Healthcare marketing to champion Michigan hospitals.

Concerned about the state of affairs for healthcare reform? Wondering how it's all going to shake out, but feeling helpless and unsure how to get involved? Our client, Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), gets it — and has just the answer for you. It's called "MiCare Champions." This is the network of citizens they developed to engage in advocacy efforts to protect affordable healthcare in Michigan. Our job was to develop a public advocacy campaign to build this network.

Where did we start? Market research, of course. With stakeholders, healthcare leaders, and consumers from Detroit to Marquette. Teledepth surveys and on-line focus groups, including remote UP participants, gave us a range of perspectives to fuel the quantitative piece – an online consumer survey.

Next, we developed a "Healing Hands" campaign, targeted to the 228,000 MI healthcare workers, as well as concerned citizens and female healthcare decisionmakers. The emotionally gripping, feel-good video features real doctors, nurses and healthcare workers and is based upon an appealing message which surfaced via the research: Michigan hospitals help people in sickness and in health, and not always in the hospital.

Many of us don't realize the amazing ways our hospitals are reaching beyond their walls to build healthier communities across the state. From violence intervention programs in Detroit, to adaptive sporting equipment for the disabled in Grand Rapids, to fundraising for travel and lodging expenses for cancer patients in St. Ignace, the video and eblasts focus upon these stories. MHA further pushed out the message via social, digital and PR.

The results? Within only 2 months of launch, the video has been viewed in its entirety 34,000 times. There have been more than 7,800 visits to MiCareMatters.org. And most importantly, there's now a group of close to 300 MiCare Champions (and growing), ready for quick activation when needed. Are you interested in joining this empowered group? Learn more and sign up at MiCareMatters.org.

Looking for more healthcare news, insights and best practices? Subscribe to our Healthcare Checkup.

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Healthcare Checkup - October 2017

HCIC was a definite highlight this month with the newest digital and Internet developments – see our take. Plus, lots of other happenings and trends for you from DNA kits to virtual reality marketing to the opioid addiction public health emergency.

VITAMIN B & P

Top 11 takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference. Couldn't take yourself away for the HCIC this year? Here's our take on enlightening nuggets across web, CRM, SEO, digital and content marketing, including some useful, “nuts and bolts” tips. 

At home DNA kits help consumers take control of their health. By the year 2020, the world's consumer genetic testing market will reach $340 million. This includes 23andMe's personal  genetic  testing kits for 10 diseases. Find out what this means for the future of the healthcare industry.

How dentists can build business with content, counsel. Responsible for oral care marketing? Learn several opportunities along the consumer's dental journey to attract and convert new patients with an expertise positioning.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract millennials. Virtual reality (VR) is popping up across markets from healthcare to travel. Now it's creeping into nightlife as clubs and bars attempt to attract a waning Millennial market. Are you ready to try it?

Gen We expects more from brands on social media. Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL. See how smart brands respect the social code.

INDUSTRY PULSE

Stem the Tide: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic. The AHA released a toolkit that provides guidance, information, and case examples to assist members in tackling the Opioid crisis. Quite pertinent with the recent Trump administration declaration of opioid addiction a public health emergency.

CVS reportedly offers over $66B to acquire Aetna. What do the experts think that means to the healthcare industry and growing retail component?

MONTHLY DOSE.

Looking to market to all generations but don't have the budget? Not a problem. There's one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

Top 11 takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference

Top 11 takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference

Austin was the place and healthcare digital transformation was the case. Presenters enlightened us with case studies across web, CRM, digital marketing, SEO, and content marketing, including some juicy "nuts & bolts" tips.If you weren't able to take yourself away for the 21st Annual HCIC, here's our take on the top 11 takeaways:

  1. Redesign your website with a "Patient-First" mentality. This includes headings, page titles, and all content. Jerry Griffin, Penn State Health Director of Web & Digital Services, explained their web redesign involving a 66 percent reduction of 200 links on the home page, elimination of content redundancy and consolidation of content around 70 key condition hubs. I liked Jerry's "garden hose" analogy – it provides one powerful source until you put your fingers over the water stream, thus fragmenting the flow. I also liked his comparison to buying a house. "You go in with parameters to buy a house that will have good resale, good schools, and that you can grow old in. But you end up with the house you fall in love with. It's the same with hospitals. People have to have an emotional connection with the hospital and it has to feel right."
  2. "Mobile-First" web mentality is also key. We are all more comfortable testing website design in a desktop format, but it's critical to test your new website in a mobile format. If you are not conducting your studies in person, send a URL to participants so they can evaluate within an actual mobile device.
  3. Don't be afraid to use guerilla web usability studies. Penn State pulled people waiting for loved ones in the surgical suite waiting room for wireframe studies, finding they appreciated the distraction and  the $20 Starbucks gift card. Since six people can determine 85 percent of results, starting with a small sample is a good idea.
  4. The concept of "digital marketing" should be dead. So says keynote speaker, John Matson, Cleveland Clinical CMO. Why? Because it's intrinsic. Virtually everything has a digital application. With a departmental mantra of "Digital. Mobile. Measurable." and a 75 percent digital paid media budget, he only hires digital marketers who embrace analytics. And as a "digital publisher," he also puts adequate money behind creating scale. Because what's the sense of creating  so much content and not push it out for people to read?
  5. Stop random acts of content. Rather, we need to "repurpose and reimagine," espouses keynote speaker, Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert. How? Nielsen research shows  we trust each other far more than we trust companies and organizations so REAL people are the most effective messengers. We need to get off the unsustainable hamster wheel of content creation and get EGC (employee generated content). Your endocrinologist doesn't have time to blog?  Ask him a question, press start on your phone and repackage the raw content. Or just ask him to leave you a voice mail and create a podcast. With consumers visiting 38 percent fewer websites per month than 2010, your website is less important.  Hence, you must become an "Everywhere Brand," spending to promote your "greatest hits" (best content) and pulling people to your site.
  6. Live by the Golden Gate Rule with your website. Translation from Clarisa Gerlach- Purks, Web Content Administrator of Moffitt Cancer Center: Once the entire Golden Gate Bridge is done being painted, it's time to begin again. And it's exactly the same way with your website. (Unfortunately!)
  7. Don't wait for the stars to align to get patients to interact with your patient portal. In order to get those meaningful use dollars, segment the target audience from nonusers to enrolled but not using to active users, and use your CRM for variable messaging to increase usage. This wisdom spoken by Judy Winkler, strategic marketing director of OSF HealthCare, who was rewarded with positive usage results.(Another presenter mentioned the importance of putting the Patient Portal button right next to the Search button on your website, to reduce his highest Search term of "Patient Portal.")
  8. Pick a CRM partner you are in love with as you will be working together for three years. Words of advice from Laura Lea Jones, CEO of LionShare, Inc. If you ‘re having trouble getting your CRM up and running, you're not alone.  The panel of experts from Healthgrades, LionShare Inc., Evariant, Influence Health, and Tea Leaves Health concur on critical success factors: An aligned culture of Marketing, IT and Finance working together; Baby steps – getting a few campaigns going before complex programming; Budget to run campaigns; Attention to fixing your call center as a first impression response; Coaching from your CRM vendor; Decision if you will be using a self-service vs. full service model. As one stated, "CRM is a very expensive engine. You need someone to put it in your car. Once it's installed, you need to decide how you will make your race car go. Will you be driving or hiring a chauffeur and be in the passenger seat?"
  9. A brand is no longer what you tell your consumers you are. It's what they tell each other you are. Keynote speaker, Larry Bailin, CEO of Single Throw, emphasized the importance of thinking like an innovator. Who would have imagined Amazon's autonomous drone package delivery or the Seattle Amazon go grocery store with "just walk out technology" (that means no need to check out since billing happens thru your app)? How do we take this mentality to healthcare?  Using virtual reality of an MRI experience in children's hospitals to reassure kids before their procedure is one example.
  10. The Human-Computer Interaction Lab at University of Maryland knows a lot more about us than we may want them to. director and keynote speaker, Jennifer Golbeck, Ph.D., explained how algorithms and artificial intelligence are predicting things in our future – including our health, happiness and love life – with startling accuracy. For instance, identifying people who will have heart disease and obesity risk by looking at their social media circles. And don't forget the recent murder trial that used FitBit data as evidence.  Healthcare marketers need to start thinking now about ways to balance available personal data with reputational harm.
  11. Last but not least -- throwable microphone boxes! Called Catchbox, they certainly made a long day of sitting more engaging and entertaining as presenters threw the microphone box to audience members with questions.

Looking for more healthcare news, insights and best practices? Subscribe to our Healthcare Checkup.

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Virtual reality (VR) is popping up across markets from healthcare to travel. Now it’s creeping into nightlife as clubs and bars attempt to attract a waning Millennial market.

The VR tactics are varied, from VR gaming in a bar setting to part of the drinking experience itself. The MGM Grand offers an immersive VR gaming course at its Level Up bar. Powered by Zero Latency, up to eight players are transported simultaneously to an immersive universe at an epic scale where “exciting, social adventures await.” Players compete and fight the undead and killer robots over topsy turvey pathways.

Bacardi and Virgin Atlantic collaborated to create an “Immersive Digital 360 Drinks Experience” at Virgin Clubhouses. Users are invited to visit premier bars around the world while waiting for a flight.  Imagine ordering a fennel cocktail at La Guardia, putting on a pair of VR goggles and watching a mixologist at the Walker Inn in Los Angeles mix it up. By the time your two-minute VR experience concludes, your trendy drink is waiting for you IRL.

Brooklyn is also on top of the trend with a VR arcade, appropriately named VRBAR. This venue seems to focus more on the number of different gaming journeys one can take and less on the drinking aspect. VRBAR offers over 15 different experiences, from painting a masterpiece to climbing Mount Everest.

Brogan & Partners recently produced a VR spot for our client, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning targeted at the nightlife inclined. The short film encourages people to “Do a 360” before heading out, using designated drivers, rideshares and other safe options to drink responsibly.

The interactive video can be found at www.michigan.gov/360.

“The Office of Highway Safety Planning works hard to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to communicating about how we can reduce drunk driving by encouraging people, especially young adults, to make a plan to get home safely,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “By asking people to ‘Do a 360’ we hope to bring a unique perspective to the issue of drunk driving and encourage people to make the right decision by finding a safe ride home.”

VR is an experience. It can help take your brand story or campaign to a new level, adding emotional depth and increased consumer motivation. It has tremendous possibility across many markets. Where will it take your brand?

Weekly Recap - October 6, 2017

Instagram for the win, again. Here’s why your brand should be using the app. Giant balloon dogs and more. Snapchat continues to ramp up its AR efforts. Avoid a 25 minute advertisement. Brands navigate producing podcasts without overdoing the self-promotion. Marketing to Millennials? It’s no secret that Millennials love Facebook and Netflix, but some other names on this list may surprise you.

DETAILS, Please

80 percent of Instagram users voluntarily connect with a brand on the platform. Instagram wants to bring users closer to the things that matter to them. Check out how the social media giant has redefined what brands’ relationships with consumers look like.

Snapchat and artist Jeff Koons create augmented reality lenses. Building on the success of the app’s dancing hot dog, Snapchat wants to inspire young people everywhere to create with their cameras. Warner Bros. and Bud Light are the first brands to join the fun.

Blue Apron launches its own podcast. While building a lifestyle brand, Blue Apron sees the podcast as a way to deepen its relationship with customers. Microsoft, eBay and Tinder have already created their own content in this arena.

Top 10 Millennial brands of 2017. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Millennials want convenience and value from brands. Check out which brands are delivering just that.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Gen We expects more from brands on social media. Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Gen We expects more from brands on social media.

Like older cohorts Gen We is active on social media, but they have higher expectations for brands in the digital space.

Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.  

Brands that miss this important new social reality risk becoming obsolete. Smart brands respect the social code and open up better ways to connect with Gen We, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

So, what makes Gen We consumers so different than Millennials when it comes to social media?

Well, Millennial teens grew up with Myspace and Facebook, with 55 percent adopting social media in 2007 (Pew, 2007). They shared personal stats and details, poked, and followed friends via news feed. They used bumper stickers and liked for hours. The focus was show and tell.

Meanwhile, Gen We teens had Facebook AND Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter, too—unique channels to share activities, thoughts, emotions and aspirations. They weren’t limited by a single reaction. To add color and depth to their content, they used video, memes, filters and tags. When they share, they’re starting a conversation and expect feedback, a dialog.

Per CEB Iconoculture, if the Millennial teen online presence was a profile—a static, one-to-many style of self-presentation—then Gen We teens’ online presence is a persona—a dynamic self-presentation emerging from the combination of the one-to-many (proactive) posts they create and their reactive posts (the likes, comments and reactions) they share in response to their friends’ posts.

It’s a popular forum for the cohort, much more so than Millennial teens. In 2015, Pew estimated 76 percent of Gen We teens were using social media and more than 70 percent cross platforms.

Prepare your social media for Gen We.

In order to connect to Gen We via social media, brands should continue posting quality proactive posts, but add reactive posts to the mix. Follow your followers, reacting to relevant posts on their pages and participate in real conversations.

Facebook facilitates this kind of communication by posting “likes” and comments that friends make on other pages. In doing so, Facebook elevates the users’ comments and provokes reaction and continued conversation. Instagram now uses an algorithm similar to Facebook’s. In order to determine which posts might be the most relevant to users, reactive posts are used to boost the audience for a given proactive post.

Taco Bell’s burrito hostage situation on Instagram playfully demanded “likes” to keep a popular burrito on the menu, eliciting many reactive posts. In keeping with proper etiquette, Taco Bell promptly responded to consumers’ cries of delight and distress alike.

Want more on Gen We? Here are 5 things you need to know.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.
Spot the Brogan & Partners team member among the volunteers at this year’s Muir Valley Trial Days in Kentucky.

My job recently took me to Slade, Kentucky, home of Muir Valley—a nonprofit nature preserve in the Red River Gorge.

The Valley is a rock climber’s paradise, featuring 360 acres and seven miles of Corbin Sandstone cliffs with traditional and sport climbs that run 20- to over 200-feet-tall. Climbers trek here from all over the U.S. to discover more than 400 routes amid classic crags like Bruise Brothers, Midnight Surf and Land Before Time.

Here it’s not just the destination. The journey is equally spectacular, lined with oak, hickory, sugar maple and hemlock trees. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and bigleaf magnolias stretch and hover thick across the valley floor. Trails twist and climb, presenting waterfalls, caves and mountain streams.

This is a marketer’s dream. The creative brief would practically write itself. The Brogan Team would have a field day promoting this place.

But I didn’t go to Muir Valley to pitch business. There would be no campaign. Brogan sent me here simply to do good.

Like many progressive companies, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to contribute back to the community. We’re paid for a volunteer day annually and rewarded for sharing our time and talents to serve on nonprofit boards and committees. The agency partners with several nonprofits throughout the year, providing significant pro bono work and raising money for organizations like Game on Cancer.

Why doing good leads to great.

My volunteer day brought me to Muir Valley because it’s given my family so much. It’s where my son, Nick, travels with his rock climbing team in the summer. It’s where my daughter, Sofia, reads in peace and finds inspiration for short stories. It’s where we road trip on long weekends, catching up on the six-hour trip along I-75 and winding down in the hills of Kentucky.

At the very least, we owed Muir Valley a day’s work.

We joined 100 other outdoor enthusiasts to groom trails, build benches and bridges, paint outhouses and secure routes and belay areas. We met lots of new people. People just like us who had come to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from far flung places like Brooklyn, N.Y. and Muncie, Indiana. And people who call the Valley home and volunteer regularly to ensure its integrity for generations.

We worked alongside Mike, a volunteer search and rescue team member at Muir Valley and longtime climber. Under his supervision, we pick axed, shoveled, dug and scraped post holes for new benches in the training area.

This was unfamiliar work for my family. We hiked to the job site with tools and relay teamed the building materials to the site. We learned how to use a green bar to break up a rock bed and how to secure a post by compacting soil, layer by layer, with a sledge hammer. We learned how to be flexible when nature proved otherwise.

It was hard work. By the end of the day we were exhausted and achy. But we felt amazing.

Volunteering is good business.

Volunteerism is good for the workplace, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey. It can boost morale, atmosphere and brand perception. It can make Millennial employees more proud, loyal and satisfied, and attract Gen Y talent. Survey results found that nearly two-thirds of Gen Y employees surveyed prefer companies that let them volunteer their skills.

These benefits span all generational cohorts, per the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) research. According to CTI data, older generations feel it is important to give back to their community or wider world through their workplace. This is true for 91 percent of Gen X women and 76 percent of Gen X men, and 90 percent of female and 79 percent of male Baby Boomers.

At Brogan, volunteerism contributes directly to our agency mission: creating an inspiring workplace and culture. I may have built benches in Kentucky but I came back to Brogan with so much more. Mission accomplished.

Want to learn more about what makes Brogan & Partners unique? Learn more.

Emojis are not for every brand. Here's why.

Emojis are taking over e-mail subject lines everywhere. 

A study by Appboy finds that the volume of “active customer messaging campaigns that include emojis” grew by 609 percent in just one year (June 2015-June 2016).

And why not? Most people like emojis, according to the same research. Sixty-four percent said they like or even love emojis. But that doesn’t translate into liking/loving the brands that apply emojis liberally.

Of the 540 participants in the Appboy survey, 39 percent said brands that use emojis are fun; another 13 percent said the brands are relatable. The balance, however, found messages with emojis to be at best “normal” and at worst “childish” or “inappropriate.”

This tracks with research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science that considered how consumers react to a smiling face versus a smiley face.  What they found should give you pause before punctuating your next email campaign with an emoji.

Researchers discovered that people who smile are perceived as more competent than those who wear a neutral face—whether live and in person, or in a photo. But people who use smiley emojis are seen as less competent. 

This is especially true for work-related e-mails.

"The study also found when the participants were asked to respond to e-mails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the e-mail did not include a smiley,” said lead author Ella Glikson. "We found that the perceptions of low competence if a smiley is included in turn undermined information sharing" (Telegraph.co.uk, Aug. 14, 2017).

So, when is it okay for a brand to use an emoji?

Emojis aren’t made to be taken seriously. The Appboy study said as much (39 percent of respondents said brands that use them are “fun”). So, if you’re a light-hearted brand, say in the food and beverage business, travel and tourism or entertainment industry, an emoji may be just the right amount of cowbell for your campaign.

Some channels are more emoji worthy, according to the Appboy research. Survey participants were most open to receiving brand messages with emojis via text message (37 percent) or social media (28 percent) rather than through messaging apps, email or push notifications. Consider this sweet tweet from Baskin-Robbins. Now that’s fun.

Skinny websites, snackable content and more from Digital Summit Detroit.

Digital Summit Detroit 2017 delivered. In less than two days, the conference covered all means of email, content, website and mobile trends. Lots for marketers to consider and capitalize upon. A few highlights we just had to share. 

Skinny websites are in season. 

Mobile usage trends prompted responsive design, with websites being crafted to render properly across all screen sizes. It has greatly improved the mobile user experience. Instead of requiring mobile users to scroll across inches of a site from a palm-sized screen, responsive sites scale purposefully, with tools like hamburger menus to facilitate the mobile experience.  

Still, mobile users want more, according to Erik Runyon, Technical Director at the University of Notre Dame. Runyon presented a breakout session called “Improving Web Performance in a Mobile World.”

In short, they want sites to load faster. Streaming delays are stressing them out—literally.

To illustrate his point, Runyon shared a neuroscience study by Ericsson Consumer Lab that measured user reactions to network performance. The study showed that delays in loading web pages and videos lead to increased heart rates and stress levels. On average, heart rates increase 38 percent with mobile delays. Oh, and the related stress? The subjects exhibited stress levels akin to watching a horror flick or solving a math problem.

And who gets the blame? The longer the delay, the more likely it is that some of the blame will be transferred from mobile service provider to content provider. In fact, a significant delay may even drive a user to a competitor content provider.

Performance matters. Take that to your design teams, Runyon suggests. Lead and live with performance. His advice:

  1. Performance has to be part of the culture.
  2. Performance should be part of concept and design.
  3. Give your team time to focus on performance.
  4. Implement a performance budget (think ongoing maintenance and upkeep).
  5. Get competitive.

Runyon pointed to thin.npr.org and cnn.lite as examples of brands adhering to these guidelines. Both use Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to cut load time and enable mobiles users to get what they need without the wait.

Why your emails aren’t engaging or converting.

Email was a big focus of the conference, and rightly so. Every brand is doing it but only one in five emails is reaching the inbox, according to Casey Swanton of Return Path. Swanton packed a lot into her 30-minute session “Email Reimagined.”

Just like search engines want users to get the best result, mailbox writers want users to get the best mail, Swanton said. That means screening for credibility, interest and security. In-box placement is determined by sending ID (IP address, sending domain, authentication, etc.), and reputation (complaints, list quality, infrastructure, length of sending history, subscriber engagement, etc.).

“Mailbox writers care about the user experience within their space,” Swanton said. So they look for things like whether the message has been read, forwarded or replied to, marked as SPAM or deleted before reading.  Gmail is leading the industry toward better performance, Swanton said.  So, if you’re having problems with Gmail deliveries, it’s probably because that audience isn’t opening your mail.

“Relative engagement is key,” Swanton said. “Subscribers that are highly engaged with the sender are going to see that sender in their inbox at a much higher rate.  Less than 50 percent of messages are placed in email if the recipient isn’t engaged.”

She suggests these three tips to improve your Gmail results:

  1. Focus on sending to the most active subscribers first to establish a pattern of engagement to boost performance.
  2. Suppress known dead addresses. Pushing email to known inactive addresses will only hurt your engagement rate, and therefore your credibility and ultimate inbox deliverability.
  3. Don’t measure success on the size of your list. Between 50-80 percent of email is based on the quality of your list.

Work content harder.

Great content is a great brand asset. It attracts, engages and provokes action. So, work it hard, says Ursula Ringham of SAP, Inc., in a session called “Capture Your Buyer’s Attention with Innovative Content on a Community Platform.”

A video is more than a video, Ingham illustrated. It can be recast in blog, social and podcast formats. It can be worked internally to elevate employees to brand evangelists. Together, this content can be the beginning of a beautiful community platform.

Snackable assets are the new content.

Nearly every presenter talked about snackable assets. As in, “You do know what snackable assets are, right?” asked a marketer presenting on the topic of email hacks.  “Snackable assets can be used to fuel the consumer journey,” said a presenter on the subject of content marketing. “These snackable assets can also convert,” promised another expert on lead nurturing.

So if you’re tired of using the term content, use snackable asset. It’s applicable to everything from infographics to video, charts to listicles. Maybe even whitepapers, in so long as they’re not terribly filling. Think bite-sized for peckish consumers.

Healthcare Checkup - September 2017

Highlights here on how Hurricane Harvey is bringing out the best in healthcare workers, brands and doctors. Plus new healthcare social media insights, Ad Block strategies, and telltale signs of website demise.

VITAMIN B&P.

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips. Are you working in the world of healthcare social media? Here’s the perfect prescription for your digital properties. Just scan these six insights.  

5 doc training tips on patient-centered care. Did you know doctors wait an average of only 18 seconds before interrupting patients? Learn tips on understanding their mindset, physician empathy training and more to improve patient experience.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS.

Why the worst disasters can bring out the best in brands. While SE Texas begins its long recovery from hurricane devastation, one furniture store has transformed two of its locations into temporary housing for victims. Brands big and small can excel in a crisis, adding depth to consumer relationships.

Ad Block isn’t as scary as you think. Truth is, it’s manageable and even beneficial for marketers and consumers alike.

8 signs your website is past its prime. Time is not kind to websites. In the course of a year or even months, a high performing site can be dealt brutal blows that negatively impact results. Take a hard look at your site for telltale signs of aging.

INDUSTRY PULSE.

Hurricane Harvey and how you can help. Special message from AHA President & CEO Rick Pollack on the around-the-clock response of hospitals and health systems.

5 ways virtual doctors can help during a natural disaster. Harvey puts the importance of telemedicine in a whole new light. See it from the eyes of this Houston virtual medical physician determined to help the stranded.

Less than 1 in 10 healthcare organizations treat consumer expectation as a “high priority.” New Kaufman Hall study points to five key insights around healthcare consumer-based strategies.

MONTHLY DOSE.

Looking to market to all generations but don’t have the budget? Not a problem. There’s one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

5 doc training tips on patient-centered care.

5 doc training tips on patient-centered care.

In the world of healthcare marketing, we all know that doctors are an important part of the market mix. But while your Patient Experience Department is all abuzz about patient-centered care and improved patient experience, are your doctors on board with that? Here are some quick tips on preparing your doctors for a patient-centered mindset.

Understand their mindset.

Doctors can be a tough audience, so first it’s vital to understand where they’re coming from. Throughout the ten to twelve years of schooling it takes to become an MD or DO, many med students are told the same thing: make a decision, it’s all on you. They are trained to be the sole decider in actual life-or-death situations, and they often block their emotions in order to get the job done. This mentality creates doctors that are confident leaders, but not always team players. Thankfully, there are now programs that are can be of immense help.

Promote empathy training.

On average, doctors wait just 18 seconds before interrupting patients’ narratives of their symptoms. Another study discovered that in over 60 percent of cases, patients misunderstood directions after a visit to their doctor’s office. Empathy training is a golden opportunity to improve doctor-patient relationships and patient ratings. While sympathy is defined as feeling sorry for someone, empathy is the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand them.

Geritalk, designed specifically for physicians who care for older adults with life-limiting illness, and Oncotalk, designed to help oncologists tackle difficult conversations, are two such breakthrough programs. As one physician explains, “Oncologists don’t truly lack empathy. What physicians may lack are skills that impart the true empathy they have-skills that can be learned and practiced…”

This knowledge is beginning to become embedded in a doctor’s training. As of 2015, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) contains questions on human behavior and psychology. Empathy courses are beginning to be offered in medical school and patient satisfaction scores are now being used to calculate Medicare reimbursement. This boost in empathy is shown to boost patient reviews, gain patient trust, decrease physician burnout and lower the rist of malpractice.

Know the power of listening.

While a cardiologist knows a myriad of information on heart disease, it’s impossible to recap all that information to her patients in one checkup.

Perhaps a patient is at risk for heart disease, like hypertension or a stroke. That’s scary stuff. And patients may not even be able to process medical information if they’re thinking about their own safety, or how this would affect their family. The patient doesn’t need to listen better, the doctor does. Part of modern training includes allowing the patient to speak for at least two minutes, uninterrupted.

Redefine the doctor-patient relationship.

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) did a study that found that out of 22 healthcare delivery attributes, at the top of the list for both patients and doctors was the doctor-patient relationship. These were closely followed by evidence-based medicine and care coordination. What does the doctor-patient relationship look like? Patients want doctors that care about them.

Henry Ford’s All For You branding does just that— create a mentality that healthcare is all for the individual patient. Rather than featuring doctors and high tech equipment, content is focused on everyday patient stories, based upon the uniqueness of each person.

Be respectful.

Both marketers and doctors have done extensive research in their field. It’s important to respect each other’s thoughts and preferences. What doesn’t violate HIPAA may violate copright law, Marketing 101, or vice versa. Remember not only to listen to patients, but to each other. This level-headedness and empathy for each other will result in the best marketing outcome.

We don’t skip a beat. For more on healthcare, subscribe to the Brogan Healthcare Checkup.

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips.

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips.

Across every industry, social media is different – and it’s always changing. Content that works well for a financial services brand? It might not perform for a hospital. And over time, it might not perform at all. That’s why it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s happening now, and what’s expected to happen next.

Are you working in the world of healthcare social media? We’ve got the perfect prescription for your digital properties. Just scan these six insights, then get some quick tips to implement. 

  1. Social can give a skewed picture to hopeful patients. Since its inception, social media has been a way for people to share their experiences and connect with those who have similar stories. For people with health issues, social media has also become a way to find solidarity—talking openly about physicians, conditions, symptoms and treatments. However, as patients turn to friends in these virtual communities, they’re often left with a sense of false hope. Because due to social media’s unregulated nature, many unverified and overly optimistic comments are made. And if it’s a solution that doesn’t work for someone, it can lead to disappointment, frustration and even bad decision-making.
    • Tip: Knowing this information, be cautious of what your brand posts to social media. Things like DIY treatments, news of new drugs and miraculous recovery stories could deflate your fans’ morale. Before you post anything, make sure you research the source, question the credibility and consult one of your healthcare experts.
       
  2. YouTube is the place for videos both fun and fundamental. Believe it or not, YouTube is now the second-largest search engine, and it’s second only to Google. Every day, people watch this channel for hundreds of millions of hours, and together, they generate billions of views. When it comes specifically to the healthcare industry, short videos are a strong concept, and they’re one of the fastest growing. Information offered in a quick snippet makes for a piece of content that’s engaging, educational and easy to share.
    • Tip: Consider a video series that can live on YouTube and be shared across other social media channels. Or, if you don’t have the resources for it, consider advertising on YouTube with video assets you already have.  
       
  3. The best employees are becoming brand advocates. No matter their role, whether house keeper or heart surgeon, every employee has the power to push your brand forward. By simply sharing a Facebook post or pressing retweet, they can help increase awareness, expand your reach and maximize your impact.
    • Tip: Encourage or incentivize employees to share your content on their social media. But just remember: You can’t force an advocacy program. Employees need to feel comfortable with their involvement, and they’ll want to make sure the content aligns with their audience. If an advocacy program is something you’re interested in pursuing, try starting with a social media guide to help employees understand what you do on each channel and how they can help. If you want to take it one step further, there’s software that can streamline the process—like Hootsuite Amplify.
       
  4. Show, don’t tell. For so long, social media was a resource to spread the word about events and experiences. But with so many advancements, it’s now a place where you can make people a part of them—even when they’re not physically there. Through 360° photos and videos, and even live video, brands can create a virtual reality for fans.
    • Tip: The next time you have a major event on the calendar, consider some social media support. Not only can you promote in advance to increase the number of people in attendance. You can also include an asset that will make others feel like they’re really there.   
       
  5. Consumers want content that’s beautiful by nature. According to Forbes, practical posts get a lot of attention. Emotional posts have a greater likelihood of going viral. But it’s the inspirational and imaginative posts that are the strongest candidates for social media success.
    • Tip: Consider a few pieces of content without any kind of company positioning. Try a few posts that are artistic and aesthetically-pleasing, with beautiful images or sentiments.
       
  6. Investments will generate impressions. Today, less than 1 percent of your Facebook fans will see the content you post, and Facebook isn’t the only channel where this is an issue. Algorithm updates are constantly reducing your reach, and even when a post makes it to a feed, it’s competing with other clutter.
    • Tip: The best way to break through and beat the algorithm is to build a social media budget. Every channel has its own ad units to choose from, and you can decide how much you’re willing to invest. Obviously, the more money you’re able to put behind a paid post, the more impressions you’ll earn. And along with impressions, you’ll also get detailed insights so you can easily analyze your ad’s performance. 

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