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.

Connecting CRM with your hospital website
Lots of organizations understand very clearly how CRM can be used for targeted mailing campaigns, but it’s not always so clear how CRM fits in with your website and digital marketing efforts:

  1. Close the (data) loop: If you have no other connection between your digital marketing and CRM systems, it’s getting data from your website to your CRM. A regular upload of this data facilitates important downstream ROI analysis for your digital marketing efforts and provides the CRM additional data for future targeting.
  2. Real-time connection: More and more CRM systems allow you to go beyond the regular batch transfer of data and send conversion information to the CRM as it happens. While not enhancing ROI analyses (the cycle for service delivery and reimbursement is very slow in healthcare) it opens the door to interesting follow-ups in our next item.
  3. Trigger marking from online interactions: Your interaction with a consumer doesn’t need to end when they take an action on your website. You can trigger marketing activities based on that action, particularly when you’re providing that to the CRM system in real-time. For example, your call center could be alerted to reach out to a consumer who abandoned their online appointment process or pre-registration form mid-stream!
  4. Use the Web to make your CRM smarter: CRM is at its best when it’s driven by data and driving more data through the marketing interaction. Most of the high-quality data comes from online conversion opportunities such as class registrations, online appointment scheduling and assessments. These things become intertwined – by using CRM to push consumers to online conversion points, we get better visibility, data and tracking, all of which makes our marketing efforts smarter!
  5. Use CRM to make your other digital marketing smarter: CRM systems are full of fantastic data. If you’re just using them to pull marketing target lists, you’re not getting the full value! Here’s one example – you could take data about the interests of current bariatric services patients and use that insight to target your Facebook ads!
  6. Gather emails everywhere: The big challenge when integrating digital marketing with CRM is in matching up actions with consumers in the database. Optimized Web forms are very lean, getting only the minimum data needed to facilitate the desired interaction. CRM systems prefer to have lots of data to map that contact back to the database. One way to make this easier is to get email addresses wherever possible! Be aggressive in gathering email addresses from every patient at registration and from every consumer at every touchpoint and you’ll be able to map this together without compromising form completion rates.

Connection requires change
It’s easy to think about the points of intersection between these toolsets, but the tactics only tell part of the story. Bringing CRM into your digital mix changes your digital marketing philosophy in three main ways: the way you care for your database, the way you invest in marketing and ongoing integrated camping management.

  • Database nurturing: The care and feeding of your database becomes a real priority. When you are really using CRM for its intended purpose, cultivating customer relationships, every quality contact in there with correct information has value to the organization. Ultimately, you want to report the value you’re delivering, but to grow that value over time, you need to add consumers to your database and update the information that you have! The number of new and updated contacts in CRM is a great metric to add to every campaign effort for the year.
    Accomplishing that requires a new focus on collecting information from Web visitors in general and campaign-driven consumers in particular. The days of sending PPC traffic to a generic website page without any meaningful calls to action are over. Today, it’s all about “the ask” – what are you offering that is worth them identifying themselves?
  • Marketing investment focus: This changes the focus of your marketing investment. The content is the marketing. Awareness isn’t a good enough goal. Sometimes there’s a natural screening or information session that serves as the perfect conversion opportunity, like the success North Kansas City Hospital found with their Test Your Ticker campaign. If there isn’t then the 30 second TV spot is no longer the ideal work product. Now you need to generate something more substantial that consumers are willing to trade their personal information for – recorded (or live) webinars on the topic by your physicians, summaries of new research insights, guides for living with a particular disease, interactive assessments to determine if you’re a good candidate for a new procedure, or topic-focused email newsletters.
  • Ongoing, integrated campaigns: Finally, while campaigns are still part of the marketing tool belt, just promoting one or two things at a time doesn’t cut it. Focused targeting means that fewer consumers will see any given promotion from your organization (but those people are much more likely to be the right people). Bottom line, you’re going to be running many more efforts simultaneously, some drumming up new demand as most traditional campaigns do, but many more capturing the natural demand for services that exists out there at those rare moments of research and decision making. Unlike traditional campaigns, these are ongoing year round.

Smarter marketing
As you can see, these are enabling technologies that force you to think differently about the way you market today. Targeting more effective messages to the right people at the right time will be a key component of marketing operations going forward.

A great place to start getting ready for this change is by attending our upcoming webinar How to Connect CRM and Your Hospital Website for Smarter Marketing on April 29, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. CT. We’ll be presenting with Tea Leaves Health and are excited to discuss ways to connect your CRM system to your hospital website so can you gain better visibility and tracking – -and become a smarter marketer!

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This entry was posted in Best Practices, Homepage Panel, Industry Trends, Marketing, Value by Ben Dillon. Bookmark the permalink.
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.

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