Do You Have A Communications Waterfall?

For those of us that have ever worked in IT, the idea of a waterfall based design always implies a less than optimal strategy.  But, I’m beginning to see an applicability of this framework for communications.

Let’s look at a scenario for a prescription refill where you’re trying to optimize for the lowest cost intervention.

  • Identify targets for an intervention
  • First push a message to all those that have downloaded your mobile application (~10%)
  • Second push a message to all those that have opted into your SMS reminder system (~6% with some overlap)
  • Third push a reminder to those that you have an e-mail address on file
  • Fourth send a reminder using an automated outbound call with the option to refill during the call
  • Fifth (maybe) use agents to reach out to the patient
As you go through this “communications waterfall”, there are several things to think about:
  1. How do you leverage permission-based or preference-based marketing here?
  2. How do you integrate your channels so that if you send an e-mail which isn’t opened after 48 hours (and the message is important) that it automatically escalates to the next channel?
  3. How do you cross-promote across channels to drive greater use of the self-service channel?
  4. What permissions do you need to use each channel?
  5. What are the HIPAA / PHI limitations within each channel?
  6. What is the correlation between preferences and behavior?
  7. If you know that certain segmentation and messaging increase the likelihood of action, how do those insights manifest themselves in each channel and does that change your interest in using a particular channel?
  8. What data do you want and can you get from each channel to understand the response curves?

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