Consider how connected technology makes us. Thanks to texting, instant messaging and email, there is no more waiting for a response. Yet during this time where instant communication and action is necessary, many hospitals run out to complete focus groups and don’t immediately take action until they’ve calculated all the odds. Is this really necessary in every situation? More often than not they need to act quickly and in real-time.
At least this is the position poised by David Meerman Scott during a presentation at this year’s Healthcare Marketing Strategies Summit, I attended Scott’s session Real-Time Marketing: How to Instantly Engage Your Market and Connect with Customers and let me tell you, his passion for real-time action is contagious. David talked a lot about the power of real-time email communication and responding directly through one-on-one communication. According to Meerman, one key to unlocking the door of success focuses on the need to earn customers’ attention by real-time actions.
A great example of real-time action and ROI in a crisis situation came during the Chilean mine disaster in 2010. David shared the story of how sunglass manufacturer Oakley saw an opportunity to provide comfort to each Chilean miner, get some good publicity, and effectively increase their market share by selling more sunglasses. As the miners emerged after being trapped for weeks, a pair of Oakley sunglasses was placed on the Chilean miners to protect their eyes. As a result of acting in real-time, Oakley captured 41 million dollars in sunglass revenue.
So how do hospitals create real-time action? David provided a few action steps that transfer well to the healthcare industry:
- Make everyone in your organization a real-time officer. Everyone? Yes, everyone in the organization should become a real-time officer in order to better communicate with your customers.
- Develop real-time guidelines and keep the lawyers as far away from decisions as possible. Do you really have time to consult your legal department in every situation?
- Find a way to manage, listen, monitor and respond to any external feedback taking place outside the walls of your organization. One of the easiest ways you can accomplish this is by implementing real-time systems and business tools such as HootSuite or TweekDeck.
Obviously many healthcare organizations are limited by what they can do with and without consulting their legal departments, but the theory is still good to internalize. Wherever you can, try to establish a real-time mind-set and empower all your employees to communicate with your patients.
On a side note, I’d like to also say just how much fun I had at the conference meeting new people and being able to be a real-time officer for Geonetric at the show.