Digital Marketing HITMC Conference

Closing the Feedback Loop on Data Sources

Last week was the final day of the Virtual HITMC20 – Part Deux event. It was a great way to cap off the HITMC year. As was the norm for all four days of the event, the sessions and speakers on the final day were excellent.

  • Lea Chatham from Solutionreach spoke about building a kick-ass content plan
  • Regan Wynne from TigerConnect spoke about the marriage of marketing + PR
  • Stephanie Fraser from NextGate, Miona Short from Redox, Jared Jeffrey from KLAS Research shared their content marketing tips
  • Tina Feldmann from Kno2, Carol Kimura from Omnicell, Chris Werfel from Itentive and Richard Fletcher from Dell Healthcare shared successful strategies for marketing during COVID

Of course, we also held our signature unconference sessions – where attendees could ask each other questions and share insights/experiences. I had the good fortune to be part of the Data Driven Marketing unconference hosted by Barry Ward of IQVIA and he posed a question that really stuck in my head – “Do you close the feedback loop on your marketing data sources?”

Marketing Data Sources

Marketers are always striving to build or acquire the best list of leads possible – a list where all you need to do is call the prospect and sign the deal (like the mythical “Glengarry Leads” list from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross).

For most, building such a list cannot be done exclusively with internal resources. At some point you will need to supplement your in-house data with other marketing data sources. This data could be demographic data, contact data, purchase histories, socio-economic data, browsing data, etc. There is no shortage of companies selling marketing data.

Closing the Loop to Tracking Efficacy

During the unconference, Ward asked participants how many closed the feedback loop on their marketing data sources – “After all, if we don’t go back to review how effective those sources are, we will never know if that data is truly valuable or not. Tracking the efficacy of a marketing data source does more than just validate the particular vendor. It tells you whether the data itself is relevant to your marketing efforts.”

I suspect that many of us judge the value of a list based on the quantity of names, the depth of the data provided for those names and the recency of the list.  Ward, however, recommends that we also track what the response/activity rate is of the marketing data sources we use. What good is a list that was updated just 3 days ago if it doesn’t generate any additional opens or clicks on your content?

Get Content Marketers Involved

Gil Bashe, Managing Partner – Global Health at FINN Partners, had a fantastic suggestion at the unconference: “We need to get content marketers involved in the decision for sourcing marketing data. They know the personas they are trying to attract. They can help specify the parameters and information needed for our list segmentation.”

What Bashe is highlighting is how “in tune” content marketers are with who takes action on the materials put out by the company. They know, for example, that it is the Chief Medical Officers at hospitals with 300 beds or more that are downloading the ebooks. That is valuable information to have when considering how to supplement or build your internal list with an external source.

Personal Story

I must admit, I have not often gone back to review a marketing data source, except when a program performs horribly. When I was first starting out in healthcare marketing, I inherited an in-house lead list (MQLs) where 90% of the contacts had come from a purchased list. I later found out this list came through an unsolicited email to someone on the sales team who went ahead and bought it. As you can guess, the list was almost completely useless. Phone numbers were incorrect, email addresses bounced back, and names were spelled wrong.

Now before you think I’m sales-bashing, let me tell you that years later I too succumbed to the siren call of purchasing a list. This one was purported to contain past health IT purchasing history. The cost was reasonable so I took a chance…and regretted it almost right away.

Other than these two instances, I can’t say that I’ve ever revisited a data source as Ward suggested. Now I realize I missed out on closing that feedback loop.

About the author


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 Colin is a member of #pinksock #TheWalkingGallery and is proudly HITMC. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

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