Tell us a little about yourself and KNB Communications
Hi! I’m Beth Cooper. I live in New Jersey with my husband, 3 kids (1 son and 2 step-daughters), a cat, and a hamster. I am the Director of Marketing for KNB Communications. We are a full-service PR and marketing agency who has specialized exclusively in the healthcare space since our inception over two decades ago.
What have been the most successful marketing or PR initiatives your clients have done this year and what made them successful?
The most successful marketing and PR initiatives came from the clients who:
(1) managed to pivot messaging on a dime
(2) while also keeping an eye on the long play.
Plenty of companies shut off all marketing spending as soon as the pandemic hit. They saw it as an expense, not as an investment in their future sales.
We were incredibly fortunate that the grand majority of our clients saw the value of leaning into our relationship and trusted us to help steer their ships through the uncharted waters COVID produced.
What is the number 1 reason a company should do marketing automation?
Companies should do marketing automation to save time and free up resources. Conversely, the only reason you should not do marketing automation is if you just have too much time and too many resources on your hands. (I have to say, I have yet to meet a healthcare marketer with this problem.)
Which are the features of marketing automation that users start to take for granted once they start using a marketing automation tool?
There are so many features I take for granted that I had to really think about this one! Here are a few I had forgotten were so important:
- The social scheduling tool automatically shortens links. I no longer have to have an extra tab open for bit.ly so I can copy and paste back and forth.
- Monitoring social mentions across platforms. I have one stream where I can see all new activity.
- The email analytics. I can barely remember a time that I was not able to easily compare email open rates against each other or see who clicked on what link.
What are some tips and tricks for helping marketing automation messages to feel personal? How can you automate your marketing while not losing the personal touch?
My biggest tip is the same one I give my friends on Tinder: just be yourself. I am a big fan of using a very personable, friendly tone in my messages. I write like I talk, not in stuffy “professional” terms loaded with industry jargon.
- Even though everyone knows you pulled their name from a field and did not actually type it, use their name. Your eyes are naturally drawn to your own name.
- Segment your lists so you can make a reference in your email that feels more personal. You can slice and dice your contacts every which way. Plus, you can stack personalizations on top of one another. For example, one successful campaign we executed was segmented by industry + geography: targeting revenue cycle management companies in the southwest.
What’s the most compelling marketing campaign you’ve ever seen (healthcare or otherwise)?
Using real people in marketing campaigns has always been very compelling for me. I will freely admit the anti-drug campaigns of the 90’s had plenty of cheesy ads, but I found the ones that had ex-addicts speaking about their experiences had a profound effect. I can still remember the exact video that made me vow to never, ever try heroin: as her voiceover narrated, a beautiful young woman stood in front of camera and wiped off her makeup to reveal a sallow complexion. She then removed a set of false teeth, leaving her mouth sunken in. Finally she slid off her wig. Once a model, her heroin addiction had robbed her of her health and beauty. Her tone was perfect, just sharing her own story without being preachy. Twenty-five years later, I can still recall this vividly. (And I also have not done heroin.)
What advice would you give healthcare marketers as they plan for 2021?
Most healthcare marketers already understand the value of marketing, but many of us have a hard time articulating it to the people who stand between us and our budget. Now more than ever, we have to be able to prove that value with the language that makes sense to the finance folks: numbers. If you’re not already great with analytics, get good (or find a friend who is). Then leverage the heck out of those analytics to show that what you plan to do in 2021 will drive leads and revenue.
What can the HITMC community do to help you and KNB Communications?
Keep giving us opportunities to connect with each other. Keep reminding us that we’re making a difference. Just keep doing everything you are doing!
Be sure to follow all of the 12 Days of #HITMCChristmas.