Charting A Course Through A Changing Marketing Landscape

Deciding which way to go in the new yearFour years ago, Gartner made an announcement that many of us found unbelievable. They predicted that “in five year’s time, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.” Since then, we’ve seen the marketing technology (martech) landscape explode. There are now solutions to marketing problems that a few years ago we didn’t even know existed. And as the tools of our trade have become increasingly sophisticated, the costs associated with staying current have also continued to climb. So it’s no surprise that Gartner’s recent reaffirmation of their initial prediction (CMOs will spend more on tech than CIOs in 2017) passed with nary comment nor buzz.

But does the prediction hold for healthcare marketing? Are we really going to see a hospital CMO’s technology budget outpace the CIO’s technology budget?
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Security, Brand Promise, and the Healthcare Website

Not Secure website warning appearing in Google Chrome.

You’ve worked hard to build a reputation of integrity, safety, and security for your healthcare brand. You take your PHI seriously, and consistently reassure your patients that their confidential health and personal information is safe in your hands. But if you’re not prepared, Google’s upcoming plans may very well undo all your efforts by labeling your website Not Secure when viewed in the Chrome web browser (see above).

This upcoming change is part of Google’s HTTPS Everywhere initiative. If you’re in healthcare marketing, manage a website, or are involved with digital strategy, you need to know what it is, what the impact will be, and decide whether or not you need to take action to protect your visitors and your brand’s reputation for security.
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Finding Your Voice, Tone, & Style for Web Content

Orchestra members performing

You know what your organization looks like, but what does it sound like?

Voice, tone, and style may sound like the same thing, but they’re not. They do work closely together to define your brand. It’s worth your time to develop a voice, tone, and style guide—if you don’t have one—and use it consistently because these elements make a difference in a user’s engagement on your website.

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Digital Budgets Increasing for Healthcare Marketing Leaders

increasing budget
We’ve crunched the numbers, donned our data scientist hats and drafted the copy. And now that the 2016 Digital Marketing Trends in Healthcare Marketing Survey is available, I’m excited to dive in and share some thoughts on what the data reveals. There’s a lot that healthcare marketers will find of interest in the results, but some of the things that I find exciting relate to the changing trends in healthcare marketing, how these fit (or don’t) into the larger forces shaping B2C marketing, and what takeaways are important for healthcare marketers going forward.
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Gundersen Health Redesign Gives Patients What They Need

gundersen-health-system

Flexibility.

It matters for the digital presence of a multi-hospital system like Gundersen Health System.

But trying to control consistent branding and content across more than 100 locations in three states led to some instances of duplicate content and the creation of multiple microsites.

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Data’s Important Role in Your Healthcare Marketing Efforts

Line graphs and digital reporting
The beautiful thing about healthcare marketing in a digital world is that you’re rarely left wondering if you’re getting it right. Long gone are the days of guessing the effectiveness of a promotion or channel. With tools ranging from vanity URLs to event tracking, heatmapping to website analytics, we have access to more data now than ever before.

But data in and of itself doesn’t do a whole lot for you. The real value lies in what you do with it.
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Effective Healthcare Marketing in the Attention Economy

People standing and looking at their cell phones
The problem is real, and one you’re likely familiar with: your digital marketing budget is supporting an increasing number of activities and you’re under growing pressure to connect the top of the funnel to the bottom, delivering business value in terms your CFO and CEO care about.1 What tactics do you prioritize if you’re going to actually start running marketing as a revenue center? How will you measure your progress and communicate it throughout the organization? For healthcare marketing leaders it’s more important than ever to find answers that help you solve the new and evolving marketing puzzle you’re faced with.

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Taking the Lead in Healthcare Marketing

Image of cyclists

In healthcare marketing, staying competitive takes many different forms. Staying ahead of the organization across town. Adjusting to acquisitions and changing alliances. Keeping up to date with ever-changing technology and search algorithms. Exceeding consumers’ ever-increasing expectations.

So while you’ve been cranking away at the day to day, it may feel like your website is drifting behind. But is it time to act? Recent advances and the maturation of several marketing technologies means that now is the time to shift gears, find your energy and put your site back in the lead.

For many organizations, that sense of ‘lagging the competition’ is centered around website features and functionality. You’re looking to boost the online user experience while simultaneously increasing its alignment with organizational strategy. Where to begin? Let’s look at where one of the most visible areas of your website is headed.
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Sinclair School of Nursing Sets Sights on Sharing Their Story

Sinclair School of Nursing Home Page

Running a college has a lot in common with running a health system: You have lots of people coming through your door – both physically and digitally – and you have important and sometimes complicated information to share with your audience.

For Erica VandenHouten and Dr. Robin Harris – the team of two on the University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing website redesign – their digital welcome mat had aged a little over the years while also becoming a bit of a filing cabinet. They knew it was time for some serious spring cleaning. Continue reading

ACA 1557 Pushes Web Accessibility to Healthcare

web accessibility in healthcare

Ensuring your organization’s website is easy-to-navigate and intuitive are top priorities for healthcare marketers today.

But it’s important to consider that optimal website usability can look and sound very different to people with sensory impairments like blindness, low vision, deafness or hard of hearing. People with cognitive disabilities, or whose native language isn’t English, can struggle with content comprehension. It can also be more difficult to navigate a website with certain motor skill impairments.

For people with a range of abilities different from your own, you must take usability a step further and address accessibility.

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Preliminary Insights From The Digital Marketing Trends In Healthcare Survey

Preliminary insights from the Marketing Trends In Healthcare Survey

Note: The 2016 survey is now closed, but you can still sign up to be notified when the results are published.

Part of my job as a strategist — and no doubt part of yours as well — is to maintain an awareness of how marketing is changing, how the industry is changing and how our competitive environment is changing. I call this the “market context” in which we work, and the fact that it’s ever-evolving is what makes this profession so interesting.

An understanding of the market context is also essential when deciding where — and where not to — invest our marketing dollars. These decisions are at the heart of strategy, and can result in growth for your healthcare brand (and patient census) or stagnation while your competition eats away at your market share.

And this is why I look forward to the comprehensive Digital Marketing Survey we conduct every few years. Not only does it collect strategic insights from across the healthcare marketing industry, but we invest in making sure all healthcare marketers have access to the resulting analysis.
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The Most Effective Way to Extend Your Digital Marketing Team

Client-satisfaction-survey

“My team is swamped and just doesn’t have the time to focus on our website.”

While I was the Product Owner for the Geonetric sales team, we heard comments like this all of the time.

It’s not surprising to me to hear that marketing teams are swamped. Most healthcare marketing teams run lean, and digital is only one of their many responsibilities. For these organizations, hiring a new team member focused on digital efforts would be ideal – but finding the budget to hire and taking the time to onboard can be difficult.

But there is another way to extend your team and add someone who understands digital marketing and the healthcare industry.

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Three tips to improve your SEO strategy from SEJ Summit 2016

3 Tips to Improve Your SEO Strategy

In the wee hours of June 23, 2016, Geonetric’s Digital Marketing team loaded up on caffeine and made the four hour drive from Cedar Rapids to Chicago for Search Engine Journal’s (SEJ) Summit 2016.

As you probably garnered from the name, the conference covered all things SEO, but also provided a broader view of today’s digital marketing landscape. This year featured speakers from several leading names in the industry, and our Geo trio was especially excited to hear from two of their favorites: Google and Home Depot.

There was a myriad of great advice and information presented during the nine sessions, but for your convenience, we pared it down into three main points that could have the biggest potential impact on your current and future SEO strategy:

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St. Mary’s Features News Feed, Improved Functionality in Website Redesign

St. Mary's website home page
When it was time to redesign their website, St. Mary’s in Evansville, Indiana got feedback from every direction, including employees, internal stakeholders and users. And when it was time to create the new design, navigation, content, and functionality, they turned to Geonetric.

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How The Beatles Can Inspire Your Content Strategy

beatles_nesting_dolls

My fellow Geonetric peeps know: I’m a die-hard fan of The Beatles. My Iowa license plate is PNYLANE. My desk is littered with the Fab Four.

These four young guys from Liverpool exploded onto the international stage in the early 60s and – armed with a unique sound and flair for fashion – changed the world in a mere decade.

But as I think about how extraordinary my favorite band has been in changing music and pop culture, I thought (nerdily) “How can the Beatles inspire content strategy?”
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