execute.

HubSpot cites the top three challenges behind organizations not implementing “dynamic personalized content” across channels as:

#1: Complexity of systems

#2: Access to data

#3: Data privacy issues.


In our white paper, The Case for Personalization and Variable Data Printing, we address how Tea Leaves Health’s Patientology™ solution tackles those challenges. We explain how the use of personalization and variable data printing (VDP) increases response rates and improves the overall results of marketing campaigns. Download the full white paper here.