As the old adage says, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Google Analytics (GA) gives you lots of data and ways to evaluate usage patterns and user trends on your website. So much data, in fact, that it can be overwhelming. But if you have a sophisticated content management system and you’re just using GA “out of the box,” you’re missing important parts of the online experience.
I’m a big fan of all of those “forecasting the future of…” blog posts that we see in January. I just can’t get enough. While many recommendations are pragmatic, it’s easy for prognosticators to throw out a few Hail Mary’s in the hope that if something truly unexpected happens, they can claim to have predicted it.
At the risk of sounding Scrooge-y, here’s my list of unpredictions – themes that I’m seeing on a lot of lists in healthcare, marketing and digital that simply aren’t going to happen… at least not in 2015.
“If you are a physician, what can you do if your institution is not really helpful in promoting you and just has a static page that no one really checks?”
For starters, don’t make any assumptions. The provider relations team or the Web team should be able to share how much traffic a doctor’s profile gets and what typical providers in the organization get in general. It’s probably more than you think! Continue reading
Our webinar focused almost exclusively on inbound marketing strategies – organic SEO, social media, and how to focus the experience that consumers get after arriving at your website. We did, however, get some questions about the role of paid advertising in building provider visibility. Continue reading
The forces of change are arraying and the impact on healthcare marketing, public relations, communications and planning will be significant. The change isn’t just driven from healthcare reform, it’s also coming from health consumerism and advances in technology including big data, personalized communication and CRM.
I’ve had the opportunity over the past year to be part of a SHSMD think tank exploring the future of the strategy disciplines — marketing, planning, public relations, corporate communications, and physician relations — within the healthcare enterprise.
This task force, working with David Grandy and a team of design thinking consultants from HDR consulting, interviewed, work shopped and vetted its conclusions with hundreds of professionals, executives and CEOs from both inside and outside of our industry.
The result of this work is the impressive Bridging Worlds report. It provides a detailed and actionable plan outlining the changes that healthcare organizations need to make to succeed in the future.
Through it all, Google has been clear – your route to good search engine placement is the development of original, uniquely valuable content.
Although very good advice, it’s not the entire story. A search ranking isn’t just a result of the content on a page. It’s the result of a large number of different signals including inbound links from other sites, links on social media, and a host of technical indications of both quality and topical relevance.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Think about a few common technologies – cell phones, televisions and airplanes. These were once thought to be the exclusive province of the supernatural. While they’re truly remarkable, we now take them for granted. Have you gotten angry when your phone drops a call when driving through a tunnel or when a flight that takes you across the country in the morning is delayed for an hour or two?
These are big, flashy examples of technology at work. Sometimes the greatest magic is in the things that just work, and one day you realize just how amazing that seemingly simple task actually is.
Great software can be that way.
Healthcare systems are messy. Think about the growing number of different facilities and the departmental divisions that aren’t meaningful to patients but very meaningful internally. Consider the various groups battling with one another over the same patients, or the lack of a consistent philosophy and approach for a given service or procedure. It’s easy in the day-to-day operations of a health system to ignore the complexity of our organizations. I find that when we work on the website we’re pulling off the band-aid and exposing all of that mess.
Doesn’t it sound fun to go diving in the Caribbean or to go camping alongside penguins? It does! And the people who market these types of adventures do so in creative ways that don’t feel like marketing. They create great content – the kind of content that consumers love to read and want to experience themselves.
And, according to David Meerman Scott’s opening keynote at the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies conference, healthcare can market this way too. No, you don’t need sand or ocean water or even penguins.
What you need is to write interesting content. How you ask? The key is relevance.
Last week was Geonetric’s eHealth Symposium, our annual client get together where we spend a few days of learning, bonding and way too much food. This year, Symposium relived our childhood summer camp memories as Camp Reboot, complete with camp songs and s’mores!
We know patients want to choose providers that deliver the highest quality of care. They tell us so in survey after survey, after all. The trouble is – how do healthcare providers tell them they’re good or, at the very least, better than local competition?
The business of communicating quality is a tough one. There is no one clear definition of what constitutes quality healthcare. I think this surprises many people not involved in the field, but those of us who spend our time here realize the complexities of our discipline.
Every specialty has its own elements of quality. But even within a specialty, there are many different ways organizations measure what quality means to them. The number of cases performed can be important, the training the care team has completed may be a factor, adherence to best of breed practices and protocols may be the key as can be the high tech tools available at the facility.
Add to this that no two patients are alike – arriving with different levels of progression with a disease, differing basic levels of overall health and a range of comorbities, all of which adds layers to the quality picture. With all of this complexity, you begin to see the difficulty in delivering solid quantitative measures of the relative quality of, for example, cardiology programs.
The quality data that’s reported to government agencies is little help here. Truly, most patients would be shocked that one of the key metrics for the quality of a cardiology program is how long it takes for a patient with symptoms of a cardiac event to receive an aspirin!