Guest Post: HITMC Do-Over: Knowledge + Gadgets for the Win
The following is a guest blog post by Chad Johnson, senior marketing manager for Corepoint Health and also a speaker at HITMC 2015.
Earlier today I had a few minutes to spare before I had a date with a dumbell, so I wanted to check out John’s very first #HITMC tweet chat. I was only able to participate for 15 minutes and, to no one’s surprise, there was a spirited conversation already underway.
I jumped in just as topic 3 was pushed out. Topic 3 asks, “What solutions or tools make your life easier as a HITMC professional?”
I contributed a few pointless tweets (as usual) and then I had to leave early. In my car on my way to the gym I was replaying some of the conversations from the chat when I realized that I (sorta) lied when I tweeted: “I’m not a huge believer in ‘gadget’ marketing tools. There are no shortcuts. Read, watch, listen to understand what works.”
While I’m no fan of the look-at-me practice of quoting myself, I want to take a step back and take another shot at properly answering the topic.
I’ll start with the good part of the tweet: “There are no shortcuts. Read, watch, listen to understand what works.”
This part I believe wholeheartedly.
Simply put, there is no technology — nor do I want to see one — that can replace the perfect process of learning. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to understand your company’s little corner of health IT and how it fits into the broader industry that evolves and changes daily. And, I refuse to believe the dedication involved with learning a complicated topic can ever be replaced with any sort of tool (I see you, IBM Watson).
I think you, too, should be encouraged by this premise because it means everyone has a chance at success. Regardless of the technology in place or available budget, if you put in the time, ask questions as they arise, take risks, fail, and then go back to the drawing board to start all over again… you will be successful in health IT marketing.
Now here’s where I screwed up.
I wrote that I’m not a huge believer in “gadget” marketing tools. That’s not to say that we don’t use marketing technologies that provide key insights and processes that help us improve how we reach customers and prospects.
Two technologies that we could not live without are Google Analytics and Hubspot.
Google Analytics provides the numbers that help us grade how our content — whether it be social media, blog posts, press releases, product pages, etc — are performing. Sometimes the numbers it shows are absolutely embarassing, but they provide a needed kick in the pants so we can change courses and measure again.
Hubspot is another technology that has truly changed how we talk about marketing here at Corepoint Health. I know Hubspot has its detractors, but it can’t be overstated how much it has helped us improve planning and maintain a focus on a content strategy that effectively speaks to our customers and prospects.
So, if I were to combine the two elements I discussed in this post, it would have been more accurate for me to have said:
There is no more powerful “tool” for marketing than the long, hard process of learning. However, if you can combine your hard-earned industry knowledge with technologies that provide unique insights into your marketing activities, then you can fine-tune your approach and become a much more effective communicator.