Learning Healthcare Marketing Lessons from Will Smith

One of the beauties of the healthcare IT marketing and PR community (HITMC) is that we’re happy to share the lessons we learned. We got to see this first hand yesterday when community member Colin Hung was live tweeting his experience at the Marketing Summit conference in Las Vegas (#MKTGnation) on the #HITMC hashtag.

This is a massive marketing event hosted by Marketo that many in the HITMC community would have love to have attended. Unfortunately, most of us weren’t able to attend, but we can vicariously attend and learn thanks to people like Colin who give back to the community by sharing the insights he gleans from the conference. We hope that more in the community will do the same as they go to other marketing and PR events.

Here’s a sample of some of Colin’s tweets from the event including the keynote session by famous actor Will Smith.

The conference has just begun, so watch Colin’s Twitter feed for other insights. Let us know if you’ll be going to other events and be sure to share any insights on the #HITMC hashtag.

Actionable Advice for Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Professionals – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

We’re excited to share with you the 5 topics we’ll be discussing at our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 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 “Actionable Advice for Healthcare IT Marketing and PR” and is hosted by John Lynn from Healthcare Scene. Coming out of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference, we like to focus people on the actionable advice or ideas they got at the conference. With that in mind, we’ve focused the entire #HITMC Twitter chat on actionable advice for those working in healthcare IT Marketing and PR. No doubt, much of the advice that’s shared will come from the conference, but we certainly welcome any and all advice whether you attended the conference or not.

Now for the 5 topics we’ll be discussing:
1. What advice would you give health IT PR Professionals?

2. What advice would you give healthcare IT marketing professionals?

3. What advice would you share around health IT content?

4. What advice would you give about tools for your health IT marketing and PR efforts?

5. What advice would you give around health IT careers?

Bonus: Any other advice for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals? 

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the Health IT Marketing and PR community chat. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

How to Beat the Odds in a New Era of Health IT Marketing

The following is a guest blog post by Mary Tobin (@mhtobin) and Nicole Burdette (@nburdette) from 300Brand.
Mary-Tobin nicole-burdette
Last week, the healthcare IT marketing and PR community gathered in Atlanta at the Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference.  One message was clear – change is afoot – and this group is working hard to contribute to positive change for their organizations, and most importantly, for patients.

Health providers face new expectations for the patient care process and must transition from fee-for-service to value-based care models.  As they search for new ways to decrease risks/costs and improve quality, health IT marketers must also acquaint themselves with the new landscape.

Several trends bubbled up from the sessions and conversations, also supported by new research launched at the conference from 300Brand.

#1 Patients First

Improving the patient experience is a top priority.  Both IT and non-IT healthcare provider decision makers surveyed said improving the patient experience is a top tech goal for 2016.  And, almost a quarter (23 percent) said they have a Chief Experience Officer today.  As that number grows, these leaders will bring different perspectives, many coming from consumer-focused industries outside of healthcare, such as hospitality.  New applications, ranging from integrated analytics that identify patients most at risk for medication non-compliance to tools that alert patients when doctors run behind schedule, will help providers of all sizes improve the patient experience.  (No more waiting rooms – very exciting!)

#2 New Players

The health IT decision making process is changing and there are more players at the table than ever before.  The IT executives we surveyed said they are involved in IT decisions 92% of the time.  But, the non-IT execs disagreed, reporting IT is involved 78% of the time.  More than half agreed that IT purchasing is influenced by more stakeholder groups than two years ago.  In addition to clinicians, these new decision makers include legal/compliance teams, risk managers, and the C-suite.  Attendees in Atlanta confirmed the research – they are seeing purchasing decisions and influence outside of the IT department.

#3 Keep It Personal

New players and personas mean that marketers must become fluent in new “business languages.”  Each decision maker has a slightly different business priority and perspective, driving the need for even greater micro-targeting.  The Customer Experience Officer and the Chief Data Officer have very different perspectives and requirements, yet might be weighing in on the decision process for a new CRM solution.  IT marketers have to adept at speaking both languages at the same time – no easy task!

For marketers, this means new opportunities as we rethink messaging and tactics to ensure we are addressing this broader community.  As the roles are in flux and responsibilities in transition (Chief Data Officers, Chief Experience Officers, Chief Digital Officers, etc.), it’s more important than ever to listen to our customers and understand their unique needs and priorities.  Interestingly, when we asked healthcare providers what IT vendors/marketers are doing wrong and how we can improve, their response was to listen better so we understand their goals.

What we once thought was the “future” of healthcare is here now, and there is enormous opportunity ahead – exciting possibilities for providers and the patients they serve.

It was great to be with the health IT marketing community in Atlanta.  If you didn’t make it, plan for next time – it’s a five-star opportunity to connect and learn.

And, to learn more about how healthcare IT decisions and decision makers are changing, download our full report:  Time to Double Down:  How to Beat the Odds in a New Era of Health IT Marketing – http://www.healthitinsights.com/double-down.

300Brand was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

3 Years, 3 Takeaways: Major Themes at HITMC 2016

The following is a guest blog post by Brian Shilling, Marketing Consultant at Clarity Quest Marketing.
Brian Shilling Healthcare Marketing Pro
Can you believe the third annual Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference is already a wrap? It was a fun-filled, information-packed few days in Atlanta! The growing number or first-timers and the strong core of returning attendees are a testament to the engagement in this community and the commitment to growing our field. It’s truly amazing to see.

Before you get too carried away in the post-HITMC daily grind, it’s important to reflect on what we learned and implement some of the insights to improve our own efforts. Don’t let your HITMC ideas sit in your notebook! Make a plan to put your thoughts into action this year.

While the HITMC experience is different for each attendee, I identified three major themes of the presentations I saw and conversations I had. If your experience brought to light other main themes or takeaways, leave them in the comments!

1. Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment emerged as a major theme of the conference this year. I’m not just plugging sales and marketing alignment because my agency presented on the topic. We also heard stories of alignment (and misalignment) from several other presenters.

Steve Giovinazzo and company discussed the importance of aligning sales and marketing teams as one of the steps to overcoming the most common marketing automation pain points. And who better to give advice on sales and marketing alignment than the Regional VP from Salesforce’s Pardot? Steve suggests engaging sales in the content creation process, developing a comprehensive content database, and training sales how to leverage content effectively.

Jennifer Russo’s session on Best Practices in Marketing Measurement sparked a conversation about how MQLs and SQLs are defined and how leads are transitioned from marketing to sales. There is definitely tension in the air when it comes to lead handoff. Sales teams tend to want every lead that comes in the door, but we must stick to our shared definitions if we want nurture programs to successfully run their course.

And Erin Wold’s presentation on Account-Based Marketing (ABM) highlighted how targeting just a few key accounts give sales a seat at the marketing table. Effective ABM requires sales and marketing teams to hyper-personalize and customize campaigns.

Increased adoption of marketing automation tools has magnified the need for synergy between sales and marketing teams. It’s time to nurture those relationships to make the most of our leads and opportunities.

2. Storytelling

Our first job as marketers is to tell great stories. It’s easy to lose sight of this goal as we get caught in the content generation cycle. This year we were reminded to get back to basics by sharing real, honest, entertaining stories.

Stacy Goebel kicked off HITMC 2016 with a motivating keynote reminding us to take risks and tell better stories. The solo rap was a great performance, Stacy, but I think a full HITMC Rap Battle is a must for 2017. You’re the odds-on front-runner in Vegas!

Christoph Trappe headlined day two with an engaging session on authentic storytelling in digital media. In an industry filled with change and uncertainty, Christoph reminds us to let our brand and message be the constant voice. Make a habit of relevant, authentic and compelling storytelling to connect with your customers.

Christoph Trappe - Storytelling at Healthcare IT Marketing Conference

HITMC also featured a storytelling workshop where we learned how to make the most of our success stories and customer endorsements, multiple discussions on telling your story through branding, and sessions on using internal and external champions to tell stories on social media, in podcasts, on video, and in collateral. We also had some great unconference chats on content marketing and strategy.

3. Trust

The third major theme I picked up at HITMC this year was trust. Conference programs, unconference sessions, and informal conversations had many of us discussing trust in healthcare marketing – trust between sales and marketing, agencies and clients, developers and marketers, media and audiences, buyers and vendors, providers and patients.
Healthcare IT Trust
So how do we earn and keep this trust? Through paid or earned media? With authentic storytelling? Through honesty and understanding?

In my unconference session, someone mentioned how low hospital margins are, and how hospitals simply cannot afford to be burned by another solution that doesn’t deliver or takes too long to implement. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations with budget constraints have a natural disposition to distrust vendors. Overcome this issue by starting every engagement with an understanding pain points, being honest, and giving great advice to build trust over time.

Trust can be hard to gain in healthcare. Set out every day to build it and earn it in all that you do.

Thanks again to John and Shahid for hosting another successful HITMC. I can’t wait to learn, network, and be inspired again at HITMC 2017!

Clarity Quest Marketing is a leading healthcare and technology marketing agency and proud Gold sponsor of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference. Clarity Quest is a full-service provider of marketing strategy, branding, public relations, digital marketing, graphic design, and more to companies in the healthcare, technology and biotech industries. For more information on our marketing services, visit www.clarityqst.com or call (877) 887-7611.

HITMC (Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community) 2016 Award Winners

This is the 2nd year we’ve held the HITMC (Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community) awards. We were extremely pleased with the number and quality of submissions for each of the categories. A number of the categories were extremely competitive and our panel of judges had a hard time choosing the winner. However, choose we must and choose we did.

Thank you to Shahid Shah and Netspective Media for sponsoring the HITMC Awards.

In case you missed the announcement at the Health IT Marketing and PR conference, here’s the list of winners from the 2nd Annual HITMC Awards:
Agency or Marketing Department of the Year – Aria Marketing

Best Content Marketing Program – Galen Healthcare Solutions

Best Creative – ChartCapture

Best Social Media Program – Kareo

Best Trade Show Theme or Campaign – BridgeHead Software

Marketing or PR Professional of the Year – Beth Friedman

Congrats to all of our winners! They each did some really extraordinary work in healthcare IT marketing and PR and we’re happy to recognize their work. Over the next few months we’ll work on featuring each of these award winners on HITMC.com.
HITMC Awards

Your Audience’s Audience

The following is a guest blog post by Matt Schuchardt, Director of Market Intelligence Solutions Sales at HIMSS Analytics.
Schuchardt-headshot
B2B marketers reaching a B2C market are in a unique position. Knowing where your audience’s audience is focused can help your messaging cut through the noise in the market place.

The timeliness of your message can make or break its impact. Oreo moments aren’t exclusive to foodstuffs and consumer packaged goods anymore. There is a massive amount of opportunity to cut through the noise of everyday life by identifying what people are talking about and bringing some insight to the conversation based on your organization’s knowledge, skill set, or expertise.

Take security, for example. With a major health system in the nation’s capital crippled by malicious hacking and health system data being held for ransom in the very recent past, your audience, and their audience, are increasingly focused on this hot button issue.

Using big data tools and insights like those powered by HIMSS Analytics® LOGIC™, providing valuable information to people can position you as the most valuable voice in the room on a multitude of topics. For example, did you know that more than 10% of health systems with 50+ hospitals have no security technology in place at 1/3 of their hospitals? The chart below outlines current gaps in hospital security technology. Given the current state of affairs this information is incredibly relevant and impactful.
US Hospitals with No Plans to Deploy Cyber Security Technologies
Digging further into the topic, Are you aware that healthcare organizations were the target of 19% of cyberattacks in 2015 and 25% of cyberattacks in the first 60 days of 2016. With prominent security gaps in healthcare and Personal Health Information 50 times more valuable than banking information we can only expect the volume and intensity of these attacks to increase. The chart below looks at the growth in hacking incidents this decade.
Healthcare - Increasing Risk from Hackers
More than 2.2 million patient records were compromised by hacking incidents at healthcare providers in March of this year alone. The cost to healthcare organizations per compromised record is double that of retail and finance.

Pretty eye opening stuff!

This is just one example of the type of opportunity that healthcare delivery and solutions marketers have to position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. You know your audience and you know your audience’s audience. Be timely, be helpful, and provide a value to the conversations that are going on around you.

There is a need for education and transformation in healthcare and your content will engage your audience if you focus on where their audience is focused.

Matt Schuchardt is the Director of Market Intelligence Solutions Sales at HIMSS Analytics. Matt began his career in market intelligence working with Sheldon Dorenfest at Dorenfest & Associates, the original healthcare technology research firm. He joined HIMSS as part of the Dorenfest acquisition in 2004. With 15 years of experience unlocking the value of data, Matt understands data capture, knows data usage and sees a brighter data-driven future. Prior to entering the healthcare IT field, Matt worked in in the field as a social worker at the Jane Addams Hull House. Matt has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago where he worked as a researcher at the National Opinion Research Center.

Health IT Marketing – How is the Audience Changing? – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

We’re excited to share with you the 5 topics we’ll be discussing at our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, April 5th 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 “Health IT Marketing – How is the Audience Changing?” and is hosted by 300Brand. In the past, CIOs held the cards. Now there is a broader group of stakeholders making health IT buying decisions. So, what does this mean for marketing and PR programs? Join us to discuss how the health IT target audience is changing, and how marketing messages and strategies are evolving to reach a broader audience and support sweeping change in the healthcare industry.

Now for the 5 topics we’ll be discussing:
1. What important changes have you seen in the health IT-decision-making process and influencers in the past few years?

2. How is Accountable Care changing the IT buying process?

3. How are you changing your marketing strategy to reach a broader group of decision makers/influencers?

4. How influential are non-IT audiences on IT purchasing decisions within healthcare provider orgs?

5. What strategies do you find most successful to reach the expanding health IT buyer/influencer community?

Bonus: What role do you think social media plays in this new game?

We hope you’ll be able to join us for the Health IT Marketing and PR community chat. Be sure to put the full schedule of #HITMC Twitter chats on your calendars.

Making the Transition From TV Reporter to Healthcare PR

In this HITMC video chat we sit down with Marcy Fleisher from Team Fleisher Communications to talk about her transition from TV reporter to owning her own PR agency where she does work in health care PR. She teaches us a lot about how to pitch local reporters and also covers how to pitch health care IT journalists. Plus, we talk about the differences in the two.

If you want to learn more from Marcy Fleisher, be sure to check out her panel on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Sponsored Media” at the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

About Author
John Lynn is the Editor and Founder of HITMC.com, the leading community of healthcare marketing and PR professionals. As editor of HITMC.com, John’s responsible for discovering and sharing the latest happenings in marketing and PR that would work for the healthcare IT marketing and PR communities. John is also the founder of Healthcare Scene where he has written over 5000 articles.

Pay vs. Pitch: Three Considerations for a Kick-Ass Content Strategy

The following is a guest blog post by Beth Friedman, Founder and Chief Content Officer of Agency Ten22.
Beth-Friedman-Healthcare-IT-PR-Professional
Agency Ten22 frequently meets with healthcare IT software and service companies. From CEOs to marketing managers, the same question always comes up: “Is it better to pay for content placement or earn opportunities through media relationships?” The answer is both!

Paid placement of your content is a critical component for successful lead generation campaigns. Downloads are tracked and leads are received for long-term nurturing and sales follow-up.

However, research shows that earned interviews and article placements carry more weight with your company’s target audience—healthcare executives and departmental directors. Social sharing and summary blog posts magnify the impact of these earned efforts, typically at less cost than paid placements.

During the upcoming Health IT Marketing Conference, a panel of experts plan to debate this age-old question. I invite you to attend our Sponsored Content Panel session at HITMC16. And in the interim, consider these three steps for building a solid, lasting content strategy.

Step One:  Build Relationships

Healthcare is a people business. Everyone from top industry editors to niche reporters and channel salespeople appreciate time spent building partnerships and trust. These in-person meetings generate a wealth of content ideas and media opportunities. Here are three proven tips:

  • Pitch your targeted editors and sales staff separately. Meet in their offices versus crowded conventions. Food and drink are highly recommended.
  • Suggest new types of paid placement opportunities—get creative.
  • Make meetings perennial. Building trust takes time and repetition.

Step Two: Be Prepared

Both sides of the content house—sales staff and editors—respect industry knowledge. Do your homework. For every publication, know the last article written or piece of downloadable content posted by a competitor. Be fully aware of industry issues and upcoming regulatory changes that impact your key buyers. And finally, spend time reviewing the publication’s website for relevant niche channels, guest blogs or contributed content. Their subpages are important landing pads for content too!

  • Review editorial calendars and sync up your strongest subject matter experts and provider customers. Push for contributed articles or confirmations as an interview source.
  • Include color pictures and brief bios of your experts—remember, we are a people business!
  • Don’t see a fit for your product or service on the editorial schedule? Don’t worry. Schedules are only a guideline, not the final word.

Step Three:  Close the Deal

Finally, focus on follow-up! As healthcare marketers are all aware—the devil is in the details. Quickly secure all editorial ideas and subject matter sources before your competitor steals the opportunity.

  • Provide a detailed summary of ideas discussed and ask the editor to confirm in writing, with exact deadlines and word counts.
  • Confirm opportunities with your subject matter experts and provider customers. Obtain all prior approvals and authorizations to participate.
  • Send a thank-you note—always.

Both types of content, sponsored and earned, play an important role in demonstrating your brand’s thought leadership within the healthcare industry. The three steps above provide a practical roadmap for getting started. Agency Ten22 wishes you all the best on your content journey and looks forward to seeing you in our hometown of Atlanta for HITMC16!

Agency Ten22 is a sponsor of the 2016 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference.

Healthcare Marketers’ Manifesto

The following is a guest blog post by Jessica Clifton, Director of Marketing, Billian’s HealthDATA.
Jessica Clifton - Healthcare IT Marketing
In just a few short weeks, some of the brightest minds in the field of healthcare marketing will descend upon Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2016 Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference (HITMC).

There’s something refreshing about show-goers’ willingness to enter into intimate arenas with peers and competitors alike for the greater good of the healthcare marketing tribe.

I’m reminded that, while we’ll soon be immersed in insightful sessions covering the many facets of advanced digital marketing practices, it’s important that we do what we can to keep those efforts coupled with the big picture understanding of our role in helping paint the portrait of our industry.

Whether we’re consulting HIT clients on articulating ROI, or penning our next professional blog piece, we’re all threads in the fabric of U.S. healthcare media and communications. As marketers aligned to the field, we bear a certain responsibility for industry perception both within and outside the healthcare market. To varying degrees, we influence the dialogue across hospital boardroom tables and public sentiment for the healthcare industry as a whole in the copy we write and the stories we tell.

Healthcare has many frustrations; I doubt I’m the only one who saw through new eyes after being in the industry a bit. Turn an eye behind the curtain, though, and you’re overwhelmed by the number of nimble minds working to make some very complicated things possible.

Many are burned out, buckling beneath the strain of healthcare’s infrastructure overhaul. We all need an encouraging word.

Thus, let us give voice to the right stories. Let’s move past finger-pointing and give our industry’s wins more air-time. In the dichotomy of positive and negative PR and sentiment, let’s remember that the wolf we feed is the one that thrives.

Let us also not be afraid to professionally address the hard truths things like population health analytics will reveal. Let’s promote public data sets and invite consumer participation. Let’s be willing to pursue progress and supportiveness over salaciousness, and opt for data check-mates over click bait.

Let us advance the push for authenticity in marketing. Let’s be honest about what doesn’t work, and shed even more light on what does. Let’s build digital paths to innovative ideas from small-scale and big players alike.

Let us speak beyond the echo chamber, engage patients who also happen to be consumers, and encourage multi-stakeholder commentary in our journalism and in our business approach.

Let us all acknowledge that we, the collective media, hold sway.

Let’s take the opportunities afforded to us at HITMC and beyond to reignite our passion for what we do and hone our skills to produce inspired marketing that encourages our industry to find and push for growth. We are all patients here.  #encouragehc

Billian’s HealthDATA is a sponsor of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference and they offer extensive hospital and healthcare business intelligence on over 875k U.S. healthcare organizations. Browse the company’s publically-available healthcare facility profiles, hospital news and RFP feed, and healthcare “Top 10” reports to learn more.

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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