This year’s Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit got me thinking—a lot. But the true test of a learning experience is whether one is moved from inspiration to practice. Sharing or socializing learnings is another key indicator of value—particularly if they linger well past the event itself.
Well, here we are a couple weeks later and I’m still reflecting on the conference. I’ve unpacked a few of my favorite tips below to continue sharing. (Unpacked because that’s what people do these days instead of explain.)
Never be content.
When I first read this bullet on Stephanie Petrucci’s deck, I understood the Enterprise Social Media Manager at Cleveland Clinic’s meaning to be that content is dynamic. Therefore, it should never be in a final state. This makes sense. To remain relevant, content should flex and change with consumer wants and needs, new insights and discoveries. But what she meant was to never settle. She explained that content can always be better. Simply by adding a spoon to a bowl of oatmeal can make content work harder, she explained, generating more engagement. Pick your preferred definition. Just never be content.
It’s not about your journey.
A successful customer journey map is not about what brands want consumers to do, but rather what consumers want to do. Think outside in, rather than inside out. Build your map around patient personas with real life wants and needs that are relevant to your brand. Instead of “increase appointments,” think “I want to be healthy.” Instead of “improve provider ratings,” think “I want to be heard and confident that I’m getting the best possible care.” Nuance offers this step-by-step:
- Put on a pair of your customer’s favorite walking shoes to see your brand from their perspective.
- Look for customer pain points.
- Think of ways to remove friction and improve the experience along the way.
- Determine what customers need to connect, trust and ultimately select your brand.
Read website copy aloud.
This little nugget came from a breakout session about Google Featured Snippets, aka a brand’s SEO dream come true. To arrive at such a prominent place in search, according to co-presenters Julia Travia of Aurora Health Care and Emily Broderick of Aha Media Group, one must carefully—yet naturally—deliver content that consumers crave. It’s not enough to say the right things; you have to phrase it well. Ideally the copy should be conversational, prompted by a question and followed by a breezy, yet informative response. When in doubt, read the copy aloud. If you want to go one level higher, imagine Siri reading it to a prospect.
Trust happens when brands build both good will and credibility.
That’s why White Rhino stresses both cognitive and emotional assets along the consumer journey. Consumer emotions fluctuate between emotional and cognitive while they research and consider choices in the marketplace. An emotional appeal may be appropriate during an introductory phase while a rational appeal may be more effective as they move from interest to consideration. For example, a joint replacement prospect may be attracted to a brand because of heartwarming patient stories. She digs deeper when contemplating her own surgery, looking for assets that speak to treatments, trials, research and breakthroughs.
From a melting pot to tossed salad.
Keynote Kelly McDonald closed the general session with tips on Marketing to People Not Like You: The New Market Segmentation Her presentation was a good general marketing refresher (mind your FAB—features, attributes and benefits, lean into goodwill, personalize, limit options, and more), but what I most appreciated was her cultural analogy. Gone are the 20s when immigrants were expected to assimilate and conform. When everyone was expected to look alike aspire to the same American Dream. Today, America is more like a tossed salad, McDonald said. The tomatoes look nothing like the romaine, the peppers look nothing like the cucumbers, but no one expects or wants them to. Instead they’re respected for their individuality, their unique flavor.
Want more benefits of attending a conference without actually attending a conference? Check out 6 insights marketers should know from Iconosphere 2018.