The Coffey Blog

Healthcare marketing advice from the Forum for Healthcare Strategists

Posted on: Monday, June 5, 2017

Eric Dutton, Business Development Consultant

We were out in force. At this year's Forum for Healthcare Strategists, the team from Coffey was busy learning more about healthcare marketing solutions and meeting with hospital and health plan administrators.

We spent a great deal of time on the exhibit floor, talking with healthcare professionals about their challenges and our solutions. But we did manage to sneak in a few educational sessions too. These are two key sessions we thought would be valuable for those who couldn't make it to the Forum this year.

Re-imagining your audience

Creating compelling content begins with understanding who your readers are and what they want. In digital marketing, an audience is typically defined as an engaged readership of one type of media (such as a blog or a social media channel). But thinking a little differently about who makes up those audiences—and what they're looking for—can lead to some interesting discussions. A case study highlighted by Chris Boyer makes this point clear.

For example, rather than looking at readers of one type of content, a savvy marketing team might expand the readership category to include:

  • Current patients.
  • Potential patients.
  • Employees.
  • Providers.

These readers might have very different needs, and they likely want to engage with an organization's digital assets in different ways. A current patient might like to make an appointment on a website, for example, while an employee might need to learn more about benefits changes on an intranet. And a potential patient might expect to learn about the organization via Facebook.

Aligning the needs of all of those readers means collecting and analyzing data—preferably in one tidy place—and amending the digital experience users have, depending on how they've reacted in the past.

In this case study, the organization created a stack solution, in which all of the various digital assets (CRM, email, content, social and more) were run through one centralized system that continually assessed performance and collected data in one space.

At Coffey, we've helped our clients develop similar systems to centralize control and allow administrators to reach out to their audiences through their websites, call centers, print mailings, e-newsletters and more. And we offer reporting features that make tracking data from these touchpoints really easy. So we were excited to hear how other healthcare organizations are dealing with the same issue we've seen in the marketplace.

Why should we tell stories?

When we share information about our successes, it's reasonable to begin with hard data. But Marlana Beck of the Mayo Clinic reminded us that stories have a place in marketing reports.

A story helps to demonstrate, in real time, that marketing efforts produce real results. And, if those stories are compelling, they can help to improve communication and collaboration between marketing departments and other departments.

A great way to tell a story? Through a dashboard. Beck reminded us that dashboards provide a visual story of how data changes over time, and that can make work seem both meaningful and powerful.

Share your stories

We head to trade shows like the Forum to help us connect with hospitals and health insurers who might need our help. But you don't need to wait until the next big show to connect with our team. We'd love to talk with you now. Call 888.805.9101 or email us.

Related reading

Top takeaways from SHSMD Connections 2016
Ask a healthcare marketer: 7 questions for Jimmy Phillips
Click-worthy content: 3 ideas to help you engage healthcare consumers