Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

Revisiting Wearables

Image of Microsoft Band

For Valentine’s day this year, my wife got us his and hers Jawbone UP fitness trackers. But being the technology rebel that I am, I carry a Windows Phone. Unfortunately the Jawbone lacks any app support for my platform of choice.

And so I found myself (after writing just a few short months ago that 2015 was definitely NOT the year that wearables were going to change everything) researching everything that I could find on wearables in order to pick just the right fitness tracker for me.

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Power and Flexibility with Geonetric’s New Form Builder

Image of Geonetric's Form Builder product logo.
We talk quite a lot at Geonetric about organizational agility – the ability to experiment, change and adapt quickly. Agility is a key strength for corporations today, particularly for those in rapidly changing markets. And when it comes to changing industries, few are going through the level of upheaval that healthcare is experiencing today!

Last week at the Geonetric 2015 eHealth Symposium we empowered our clients to be more agile with the Beta release of Geonetric’s Form Builder. Form Builder does exactly what it says – it helps administrators create online forms that they can attach to their websites, blogs and intranets.

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Pricing Transparency Comes to Healthcare

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Nearly every meeting I’ve had with our clients’ executive teams in the past year has included the phrase “pricing transparency.” Everyone sees it coming but, but very few really know how to move forward.

It was with this in mind that I attended David Marlowe’s Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit session on pricing transparency.

Marlowe reiterated that like so many trends in healthcare, our customers are driving us forward and healthcare organizations are fighting to catch up. Consider these stats:

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A CMS that Makes Life Easier for Hospital Webmasters

Lots of hands raised sharing ideas.

As a Product Owner (PO), I work hard to ensure that VitalSite is the best content management system on the market. Prioritizing which features and enhancements make it into the product each release requires thoughtful decision making – you have to give needed attention to shifts in the healthcare market, technology advancements and of course the feedback of clients.

It’s fun to talk about the big, sexy stuff the team accomplishes: new modules, major new features and strategic integrations.

The reality is that we have a wide range of requests coming from many different stakeholders and sometimes it’s the little things that make clients (and coworkers!) really happy.
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How do you measure the ROI of your digital investments? We want to know.

Photo of a computer keyboard with a red ROI key where Enter normally is.Your website is one of the most important marketing tools for delivering new patients to your hospital. It helps you promote your services, share patient stories, and highlight what makes you different than the competitor down the road. But most importantly, your website gives you the opportunity to directly convert visitors into patients. And it gives you access to the metrics that tell where you’re most successful.
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Getting the Full Picture with Google Analytics

Illustration of integrated data points

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.

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A Contrarian View for 2015

2015

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.

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Connect CRM and the Web for Smarter Marketing

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More aggressive outbound marketing. Personalized communications. Cultivating long-term relationships. As we look to trends for digital marketers in healthcare in 2015, one of the big ones is the rise of CRM. This is the impetus behind our new partnership with Tea Leaves Health alongside our work with other healthcare CRM vendors.

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How Doctors Can Help with Online Physician Promotion

physician-promotion-QA2In our recent webinar, Online Physician Promotion: Increasing Conversions to Fill Schedules one attendee asked an interesting question from the point of view we don’t always get – from the provider. Let’s take a look at the question and how doctors play an important role in their own online promotion.

“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

Your Top Online Physician Promotion Questions Answered

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We clearly hit a hot topic with last week’s webinar, Online Physician Promotion: Increasing Conversions to Fill Schedules, and attendees submitted far more questions than we were able to cover during the session. To make sure we answer all the questions that were submitted, we plan to tackle them over the course of a few blog posts.

SEO v. PPC

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

SHSMD Taskforce Unveils the Ultimate Healthcare Strategy Guide

Strategy GuideThe 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.

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VitalSite Enhancements: Big Changes are the Sum of Small Shifts

codeIt’s fun to talk about the big, new features of a product. But sometimes little features represent really important changes. One of these small but mighty features came out in our latest VitalSite® release. It’s a neat application but more important than what it does is what it stands for. It represents a shift in the way clients are using digital — and therefore a shift in the way we develop VitalSite.

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How VitalSite CMS Improves Search Engine Rankings for Your Providers

Image of a physician's stethoscope on a search box.
You’ve been hearing a lot about the new rules of search engine optimization. Google has taken away search ranking data, inbound organic click-through data, and is, in many cases, even removing more and more of the search engine results page (SERP) real estate dedicated to organic search results!

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.

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Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable from Magic

VitalSite-MagicI have a quote on the wall of my office stating what’s commonly known as Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law:

“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.

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