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SHSMD19 Day 1 – Getting Comfortable with Contradiction

Day 1 of the annual Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development Conference (SHSMD19) was all about getting comfortable with contradictions. Even the weather was a source of contradiction – a cool and crisp morning (by Nashville standards), followed by hot and muggy weather by lunch time.

Automate everything yet be as human as possible

The good folks at True North Custom were kind enough to invite me to a special luncheon session with Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot. Brinker is perhaps best known for his annual Marketing Technology Landscape infographic which attempts to map all the marketing technologies currently being offered.

Brinker spoke at length about the need for marketers to embrace automation of as many processes as possible and yet incorporate as much humanity as possible in those same automated processes.

He explained this dichotomy with a quick illustration – an organization must strive to adopt marketing automation so that it has predictable and regular outreach to prospects. Rather than using the exact same verbiage in the outreach, Brinker suggests building the process so that regional managers can insert custom language into the communications.

The result is an automated process that is humanized.

Joy is Rebellious

The SHSMD19 opening keynote, Shabnam Mogharabi, CEO of SoulPancake, kicked things off with a bold contradictory statement “In today’s world, Joy is an act of rebellion”.


In Mogharabi’s opinion, the simple act of being joyful and spreading hopeful, positive messages is completely unexpected and therefore rebellious in nature. With the rest of the world spouting soundbites, Mogharabi encouraged the audience to be authentic storytellers.

A templated approach to personalization

At the Scorpion booth, Brian Q Davis – SVP of Healthcare, showcased the new ScorpionONE feature of their marketing automation platform. With ScorpionONE, customers are able to create templates (Davis called them recipes) for any service line offered by a healthcare organization. These templates can include specific targets, text ads, keywords, bid strategies and metrics. Once these templates are coded into the platform, they can be used by marketing managers as the basis for personalized campaigns to specific geographic regions.

Go deep as a first time attendee

At the first-timers session, new attendees rotated around 9 different stations where SHSMD veterans briefed them on various aspects of the organization and the conference. It was a marvellous way to introduce people to the different aspects of the event.

At two of the stations, attendees were encouraged to “go deep” and completely immerse themselves in SHSMD. At the “Become a SHSMD Volunteer” station, the presenter spoked passionately about how she was able to quickly expand her professional network by joining three of SHSMD’s volunteer committees. While at the “Share SHSMD Connections with Your Team” station, the presenter told story after story about how they would curate the slides from the annual conference and present summarized versions to the rest of their team who could not be at the event. This not only helped the speaker to internalize the sessions takeaways, but extended the value of the SHSMD conferenceto the rest of their organization.

Day 1 – Takeaway

The key takeaway from Day 1 of SHSMD – there is opportunity in contradiction…and given the current state of healthcare, marketers has better get comfortable with contradiction.

About the author

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Colin Hung

Colin Hung is an award-winning Marketing Executive with more than 15yrs of healthcare and HealthIT experience. He co-founded one of the most popular healthcare chats on Twitter, #hcldr and he has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Healthcare IT Influencers”. Colin’s work has been published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, American Society for Healthcare Risk Managers, and Infection Control Today. He writes regularly for Healthcare Scene and here at HITMC.com. Colin is a member of #pinksock #TheWalkingGallery and is proudly HITMC. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

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