Linda Barnes

About Linda Barnes

Don’t let Linda’s green belt in Lean Six Sigma or master’s degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management intimidate you. This driven marketing executive brings her high standards for quality to every marketing campaign and branding initiative she manages. But she’s also a people person and values creativity. It’s this unique combination that makes her the perfect person to manage Geonetric’s business development efforts, pushing her team to find new ways to tell Geonetric’s story while still remaining focused on results. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales, strategic planning, and project management, Linda knows a thing or two about developing and executing integrated marketing strategies. Between traveling the country sharing Geonetric’s vision and approving marketing campaign ideas, Linda can be found assembling care packages for her two away-at-college sons and finding new and inventive ways to remodel their old rooms. Tea in the sitting room, anyone?

Client Satisfaction Surveys: A Retrospective

Group of people holding feedback sign

Geonetric has been doing our quarterly client satisfaction survey for a few years now. It’s a valuable tool for gathering feedback from our clients and making sure we’re all aligned on the right path … and we’ve been seeing great results.

In an agile environment, however, periodic retrospectives are a critical component – even when things seem to be running smoothly. A retrospective is a planned meeting that gives a team the opportunity to reflect and adapt. In a typical retrospective, we ask three overarching questions:

  1. What’s going well?
  2. What could use improvement?
  3. What actions should we take?

We applied those questions to our Client Satisfaction Survey process … and here are our observations and interpretations.

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Three Reasons Geonetric is a Better Strategic Partner Today than We Were Last Year


123In an agile environment, our work is often about incremental improvement – seeing where change is needed, forming a hypothesis, trying something new, measuring results, and tweaking as needed. In that world, it’s easy to have a recency bias – the inclination to use the most recent experiences as the baseline for what will happen in the future. However, it’s equally important to look at trends to make sure that, as a company, we’re getting the results we want in both the short- and the long-term.

When tabulating the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, the thing that caught my eye was an improvement in the category of how well our clients believe we align with their goals. That question received the most significant improvement from last quarter to this one – from a 5.01 to a 5.28. (As a reminder, our survey is based on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), and our target is always a 5.0 or higher.)

Now curious, I looked a little deeper. The previous four quarters had all been pretty consistent (5.09, 5.01, 5.04, and 5.01). Interestingly, the four quarters prior to that ranged from 4.49 to 4.96. What this tells me is that we made a change about a year ago that our clients liked, and the changes we’ve made more recently are being equally well received.

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Skills are Only Part of the Package: Hiring the Best Web Vendor for Your Organization

standingonheadDo you ever wonder if Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip, is sitting on your shoulder? I have to admit, sometimes I do. This week, he’s lampooning the idea of hiring for cultural fit — something we at Geonetric have recently started intentionally focusing on.

It’s often amusing … and fairly easy … to joke about trends. Because frankly, any business concept, taken to its illogical extreme, has negative aspects and can be a target for ridicule.

But here’s the thing: a bad hire is expensive. We all know that. There’s all kinds of research that shows bad hires cost companies not just in terms of the time and resources to hire and train employees, but also in missed sales opportunities, lower client satisfaction and retention, strained employee relations, and potential legal issues. It’s often said that companies traditionally hire for skills and fire for behavior.

Of course, no one is hiring ONLY for cultural fit. At Geonetric, we use a combination of interviewing approaches — skills tests, personality assessments, behavioral interviewing, etc. — to get at a candidate’s ability to perform a job well within the team environment we’ve created.

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Consistency: The Good And The Bad


Photo of a dartboard with three darts in the bullseye
Those unfamiliar with agile philosophies sometimes assume “agile” means lack of process, planning or consistency. In fact, all those things are present in agile … but it’s important to look at the underlying data to determine when that consistency helps or hinders us in reaching goals.

In this quarter’s client satisfaction survey we saw consistency in several areas … so we looked closer to interpret those results.
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What Does Geonetric Value

In the second year of our Agile-beyond-software transformation, we had an “aha” moment. We realized our core values were fuzzy and didn’t necessarily reflect the company we are today. We trust employees to self-organize and make the “right” decisions – but they didn’t have clear principles to guide those decisions.

In a traditional environment, the executive team might hire a branding company to define and roll out the organization’s values. The company then typically ends up with words that are cliché, ambiguous and impossible to measure – values like “passion” and “excellence” – or a Dilbert-like phrase filled with buzzwords – such as “leveraging core competencies to achieve synergistic results”. That doesn’t cut it here.

So of course, we decided to turn the process on its head. We asked employees to tell the executive team what our core values are.
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Geonetric Clients Really Like Us!

When I review the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, I feel a lot like Sally Field felt when she won the Oscar® for Best Actress in 1985.

“This time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now you like me!”

There is no denying the fact that our clients like us. And that’s a really great feeling!

To put some numbers behind those emotions (because we’re all about the data!), this quarter’s survey again surpassed our targets for both participation level AND satisfaction ranking.

  • 72% of our clients completed the survey, slightly higher than our 70% goal.
  • Clients ranked us at 5.21 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), well above our target of 5.0.

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Building a Democratic Workplace at Geonetric

worldblu certification

Today Geonetric was certified as a Democratic Workplace by WorldBlu. We’re proud to be a company that values its employees and actively works to create such a positive workplace culture.

Geonetric has always been a great place to work. About 18 months ago, we took that a step further – we said “great culture” has to mean more than just amenities like free food and a flexible work environment. So we eliminated our formal management hierarchy and instead created self-organizing, self-managing teams. That was a pretty major step toward a democratic workplace, even before we knew that was a “thing”.

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Clients Still Satisfied? Check.

Client Satisfaction Graph
We did it again! The results of this quarter’s client satisfaction survey (and yes, we do it every three months) shows that our clients continue to value Geonetric as their Web partner. Last quarter, we hit an all-time high overall score of 5.32 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). This quarter, we maintained that impressive score.

We have a pretty lofty goal for response rate. We need 70% participation, every survey. And you know what? We’ve consistently exceed that goal for more than two years. This time around, 73% of our clients participated in the survey and 92% of those respondents gave us a 5.0 or higher overall score!

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Voice of the Customer versus Survey Fatigue

Photo of a man holding his hand to his ear.

It’s a well-documented fact that Geonetric surveys our clients every quarter to find out how we’re doing. In fact, we just wrapped up our Q3 survey.

Some might ask why we survey so frequently. Doesn’t that lead to survey fatigue? Aren’t we worried about over-surveying leading to skewed results and lowered response rates?

On the other hand, good businesses have to pay attention to the “Voice of the Customer.” What are their preferences, expectations, and experiences with our company?

So how do we balance these two seemingly conflicted questions?
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When to Use a Microsite vs. a Landing Page

When promoting a campaign, when should you develop a microsite vs. a landing page? This simple question has generated many conversations here at Geonetric, especially as we work with clients to promote their wellness campaigns online. And like many questions, the answer is: it depends.

Microsites
Let’s start by defining microsites. A microsite is a mini website separate from the hospital’s main website. Microsites are typically small sites – with 3-10 pages. What makes them different to a small website is that microsites are usually built to be promotion specific – they focus on a specific topic or target a specific audience. Microsites deviate from the organizational site in terms of design, colors, logos, and messaging.

There are several reasons why you may need to create a microsite:

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We Don’t Set Out to Win Awards, But…

It happens when you build websites founded on research, designed to be engaging and written to connect with audiences.  Already this year Geonetric clients have taken home Aster Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, and Web Health Awards.  And it’s only June! Well, we can add two more to that list, because last week The Interactive Media Awards announced its 2011 winners, and Geonetric’s own Dean, headquartered in Madison, WI, and St. Vincent’s HealthCare, headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, took top honors.

Dean and St. Vincent’s HealthCare both received Outstanding Achievement in Website Development and their sites were judged on design, usability, technical features, standards compliance and content. In order to win this award level, the sites had to meet strict guidelines in each area — an achievement only a fraction of sites in the IMA competition earn each quarter.

I have a feeling the award-winning isn’t over, so stay tuned through the rest of the year to see more clients recognized for effective Web initiatives.

Putting Success in a Successful Site Launch

In March, we launched four successful new client sites. And although four launches in one month is impressive, we’re much more focused on the successful part of that sentence. Why? Because we believe a website, intranet or patient portal is only as good as the results it delivers.

We help our clients see the results of their efforts immediately. Not only do they hear the rave reviews and compliments from their own site visitors, we also provide them with a post-launch report detailing statistics on their key success measurements.

Here’s a look at our recent launches and some of the stats we’ve seen:

  • MidMichigan Health started the month with the launch of its new website and “MyMidMichigan” patient portal. Within two weeks of launching, MidMichigan noticed an improvement in key site traffic measurements: visitors are spending more time on the site and the pages are relevant to visitors measured by a low bounce rate.
  • Mid-month, Overlake Hospital Medical Center unveiled its new website and “My Overlake” portal, and also became the first hospital to launch a mobile site in the greater Seattle area! The new site generated 478 total portal users in a month and the first portal users signed up within an hour of launch. And after just four weeks, Overlake’s visits were up by 28%, a total of $93,201.41 was collected in online bill payments (a new feature for Overlake), and again, pages are relevant to visitors measured by a low bounce rate of 27%.
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Your Board of Directors Using the Web? Yes!

A board of directors plays a critical role in any organization. They’re responsible for determining an organization’s mission and purpose, overseeing the executive team, setting broad objectives, monitoring financial performance, planning, and allocating resources. Adding to those challenges, board members typically are not full-time employees and have other responsibilities. So it’s pretty critical to allow them to share confidential information from remote locations in a way that is easy, immediate, secure, efficient and financially responsible. Oh, and if it aligns with your green initiative, that’s even better.

Enter the board extranet. With the right software, you can use the Web to improve communications with your board of directors. It fulfills the whole list of requirements, and it’s easy to track the results to prove return on investment (ROI).

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Make Consistency in Your Online Marketing Part of Your New Year’s Resolution

Lose 10 pounds. Give more to charity. Create an integrated online marketing plan. Yes, it’s that time of year again when we make that wish list known as New Year’s resolutions. But when it comes to creating a consistent experience for your online site visitors, it can’t just be a wish.

Getting a handle on all the online tools at your disposal is overwhelming. That’s why at the beginning of the year, Geonetric released a white paper that discusses the importance of implementing a cohesive online marketing strategy – one that simultaneously addresses your myriad audiences and communications channels. We call it the eConnections Framework – a vision for integrating the Web, patient portal and social media.

That white paper proved useful while talking with hospital marketers throughout the year, especially at industry conferences. While there’s a lot of buzz about relatively new concepts like social media and patient portals, there are still many questions about basic Web functionality, allocation of resources to the various channels, and project prioritization.

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Best of the Best 2010

Every month, Geonetric hosts free webinars and distributes free eNewsletters full of articles covering the latest trends in eHealth. Curious to see what topics warranted the most interest in 2010? We were – we love to look back and see what topics really resonated with you, especially as we plan for 2011.

Without further ado, here they are: our top five most-attended webinars and most-viewed articles from 2010.

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