The Coffey Blog

SHSMD Connections 2015: Top takeaways

Posted on: Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We're feeling inspired and energized after the 2015 SHSMD Connections conference. Coffey attendees came away with great insights and new ideas after more than 3 days of in-depth sessions on the state of healthcare marketing.

Here are 3 conference takeaways that we felt were especially important for those of us who work in healthcare marketing:

1. Storytelling is more than just a buzzword

In an industry where robotic equipment sometimes leads promotional campaigns, we need to get back to the heart of why we do what we do every day. Ask yourself, "What's our bigger purpose?" Tell stories from that place, instead of talking about your latest equipment investment. This will help you create an emotional connection that’s worthy of your audience's time.

Consider your audience and the best communication channels for reaching them. Pique their curiosity by shifting your approach. For example, check out The Truth Initiative campaign aimed at ending smoking. The campaign uses celebrities, videos and various communication channels to help it connect emotionally with teens.

Looking for more storytelling tips? Check out our 2-part blog series on interviewing patients and interviewing doctors.

2. Opportunities to use data abound

If you're a baseball fan, you know all about Billy Beane and "Moneyball." As one SHSMD presenter pointed out, we have the same opportunities in healthcare. The industry simply needs more data analysts to translate numbers into plain English to help us make more effective decisions.

If you don't already have a data strategy in place, begin by gathering the right internal decision makers to formulate a plan. Mining the right data is key, so you’ll need a solid objective before you get started.

Data-driven marketing sets the stage for effective marketing strategies. The results of this type of approach were shared by Texas Health Physicians Group. By deciding what data they wanted to capture, who their best customers were and where they could connect with those customers, this organization was able to answer questions about how to best allocate their marketing budget across 250 clinics.

3. Follow the patient's journey across all channels

As rising consumerism changes the healthcare landscape, hospitals must consider the complete journey a patient takes when interacting with their brand and make sure that the messaging is consistent across each touchpoint.

Saint Thomas Health's lung cancer campaign is a good example of coordinating across a wide range of channels. The campaign incorporated SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), banner ads, social media, email, direct mail and more. By measuring response rates on each channel and adjusting after completing A/B testing, Saint Thomas gained valuable insights into the population that most needed lung cancer screenings. As a result, they were able to do more than just market—they built relationships with healthcare consumers that resulted in great respect and trust in their health system.

Putting this advice to work in your healthcare marketing

Want to hear more about any of these topics or how they apply to healthcare marketing? Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.

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