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Healthcare marketing strategy3 min read SHSMD 2018: Top takeaways from the Coffey team

We had a lot of great conversations at SHSMD 2018. Here are some of the highlights.

October 15, 2018

Coffey's business development consultants just got back from SHSMD 2018 in Seattle, where they had the opportunity to visit with many of Coffey's clients and prospective clients. From Sunday night through Wednesday morning, there were opportunities to listen, learn and bring important information back to the rest of the Coffey team.

Here's what some of our SHSMD attendees shared from their experiences:

Eric Dutton
Many of the SHSMD attendees I spoke to this year were keenly focused on improving their digital presence. They wanted to learn more about what consumers desire from a website. They also shared some of the challenges they have with building an engaging website, such as not enough staff or time; a lack of internal expertise in website design; and, of course, not enough money in the marketing budget.

Digital content was also a hot topic of conversation. What's the right reading level for content? How do you perform search engine optimization (SEO)? How often do you audit content? And what are the best ways to make sure content stays current and fresh?

Although all things digital were at the forefront of many attendees who came by the Coffey booth, I also had some great conversations about print. Those conversations focused on ways to prove ROI on print products through things like call-to-actions with trackable phone numbers that could connect the print product to actual patient revenue.

Kip Kelly
I had several conversations with people who are involved with health systems that had recently expanded through merger. When I asked them what was at the top of their list of marketing needs, they talked about some of the internal communication challenges they face as the result of their system's merger. One key challenge is how to target messages to the various groups within the new system—doctors, staff, department heads, etc.—so that everyone understands the direction of the organization and the goals for delivering quality care and services.

Chris Widdell
At SHSMD this year, I had a lot of interesting conversations with attendees who stopped by the Coffey booth. We talked about a variety of topics, such as the need to create engaging content, the need for a better content management system and the need for more resources.

But one topic really stood out this year: The need for good, real-time data to help make and validate marketing decisions.

Many people mentioned that they were now doing website surveys, forming focus groups and creating online communities in order to learn what consumers are saying about them and their digital presence.

The ability to gather this information in real time from actual users of a website provides marketers with valuable data for improving customer experience on their site. This data also helps them easily and intelligently explain to their C-suite why the decision was made to collect this data.

Several people I spoke with at the show gave me examples of how this data helped them make quick and meaningful changes to their website—changes that they may have never even thought of without that real-time feedback from consumers.

Sarah Swan
One of the most interesting sessions I went to was called "Driving Thought Leadership." Johnny Smith from Ascension, the nation's largest nonprofit health system, was the speaker. My main takeaway from him was the need for marketers to understand their organization's strategic direction and how best to match marketing goals with the overall goals of the organization.

Additionally, someone asked Johnny what he thought about disrupters coming into the market place, such as Walgreens and CVS, and he said he thinks we need to be thinking about how we, as health care marketers, disrupt ourselves from the same old things we've been doing. It was a smart thought and one that I think is worth exploring.

Let's talk

If you didn't get an opportunity to connect with Coffey at SHSMD, you can reach out to us with your digital or print needs. We can help you develop content to match your marketing goals that delivers proven ROI. Call us at 888.805.9101 or email us.