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Defining Your Digital Marketing Transformation Initiatives

Part IV in the series, Digital: A Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to the Galaxy 

With so much changing in the world of healthcare, it can sometimes feel like marketers are expected to be miracle workers.

Every successful marketing initiative begins with a strategy and a plan, which is why we’ve mapped these four “guideposts” to help transform and lead your organization into the digital age:

  1. Define the Burning Platform
  2. Create a Digital Culture
  3. Break Down Silos (Agile Marketing Approach)
  4. Define Your Digital Transformation Initiatives

Our previous installments discussed the first three steps to going digital: how to Define the Burning Platform, Create a Digital Culture, and Break down the Silos to create an agile approach to your marketing. In our last installment, I want to discuss the final step in our Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to the Galaxy, GuidePost 4: Defining your Digital Transformation Initiatives.

Following are some of the most important initiatives to undertake. Create clear and measurable objectives, strategies, tactics, and timelines for each, and assign your Agile teams to divide and conquer. If your organization is not fully optimized to exploit these as “digital value hubs” designed to drive patient engagement and conversion, you may want to read the Jack Welch quote one more time.

Website Conversion: Transform your website from brochure-ware into a data- and content-rich resource center for prospective customers. That means rethinking your site from the customer perspective and letting go of underperforming pages and lengthy content. When reviewing your website approach, think mobile first and a site that is responsive when viewed on any device.

UX and the Customer Voice: Expand your user experience research for your website and PHR and ensure those efforts are well integrated into your customer experience work. Site analytics, focus groups, and one-on-one usability research all lead to greater customer insight.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management platforms are increasingly being adopted within health systems to transition from episodic marketing campaigns to targeted communications that nurture customers throughout the decision process. One of the biggest reasons CRM implementations fail in healthcare is that processes are not reengineered to accommodate a new form of marketing campaign planning – one that doesn’t have a specific start and end date. Another reason is that CRM systems demand agility in developing relevant, engaging content – an emerging capability for many organizations.

Content Marketing: Content Marketing is the strategic creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage your targeted audience – with the objective of driving them to a specific result. It involves the people, processes, tools, and message to achieve these results. A solid content strategy enables you to be more efficient and consistent in your content creation efforts, enabling a Create Once Publish Everywhere (COPE) approach. Content strategy is the overarching approach to your digital content that includes both social media and SEO/SEM.

Internal Communications: There is no better place to start your digital transformation than from within. Consolidating internal communication efforts and shifting content online through your intranet can free up resources while allowing your employees to collaborate in new ways. Designing an intranet user experience for your internal audiences is just as important as designing the internet site for your external audiences. Usability research, persona development, and user analytics all apply here.

The fact is that we may be entering an age of Digital Darwinism in healthcare – when technology and society move faster than an industry or an organization can adapt. Health systems that fight the tough battles now, focusing first on transforming their culture and processes, will be best able to thrive in a world of even more accelerated change. After all, the Digital Age is not about technology, it’s about people. When we look back at the age of Enlightenment, we don’t remember the Gutenberg so much as we remember the great creativity that was unleashed during that period. Similarly, one hundred years from now, people will not remember our advances in technology, but they will remember what we inspired with the tools we held in the palms of our hands.

November 7, 2014
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