SHSMD Connections highlights strategies on measurement and analytics, storytelling and influencer marketing

By: Dan Bing

SHSMD Connections 2017 brought together many of the most dynamic marketing minds in healthcare. The agenda was packed with plenty of educational sessions, insights from industry leaders and inspiring keynotes. We thoroughly enjoyed our interactions on the exhibitor floor and look forward to continued dialog with many of you.

Among the many challenges and perspectives shared, we heard some consistent themes on how (and what it means) to connect consumers with healthcare organizations and providers through strategy and marketing. Here are four key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Understanding how to use predictive analytics to engage customers through their journey: Healthcare marketers should apply predictive analytics at every stage of the customer journey, from raising awareness and education, to completing the engagement process and enhancing the overall customer experience. This will help marketers to anticipate their customers’ needs and desires at every moment, so they can personalize engagement with each customer.
  1. Incorporating an influencer marketing approach: Properly implemented, influencer marketing can communicate a brand’s culture directly to a target audience in an authentic way. Especially considering the emphasis on, and power of, digital marketing and social media. Influencers can be anyone from a family member, friend or professional relation to doctors in your community. Once influencers are identified, the key is to listen, engage and track results.
  1. Developing effective storytelling techniquesLet’s face it, great marketing equates to great storytelling and we’ve proven this concept is critical in healthcare. The emotional aspect of our industry is high and the need for human connectivity, transparency and trust is necessary to effectively impact consumers. When done responsibly and with an eye on compliance, testimonials are effective communications and education tools. A portion of a narratives success is placing a focus on caring for the whole patient and their spectrum of healthcare needs.
  1. Invest in analytics and reporting: The healthcare marketing landscape has become increasingly complex with the rise of digital marketing, mergers and acquisitions and other changes that have created new challenges and opportunities that compete for marketing spend. As demand for maximizing marketing dollars increases, the need to analyze marketing spend to quickly understand what’s working and what’s not is critical. To keep up, organizations should invest in more sophisticated measurement strategies and technologies that move beyond brand awareness tracking. Taking a more holistic view of measurement—one that considers perception, performance and financial return—aligned with your different internal audiences is a must-have for the future of hospital marketing.

These four takeaways align with the work that Partners & Simons is doing on behalf of a national roster of provider and payer marketers. If we can be of service to your organization in these fast changing and complex times, we’d enjoy the opportunity to start a conversation.