BRANDHIT MARKETING SUMMIT: A HIMSS EVENT

Las Vegas, NV
June 15-16, 2017

7 Questions with Seasoned Marketing Veterans

What are the top marketing priorities for healthcare IT marketers?

[David Rowe] Differentiating one’s brand is very likely the top priority for healthcare IT marketers. The market is crowded and noisy. It’s difficult to find a clear channel of communications and, if you can find it, it’s even more difficult to get the buyer’s attention. When you do, messaging becomes paramount to landing a memorable impression.

[Carol Bird]  Addressing various audiences (physicians vs C-levels vs nurses, critical access hospitals vs large teaching hospitals), targeting buyers’ pain points and making the most of a lead in a short amount of time - audiences don’t have a long attention span so you need to grab them and hold their interest.

 

What are the top challenges ahead of healthcare IT marketing industry?

[Dan Greenwald] From shifting payment models and regulations to breakthrough technologies, the healthcare industry is constantly in flux. To stay relevant, healthcare marketers need an agile communications strategy. “Set it and forget it” doesn’t work. Healthcare marketers must be ready to shift the content and messaging to align with what’s top of mind for decision makers.

[Michael Passanante] Access to decision makers is getting more difficult. With such an abundance of information available, content used in marketing efforts must be top notch and digital channels should be carefully calibrated to reach them.

 

What trends are shaping healthcare marketing in 2017 and beyond? 

[David Rowe] Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a mega-trend inside and outside of healthcare; it’s going to be a challenge for all of us going forward. Also, getting beyond firmographic-based personas is becoming key to engagement. Beyond job responsibilities and corporate relationships, what are the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are influencing IT investment? Finally, technology integration – bringing Google Network, web site, email, social and CRM onto one desktop for the modern marketer.

[Carol Bird] Blogging, more multimedia (video and podcasts), responsive design as well as SEO and analytics measurement.

[Dan Greenwald] As the industry increases its focus on interoperability, we’re also seeing a shift in buying decisions from the individual department level to more centralized decision making to invest in solutions that will have impact across the health system. This means a shift in who healthcare marketers are targeting. Where it used to be clinical leaders, we’re now seeing the decisions increasingly coming from the office of the CIO and CFO.

 

How do you measure the ROI of your marketing efforts? OR What key metrics healthcare IT marketers should focus on to measure the effectiveness of their efforts?

[David Rowe] We use a single, integrated funnel that reflects the lifecycle of the customer from inquiry to evangelist. At top of funnel, we measure conversion rates. In middle of funnel, we measure velocity, win rate, and deal size. At bottom of funnel, we measure customer success in terms of customer ROI in our technology and the successful capture of care delivery reimbursement and incentives.

What is your biggest pet peeve about healthcare IT marketing?

 [Dan Greenwald] When marketers treat the C-level audience as they do in other industries. CFOs in healthcare are not just number crunchers. CIOs aren’t simply computer geeks that hide behind servers all day. There is an extreme passion among healthcare decision makers for the mission of healthcare. This greatly influences how brands should market to them.

 [Michael Passanante] Too often, messaging is homogenous from firm to firm. Companies need to do more to differentiate themselves and their offerings so their brands can stand out in the marketplace.

 

Given the diversity of the healthcare IT marketplace, how do you balance the use of digital and traditional marketing channels?

[David Rowe] We adopted an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) approach from the start. You have to start by understanding the sources that your audience gets their information and figure out creative ways to be discoverable. Force-feeding your message is a rear-view mirror approach that no one is paying attention to anymore.

[Carol Bird] We are finding ways to take traditionally print items (case studies/white papers) and offer them online. We also measure the effectiveness of traditional press releases and include video, while using them to feed traffic to our website.

[Dan Greenwald] We find there is still a strong need for both digital and traditional formats. While IT audiences are strong on digital channels, CFOs still interact heavily with traditional print media. The first step is to profile your audience and find out where they get their information from. And then test. If your CFO online newsletter isn’t getting good traction, try something printed

 

Are there any digital marketing channels that work better specifically for healthcare IT industry?

[David Rowe] That’s the secret sauce, isn’t it? I will say this -  trust and credibility are the common denominator of engagement no matter which channels you select.

[Carol Bird] Blog posts that offer resources for industry issues, white papers or case studies that offer ways to improve measurable goals and financial challenges

 

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