Choosing the Best CMS for Healthcare Marketers

The following is a guest blog post by Eric Martin, Vice President of Web Solutions at Influence Health.

As healthcare provider organizations quickly transition to more retail-like businesses, marketing leaders are under pressure to create seamless, personalized multichannel consumer experiences – spanning responsive websites, mobile apps, social channels and other digital touchpoints. To achieve this, marketers need to be honest in their assessment of the capabilities of their current content management system.

Traditional web content management systems (WCMS) lack intelligent solutions for sharing content across channels and devices, limit design choices and make it difficult for marketers to tailor their messages to individual consumer preferences. Contemporary decoupled content management systems, on the other hand, allow content to be created, stored and managed in a dedicated environment, independent of where it may ultimately be published. This creates unlimited design freedom, while standards-based APIs make it easy to integrate the CMS with other marketing systems.

In order to completely own the front-end presentation and consumer experience that today’s healthcare landscape demands, healthcare marketers need to pursue a decoupled CMS solution that provides their teams with the following five must haves.

  1. CONTENT MANAGEMENT AND PUBLISHING

The first step in evaluating a CMS platform is to ensure marketers and content editors find the solution’s content authoring, editing and publishing interface intuitive, helpful and highly efficient. If non-technical users can’t create and publish original content independently, in minutes without HTML, marketing leaders should move on. An elegant inline editing feature to help users visualize how content appears in the mobile or desktop environment should also be included. Finally, marketers should be able to create custom content approval and publishing workflows that go through the stages of ideation, authoring, editing and publishing very rapidly, without any IT intervention, to a variety of devices and channels including web, mobile apps, and digital displays.

  1. DIGITAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

In today’s dynamic digital environment, content is being displayed and published to more devices and across more systems than ever before. In fact, every minute Google receives over 4 million search queries, blog writers publish 1,400 new posts and Facebook users share over 2.4 million pieces of content. This puts healthcare marketers under huge pressure to produce more and more content to a consistently high standard. Therefore, they need a system that automates key content governance processes, making identifying and fixing errors and inconsistencies simple for content authors and editors.

When vetting a solution, marketing leaders should ask if validation rules and tooltips are built directly into the authoring experience. This ensures content is compliant with standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 accessibility requirements, as well as SEO and mobile best practices and the organization’s own brand standards. Strong preference should be given to a system that notifies users of misspelled words, broken links, or forbidden terms, before and after the content is published. By ensuring that these post-publishing auditing capabilities and workflow tools are included in the digital quality management system, users can identify and correct errors and quickly find instances of outdated content that need to be updated or removed.

  1. DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT

As digital marketing teams work feverishly to feed each consumer’s ravenous appetite for digital content, a CMS solution with an integrated Digital Asset Management is now a necessity. This ‘must have’ helps teams maintain brand consistency by streamlining
and simplifying the way they manage digital assets in a central, secure way across the enterprise. This feature should track and organize digital assets with native platform integration to best-of-breed data and content sources where image files, audio and video are stored. It should also allow users to filter and classify digital assets by tagging attributes such as file type and meta-data tags (e.g. “Ortho photos”) or by creating named collections (e.g. “Oct. 16 breast cancer awareness campaign”). Further, based on their permissions, teams should be able to browse, search, move and manipulate assets across the entire digital experience portfolio from a single interface – eliminating asset redundancy.

  1. HEALTHCARE CONTENT AND INTERACTIONS

Great digital experiences enable consumers to quickly find information related to products and services and make it easy for them to complete their desired transaction. In healthcare, that means finding a physician that matches exact criteria, scheduling an appointment, getting driving directions or a phone number for a preferred location, registering for classes or events, applying for a clinical trial, and so on, easily! If not, today’s consumers are just as likely to switch providers as they are hotels.

Healthcare marketers therefore, need to seek a CMS solution that contains a robust set of healthcare-specific applications that will allow these user experience requirements to be fulfilled without expensive, time-consuming custom development. They should also ensure these solutions integrate with third-party data sources, such as physician credentialing systems and contact center applications, and are built to allow marketers, not developers, to modify the front-end presentation.

  1. DASHBOARDS AND ANALYTICS

Subtle adjustments to an organization’s content and conversion strategy can make all the difference in marketing performance. Healthcare organizations need to implement a CMS platform that displays key analytics in the same interface where their users manage content, to ensure that important insights are always front and center. They should also confirm that a solution integrates with all major analytics platforms and allows their team members to measure site traffic, A/B test results and social engagement in real-time. Further, dashboards, reports and widgets need to be fully customizable to meet each team member’s unique needs.

Ultimately, by selecting a decoupled content management system designed for healthcare, marketers are equipped with the ability to test new campaign ideas, experiment with new delivery methods such as mobile, and nimbly respond to changes and challenges in the marketplace without requiring IT handholding at each step.

Patient Marketing – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

While all of our past #HITMC Twitter chats have been around some form of healthcare B2B marketing and PR, we decided for this month’s chat to expand our horizons a bit and talk about patient marketing. Dare we say, healthcare B2C marketing?

We’ve always had a number of members of the community from the healthcare B2C marketing world that were focused on marketing to patients. Many of them came from hospital marketing groups and they provided some amazing perspectives and insights into healthcare marketing. It seemed like time to really welcome the healthcare B2C (patient) marketing crowd to the community by hosting a Twitter chat focused on marketing to patients.

Join us on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for the hour long Twitter chat. Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What are the keys to effective patient marketing? #HITMC

T2. How is marketing to patients (B2C) different than B2B healthcare marketing? #HITMC

T3. What are some examples of amazing patient marketing? #HITMC

T4. What should you never do when marketing to patients? #HITMC

T5. Should we include more B2C patient marketing at the #HITMC 2018 conference?

BONUS. When was the last time you were marketed to as a patient? Did you love it or hate it? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

8/8 – Tradeshow Marketing and PR
Hosted by Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung)

9/5 – TBD
TBD

10/3 – TBD
TBD

Summer #HITMC Chat Schedule

Summer is always a busy time for the #HITMC community, so we change up the schedule of our regular Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chats. This summer we’ll be holding the following two Health IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter chats:

6/27 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – Patient Marketing

8/8 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – TBD

Check back about a week before the #HITMC Twitter chats to find the detailed questions and topics.  We hope you’ll all put this on your calendar to attend both #HITMC chats this summer.

Until then, be sure to share ideas, ask questions, get advice, etc on the #HITMC hashtag on Twitter and the HITMC Community on LinkedIn.

A Little HITMC Workshop – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, StudioNorth will lead the discussion on a wide variety of healthcare IT marketing and PR topics.  There’s a little bit for everyone and a number of unique takes on a Twitter chat that we’ve never seen before.  It should be a great time to interact with your fellow HITMC community members and spend time thinking about your own healthcare marketing and PR efforts.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What were your #HITMC-ahas? (Truths that changed you, the way you think or what you do.) #HITMC?

T2. What rising expectations are you seeing from patients/providers in your world? #HITMC

T3. WORKSHOP TIME: What is your company’s offer? Now, tell it from the provider’s point of view. Then the patient’s. #HITMC

T4. No BS. What do we need to eliminate from our marketing strategies? #HITMC

T5. What is valuable about the #HITMC community for you? #HITMC

BONUS. What should be the next #HITMC parody song?

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

6/27 – TBD
TBD

8/8 – TBD
TBD

How to Make the Most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) – just ahead of the live conference gathering in Las Vegas, Aril 5 – 7! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, Agency Ten22 will lead the discussion on ways to make the most of HITMC – both at the conference and for those following along virtually. HITMC offers health IT marketing and PR professionals an opportunity for immersion in the HIT marketing tribe. Session offerings at the up-coming conference cover everything from storytelling in content to branding and experiential marketing. As you build your HITMC session “must” list, what are you looking to personally gain from the sessions you attend?

Those of you not attending HITMC in the flesh are encouraged to share your thoughts on the chat as well!  Let us know which sessions and topics interest you most so we can try and live tweet those sessions for you.  There’s always a lot of great content from the conference shared on the #HITMC hashtag so you can participate virtually.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What is the #1 takeaway you hope to gain, learn or accomplish by attending or tuning in to #HITMC?

T2. How do you plan to make the most of your #HITMC experience, in person and/or virtually?

T3. What 2-3 #HITMC sessions or topics of conversation hold the most interest for you?

T4. If you’ve participated in person or online, what is one of your most memorable take-aways from past #HITMC events?

T5. If you’ve attended past #HITMC conferences, meetups or Twitter chats, what helpful advice can you offer to newbies?

BONUS. Bragging Rights: What’s been your greatest marketing success in the past year? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

6/6 – TBD
TBD

Innovative Tech & Marketing at #HIMSS17 (And Other Events) – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

On this chat we’ll discuss “Innovative Tech & Marketing at HIMSS17”, hosted by Chris Slocumb, CEO of Clarity Quest Marketing. If you did attend, it’s a great way to compare your thoughts and opinions with others in our great community. If you didn’t attend the conference, here’s your chance to catch up, share what you experienced remotely, or communicate best practices from other trade shows.

During the HITMC Twitter Chat, Chris will lead a discussion on what was new in marketing campaigns and health technology, including what attendees see as the future of health IT.

Here are the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:

T1. What surprised you most at #HIMSS17? #HITMC

T2. What’s the future of cognitive learning and AI in healthcare? #HITMC

T3. Did you see any vendors with truly differentiated messaging/branding? #HITMC

T4. Some companies hosted a party instead of exhibiting at #HIMSS17. When does it make sense to exhibit vs. offsite? #HITMC

T5. What was most effective campaign/booth draw you saw or ran? #HITMC

Bonus.  Which was the best after party? After party moment? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights.

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
4/4 – How to make the most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC)
Hosted by Agency Ten22

5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

How to Market a Straight-Up Boring Product – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on “How to Market a Straight-Up Boring Product” and is hosted by Erin Heilman (@ErinHeilman) and Shelby Lewis (@SLewisTweets) from @Medisolv. Lest you think that you don’t need to participate in this chat because your product isn’t boring, let me suggest that most Healthcare IT companies have pretty boring products. Sure, to healthcare IT nerds like me and you, they’re not very boring and they may even save many lives. Just because they’re valuable and achieve amazing things doesn’t mean the product isn’t boring. Here’s the litmus test I’d use. If you can’t talk to your spouse about your products (My wife definitely is bored by it), then it’s pretty boring. Even if your product is Kim Kardashian (or insert your preferred form of entertainment) spectacular, join us anyway, so we can learn from you too.

Now, without further ado, here are the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:
T1: What platform have you found to be the most attention grabbing for targeting consumers? I.e. Emails, Direct Mail, Web Ads, Social Media. #HITMC

T2: Where do you draw the line between education and sales in your marketing efforts? #HITMC

T3: Have you experimented with video marketing for your product? Tell us your thoughts! #HITMC

T4: If you had to use only one HIT educational format in your marketing, would you choose an infographic, blog, or whitepaper? Why? #HITMC

T5: What is the silliest thing your team has created to make your product marketing more FUN? #HITMC

Bonus: What predictions do you have for HIT marketing in 2017? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights.

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
3/7 – Marketing Lessons Learned from HIMSS and other Conferences
Hosted by Healthcare Scene

4/4 – How to make the most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC)
Hosted by Agency Ten22

5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

2017 Health Care Marketing Resolutions – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, January 3rd at Noon ET (9 AM PT). To participate, follow the #HITMC Twitter stream on your favorite Twitter tool and add #HITMC to all of your tweets.

This chat will focus on “2017 Health Care Marketing Resolutions” and is hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) from @HealthSparq. Let’s kick off the New Year in style and share our New Years resolutions. We’ll be sure to hold you accountable and you’ll likely hear some great ideas from other attendees that you may want to steal and make your own. Plus, if you know Burt, you can expect some spicy discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here’s a look at the 5 questions that will serve as the framework for the discussion:
T1: What was your 2016 health care marketing resolution and was it successful? What did you learn from any failures this year that you can improve on next year? #HITMC

T2: What are your 2017 health care marketing resolutions? #HITMC

T3: Why? What prompted you to make this resolution? #HITMC

T4: How will you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions throughout the year? #HITMC

T5: If you haven’t already made your resolutions, why not?! #HITMC

Bonus: What are your personal new year’s resolutions (if publicly shareable)? Do you find them effective? #HITMC

We look forward to learning from your experience and insights related to content marketing and PR. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

FINAL CHANCE: Submit Your Nominations – Health IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Awards


As an important part of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference, we want to recognize the amazing work and individuals that make up the HITMC community.  That’s why we created the HITMC Awards. If you know a campaign, project, person, or company that deserves recognition, tomorrow is the last day to submit your nominations for the 2017 HITMC Awards.

We’re accepting nominations for the following award categories:

  • Best Trade Show Theme or Campaign
  • Best Content Marketing Program
  • Best Social Media Program
  • Best Creative
  • Agency or Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing or PR Professional of the Year (an individual)

This is a great chance for you to share your work and get recognized by the greater health IT marketing and PR community.  Plus, it’s a way for you to nominate the great work you see from your colleagues in healthcare as well.

We’ve posted all the details of the awards program and a link to submit nominations in a previous post.  We’ve made the nomination process as simple as possible so we make sure we get the broadest range of submissions.  Plus, we hate long, complicated nomination forms.

The deadline for nominations is Tomorrow, Friday, December 16th.

The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and each HITMC Award category winner will be recognized during the 2017 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference in Las Vegas.  You need not be present to win, but it’s definitely more fun that way.

Thanks in advance to all those who take the time to submit a nomination and to those who have already submitted a nomination.

Other Important Dates and Deadlines:
Join us at the HITMC Local meetup in Nashville Thursday, 1/12/17.

Advanced Registration ($200 Savings) for the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference is available until 1/15/17.  Register Now!

Let us know if you have any other questions about the event or the HITMC Awards.

Conference and Event Planning Insights from Inbound 2016

The following is a guest blog post by Patty Dickerson.

Conferences and events are an important part of most marketing strategies, so as marketers it can be a special treat to go to a conference as an attendee. A few weeks ago, I was able to attend HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston and came away with quite a few insights I’d like to share with the HITMC community.

Inbound Overview:

First held in 2011, the conference has grown significantly in the last five years with close to 19,000 attendees as well as over 170 sessions and eight different topical tracks this year.  I haven’t been to Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit or Salesforce’s Dreamforce so I’m not sure how HubSpot’s Inbound conference compares to them, but I did attend last year and am a regular HITMC attendee.  Compared to HITMC, Inbound can seem a bit overwhelming. It is primarily geared toward digital and inbound marketers, but in this first post, I’d like to share some ideas and observations from Inbound that can help those of us who plan events and conferences.

Conference Timing:

Inbound16 was held November 8-11 with the main conference kicking off on Wednesday, November 9th. Date ring a bell? Yup- that’s right, Inbound officially kicked off the day after one of the most polarizing elections in U.S. history. An interesting day to start, while half of the population was elated the other half was despairing, and the mood of the conference that first day was very odd. Additionally, the kick-off keynote speaker, Ta-Nehisi Coates, switched up his talk to directly address the election results. As a content marketer, I respect his decision to do so, as he was being authentic, transparent, and relevant in his content delivery. However, it did seem to polarize the conference, as well as the conference conversation on twitter. I’m sure HubSpot will think again about hosting Inbound the same week as a presidential election.

  • If any of you are planning big user conferences, be sure keep in mind any sort of external events that could impact your event.

Session Organization and Selection

Inbound 2016 had a variety of “Inbound Itineraries” to help plan which of its 170+ sessions to attend. This is a great idea for larger conferences with a variety of session options. Since I wanted a broader experience, I ignored itineraries and tackled my schedule one day at a time, focusing instead on sessions that were geared toward marketing strategy, lead generation, social media, and email marketing. Unfortunately, within the full agenda, there wasn’t a clear way to tell if the session was for beginner, intermediate, or advanced marketers, so choosing sessions based on skill level was a bit difficult. I hope that next year Inbound notes skill/experience level within a session description. This is a good idea for any large conference with overlapping sessions.

  • Group agenda options into common topic themes
  • Label sessions by skill level

One big improvement at this year’s Inbound was the ability to pre-register for sessions. This meant that if you planned your schedule in advance, then enrolled in sessions the week prior to the conference, there was no problem getting into the sessions. This was a big problem at last year’s conference and there were one or two sessions that I missed because the rooms were full. Compared to last year, I was able to get a least one interesting insight from each session, though the quality of one or two of the sessions I attended was a little disappointing.

  • Provide pre-registration to popular sessions or make sure that there is room to fit all attendees who want to attend

Conference Website and Mobile App:

For the most part the conference website, Inbound.com, was easy to use, and attendees could login to create a customized schedule from the agenda. The recommend itineraries were easy to find, but if you didn’t use them, the daily sessions weren’t listed in chronological order. This made it harder to see which sessions were being held at same time. You could tag sessions to “My Interests” then go back and view a shortened list, but the lack of chronological ordering made the session planning a little harder, which was also complicated by an automatic log out if you were inactive for a short period of time.

  • Make website easy to use
  • Order agenda sessions in chronological order
  • Provide ways for attendees to tag sessions of interest

As I mentioned previously, the session pre-registration worked well. In addition, I was able to download the calendar to my google calendar, which was vital the first day because the mobile app didn’t initially sync personal schedules from the Inbound website. The full agenda from the desktop site was available, but this required logging into the conference website within the app. Though frustrating, it was corrected the first afternoon, and personal schedules were available on the mobile app with session notifications for the duration of the conference. For any of you considering mobile apps for your conferences, it is a good idea to test the app before the conference to make sure it is set-up properly.

  • Ask attendees for feedback on the conference app before the conference starts
  • Test conference app prior to the start day
  • Fix app problems quickly

Food:

Lunch is also quite unique at Inbound, as HubSpot arranges to have local food trucks parked next to the Boston Convention & Exhibit Center where the conference is held.  Attendees with All-Access and VIP passes could scan their badge to get lunch at any of these trucks, but food was also available for purchase to those with Community passes. Most of the trucks parked within “the Lawn on D” that is located on the east side of the convention center, a bit of a hike from the west side, but doable.  Having lunch outside was risky, given that the conference was so late in the year, but the weather cooperated and while a little cool, it was mostly sunny.

  • Don’t be afraid to try something different for food, but have back-up plans.

While no lunch session or break was scheduled, food was served from 11am-2pm. This helped spread out the lines for food. I would have liked a list of the food trucks and their location so I could plan my meals efficiently, since my goal was to be able to attend sessions during the 11am-2pm time frame.  Regardless, the food was great; my favorite lunch was the Green Muenster Grilled Cheese from Roxy’s. It was a little hard to eat without a lunch area, which along with the spaced-out lunch time, made networking a bit of a challenge. Just some more food for thought (pun intended) as you plan networking opportunities into your own conferences.

  • Consider how to best optimize mealtimes for attendee networking.

Attend again?

In addition to these event planning takeaways, I was able to get some great insights from Inbound’s content sessions. Although I did get a lot more out of the conference this year than last, the price was high, especially when you pay out of your own pocket. Travel expenses would also be a factor. I’ll likely go only if I can get one of the really low discount rates, which means booking far in advance.  However, if I’m paying for the conference on my own dime again next year, I might be tempted try a new conference like Content Marketing World.  Of course, this would be in addition to HITMC which is my must attend conference.

Welcome to HITMC!

We're glad you found the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (or as we affectionately call it...HITMC). This blog is a place for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals to come together and share their insights, skills, expertise with other people trying to make healthcare better through the use of technology. This blog grew out of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which is held annually. We look forward to connecting and learning from you. Please feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page if you have any questions.

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