As consumers of many products and services, we want to know our options to make informed decisions. We compare big-ticket purchases like cars and houses as well as every-day items like laundry detergent and food to make sure we get the value we want.
So why wouldn’t we compare doctors also?
Advocate Medical Group (AMG) wanted to give consumers the opportunity to take an active role when choosing a physician. So we helped them add functionality to their website allowing health consumers to compare physicians. When looking at a physician’s profile, consumers are able to answer:
- Is this physician accepting new patients?
- How many years of experience does the physician have?
- Where does that physician practice?
- Does this physician speak my native language?
- Is the physician board certified?
- What is the physician’s philosophy of care?
With the ability to look at doctors in parallel, consumers can choose the doctor that best meets the needs of their family. Most importantly, they are able to request an appointment and easily complete the task they set out to do.
Want to learn more about Geonetric’ s provider directory? Check it out.
With the number of mobile-connected devices projected to exceed the world’s population by the end of 2014, it’s more important than ever to have a Web presence that can accommodate mobile users. And since 31% of cell phone owners, and 52% of smartphone owners, have used their phone to look up health or medical information, healthcare organizations need to make their online experience seamless regardless of what type of mobile device is trying to access their information.
Pella Regional Health Center wanted to ensure visitors had access to their entire site, not just a select subset. Enter responsive design. It enables organizations to build and maintain one site that adapts automatically to the capabilities of the device being used. Essentially future-proofing an organization’s website since it presents the best user experience possible whether the Web visitor is accessing the single site from a desktop, tablet, mobile device or even a mobile-enabled refrigerator.
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!
Those MasterCard® commercials have it right. Everything costs something, but some things are worth more than what they cost. They’re valuable. And that’s how we need to think about website content.
When considering a purchase, we often think only about the amount of money we spend. We know the numbers, the price, the cost. We can feel the bills or coins leaving our hands—or we see the balance in our bank account drop. We buy stuff all the time:
- Morning cup of coffee = $
- Cool new kicks or hoodie = $$
- Washer and dryer = $$$
- Family trip to Disney World = $$$$
But what’s the value of these purchases? That’s not something you can measure in money. It’s priceless.
- Coffee = Delivers the eye-opener that jump-starts your day
- Cool kicks = Identifies you as a trend-setter or stellar group member
- Laundry pair = Offers the comfort of knowing you can have clean clothes when you need them
- Disney World vacation = Provides a fun setting for family bonding time
Value comes from the intangibles—like feelings—related to the products and services we buy. Feelings like attention, fun, trust, relationship, comfort, caring. Yes, you spend money for these products and services, but what you get back makes the cost worthwhile.
For some time now, standard Web guidance has been to open hyperlinks in the current window instead of opening them in new windows. For those not familiar with what I’m describing, the following provides an example of each:
- This hyperlink opens the destination page in the current window. This is the recommended approach.
- This hyperlink opens the destination page in a new window. This is NOT the recommended approach.
There are multiple reasons that inform the recommended approach. If you’re not familiar with them, here are a few of the more important ones:
I’ve had a lot of questions lately about remarketing (sometimes known as retargeting), a marketing technique that targets your site visitors with ads for your organization AFTER they’ve left your website. For example, I shopped for lamps last year on Overstock.com and then, for weeks afterwards, it seems like every site I visited presented me with ads for Overstock.com, many with the specific lamps I’d viewed!
You’ve probably experienced this yourself and realized that these ads are no coincidence but rather an aggressive marketing tactic by which one site follows you around the Internet with ads after a single visit.
I don’t like remarketing (so much so that I sometimes find myself writing snarky poetry about it like this). I find it to be annoying, intrusive and clumsily heavy handed. While remarketing is less intrusive when shopping for lamps – for something truly important and personal, like my health, it would be more than annoying. It would be downright creepy!
As a consumer, I don’t like remarketing and have steered clients away from the practice. But, as my friend Linda’s coffee cup reminds me on many a Monday morning, “Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.” A quick Google search shows that many healthcare organizations are using remarketing today. As a technique, remarketing works for many advertisers or it wouldn’t be gaining in popularity.
Unless you are a Seahawks fan, you probably agree that the Super Bowl this year was a bit of a snoozer. For those of us watching the ads more than the game, however, it’s always an exciting evening!
My takeaway from this year’s crop of ads was a little different. A surprising number of brands seemed to be recognizing that their products just simply aren’t interesting to consumers at that moment in time.
At one level, this is obvious. Unless you’re selling beer, soda or salty snacks, the audience for the game just doesn’t care. You’re not relevant to where they are mentally at that moment in time. They are there to watch the game and hang out with friends, not to shop for a new car or change banks.
On the other hand, this speaks to the core value proposition of interruption advertising – if you get the eyeballs of the right people pointed at the screen, your message is valuable.
But what if this just isn’t true? What if the context where the advertisement is shown really does matter?
Retail powerhouse Proctor and Gamble figured out a bit of marketing magic. They uncovered the moment that mattered the most to their consumers: when they stood in front of the store shelf and decided what to buy. Proctor and Gamble termed this the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) and they spent a lot of time, energy (and money!) focused on in-store displays.
Google decided to study this process. They wanted to see where influence took place and at what point shoppers moved from undecided to decided. Google uncovered that there is a step before the FMOT – and they named it the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
ZMOT describes the time when consumers go online and research the product, read reviews and watch product videos – actions that, according to Google, more than 88% of U.S. consumers perform.
It’s easy to picture consumers in their ZMOT – researching which big screen to buy for the big game or which resort to stay at on vacation. Today ZMOT is a powerful force in decision making. Heck, you’d likely feel uncomfortable making a big decision without doing some online research first.
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!
47% of the people who looked up a physician online felt differently about that doctor after viewing their profile, according to HealthWorks Collective. Having accurate and robust physician profiles has never been more important. Consumers want to know everything they can about providers who may be taking care of them. Given that, it is crucial that hospitals are ensuring providers’ profiles are accurate. If hospitals do not take a proactive approach to managing profiles, many online sites will “create” them on the fly and the information is typically incorrect.
Ninety-three percent of marketers will be maintaining or increasing how much they are spending on social media advertising in 2014, according to a new report from eMarketer. But where should healthcare marketers be focusing their attentions to get the most bang for their buck, not to mention their valuable time?
Social media strategy in 2014 will shift focus away from increasing the number of likes/followers your brand has to engaging your target audience through organic interactions. Marketers will need to adapt quickly across many social media channels in order to incorporate micro-video, image-centric content and native advertising into the mix. And finally, if you haven’t built out your brand’s Google+ profile yet you are already behind.
Keeping physicians happy, adhering to brand standards, and making a site user-friendly can sometimes be a balancing act. But Avera Health has accomplished all three items with its updated provider directory.
Geonetric worked with Avera Health take VitalSite’s already advanced provider profiles a step further. We gave the physician profiles a facelift adding in more interactive features such as videos and a dynamic blog feed that pulls in blog posts written by that specific doctor. The location information (including secondary locations) are clearly displayed to make it easy for visitors to find a provider in a certain area.
We also simplified the physician search results by changing the layout and indicating physicians that have a video. A print button was also added that allows users to print their search results.
Making a few changes can have a big effect! Feedback has been very positive, a win-win for users and providers!
Are you ready to dust off your provider directory and spice it up? Not sure where to start? Let us know – we’d love to help!
As healthcare marketers we enjoy being in control. So coming to grips with the fact that sometimes we’re not in control can feel quite uncomfortable. This growing reality was difficult to swallow a few years ago and even more so today. We need to embrace the fact we can’t control every single piece of the consumer experience. Sounds radical doesn’t it? Not being in control goes against the very nature of who we are as human beings and how we strive to become even more valuable as marketers to our communities.
Does giving up control mean losing control of your story or message? I submit to you, if done correctly, it does not.
As we explored options, we could have taken a more traditional approach to this request. Instead, we found a unique solution that allowed Dean to put together a section of content that resembles a blog. Using a product called Disqus, we are able to add a commenting feature to any page the custom template is applied on. Dean wrote the content on these pages to resemble blog posts. Because the Disqus code has been added to a VitalSite template, Dean was also able to take advantage of VitalSite’s SmartPanels to cross-promote other meaningful content within these pages.
I recently returned from the 2013 SHSMD annual conference in Chicago. And let’s just say I am a new man. I have a new found pep in my step.
As a creative director interested in the current state of healthcare marketing, the SHSMD annual conference offered me a Cliffs Notes overview — packing a lot of learning and face-to-face interactions into a short span of time.
Thankfully, I returned from SHSMD13 with confidence that Geonetric is doing things right. Here are a few observations: