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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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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What’s Holding Your Digital Marketing Back?

What's holding your digital marketing back?
Lack of budget. Lack of time. We’ve been asking healthcare marketers what their top barriers to success are for almost a decade through our digital trends survey. And every year they report lack of budget and time as your top hurdles. This year’s stats are no different, with more than 170 healthcare marketers reporting budget and time as their two overall barriers to digital success.

But, when you divide the survey respondents into the self-reported segments of leader, average, and laggard a different story emerges.
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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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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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What You Need To Win At Digital Marketing In Healthcare

2016-Survey-Banner
You’re not investing in digital marketing just because it’s fun – you’re investing in it because you know it can help you win new patients.

But if you want to win, you need to know where you stand. How do you compare with other healthcare organizations like yours? Are your results competitive? Do you have the team, partners and budget that you need in order to succeed?

If you don’t know where you stand, you’re in luck! We’re proud to announce that Geonetric has partnered with eHealthcare Strategy & Trends magazine to once again conduct the most comprehensive survey on digital marketing in the healthcare industry.

The 2016 Digital Marketing Trends in Healthcare survey is officially open – and we want thought leaders like you to participate!
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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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How to Optimize Your Health System’s Brand for Local Search

How to Optimize for Local Search
Establishing an effective SEO strategy in today’s mobile age requires you to include local search efforts. According to Google, more searches take place on smartphones than computers – and combine that stat with the fact mobile users expect information returned or presented to be localized. Mobile users also expect the information returned to be accurate. But that’s not always the case – which frustrates searchers and healthcare marketers alike.

It’s time for you to take control of your local listings and get on the path to optimizing your organization for local search. We’re here to help show you how.

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Does Your Facebook Button Violate HIPAA?

Facebook like thumb
A lawsuit filed in California on March 15 accuses Facebook, along with a number of high profile healthcare systems and websites, of violating HIPAA and users’ privacy. Initially, this seemed ridiculous, but on reviewing the complaint, there are some interesting and unexpected conclusions to be found.

What did Facebook (allegedly) do?

It turns out when you put Facebook’s “Like” button on a page on your website, it acts like an analytics tracking code – communicating information about the page you’re visiting to Facebook. This information is not just available to Facebook when you click that “Like” button, but as soon as it’s loaded on the page! Facebook is able to connect this information with your profile through a variety of mechanisms and uses it to profile you into some of its 154 health-related segments.

There are a few things the Plaintiffs see wrong with this arrangement.
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Patient-focused microsite promotes Altru Advanced Orthopedics

Altru Advanced Orthopedics
Altru Health System’s orthopedics clinic was going through some changes. The growing service line was moving to a new facility and underwent a brand change – including getting a new name, Altru Advanced Orthopedics.

It was the perfect time to build a new microsite. Continue reading

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Launches Online Physician Ratings and Reviews

Geonetric Online Physician Ratings and Reviews

When you have great doctors, you like to show them off.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Southeast Wisconsin has great doctors but was concerned about the lack of provider reviews on external sites like Healthgrades and Vitals. In their experience, only a handful of their doctors had profiles with ratings and reviews on those sites, some of which weren’t reflective of the quality of care being provided, and none of the providers had enough feedback to be statistically significant.

In addition, Wheaton Franciscan’s marketing team knew consumers were using ratings and reviews as a decision support tool both inside and outside healthcare. And they know that with changes in healthcare reform, those consumers will only become more active in decision making as they are asked to cover more and more of their own healthcare expenditures.

For Wheaton Franciscan, these two issues made launching their own provider ratings and reviews more important than ever. They partnered with Geonetric, their digital marketing agency, to make it happen.
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Cottage Health Awakens the Force with New Marketing Video

Cottage Health's video, Germ Wars

If you want to see how Star Wars can possibly be applied to healthcare marketing, look no further than Cottage Health. The southern California-based health system leveraged all the hype around the new movie and created a fun, educational video on infection prevention.

Trust us, the force is strong with this one.
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