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.
In this day and age, you are what you publish. Making yourself relevant requires you to catch the trend early and get your message out early.
Follow the news and find your angle. This is newsjacking, to be sure, but it’s not just a tactic – it’s a mindset.
As healthcare organizations, we’re often scared to give out information for free. If we share this info, why would patients come to us? The truth is just the opposite – when you give the information for free, patients see you as the expert, they connect with your organization, then they come through the door in waves!
Scott makes his case in a blog post about a physical therapy experience, arguing that healthcare has the worst customer service of any industry. And he’s right. I’ve been handed those same terrible PT documents!
How hard is it to create short videos where your therapists show the exercises? The answer is that it’s trivial. Arm an intern with a $300 camera and have them follow some physical therapists around for a week and you probably have coverage of the top 80% of exercises. That’s it.
And it’s so much more engaging! Point your patients to it, they’ll share. Patients of your competitor will search and find YOU. Now that’s powerful!
Having heard Scott speak a number of times, I really like his core messages and how he pushes healthcare marketers to be more progressive, take risks and adopt new tools and philosophies.
However, I’ve been critical of his use and abuse of terminology in the past, and this time around we hit those same issues.
Scott’s presentation this year was titled “Agile Engagement in a Real-Time World.” Because we at Geonetric are passionate advocates of agile philosophy for software development, marketing and management, I was thrilled that Scott was going agile!
Agile marketing is a transformative philosophy for marketing organizations. Scott shared the need to move quickly with your marketing. For example, watch the news trends as they’re starting to get traction and get some content out quickly to contribute to the conversation (again, newsjacking – the topic of one of his wildly popular books).
The thing is, “agile” has a very specific meaning when applied to marketing, and it doesn’t just mean to go faster. Those of us transforming our organizations through agile methods are quite keen to keep “agile” from becoming a watered-down and generally meaningless buzzword.
Agile, as the term is used today, comes from the world of software development. Ultimately, agile isn’t about going faster so much as it’s about prioritization – how do we keep the focus on doing the most important and most valuable things while understanding that the most valuable things will change?
So agile is about speed, but not simply about trying to do things faster. As agile is applied to marketing, the key is to put things into the field fast, measure constantly, learn fast and, very often, fail fast and pivot to find ways to be successful. The point of agile isn’t speed for speed’s sake, but rather eliminating waste and finding the path the value. And nothing is more wasteful than spending time and resources on things that aren’t working, no matter how fast you do them!
Another way that agile marketing contributes to velocity is through focus. Work in process is waste, pure and simple, so when you’re juggling a dozen different projects, all dragging along so that none of them get to the point where they’re delivering value, it creates a great deal of waste. Focusing on a small number of items and getting one done before embarking on the next allows the organization to benefit from some of those efforts much more quickly.
For agile marketing, this all means rejecting the elaborate planning processes of the past. Rather than spending months gearing up for a campaign effort, pulling the trigger and letting it run while simply hoping that it will work – we focus on the most important elements of the campaign effort, get them complete and then launch them into the world to start delivering value. All the while measuring the impact of what’s live, and prioritizing subsequent efforts based on what’s working and what’s not.
If you’d like to learn more about agile marketing, I recommend our webinar on applying agile techniques to digital marketing efforts and our whitepaper on how Geonetric uses agile marketing in our Responsive Marketing Campaigns. Or give us a call – we love to talk agile!