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Customer Experience and Design

6 Keys to a Digital Marketing Mindset in Healthcare


Chris Bevolo, author of “Joe Public Does not Care about your Hospital” and more recently, “Joe Public II: Embracing the new Paradigm” spoke at the Chicago Healthcare Marketing Summit on May 27. He shared why the word Paradigm is the right word to describe the sea change in digital marketing:

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolution, and introduced the idea of “paradigm shift”. He argued that advancement is not evolutionary, but rather is a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions,” and in those revolutions “one conceptual world view is replaced by another”.

Chris also spoke about the Six keys to the digital marketing mind-set:

  • The need to rethink how healthcare approaches marketing – understanding how digital marketing tools and channels become the first thing to consider, not the last
  • Digital is not an add-on to existing marketing campaigns – Digital needs to be integrated from the start in your marketing planning efforts
  • Make sure web, mobile and search are considered from the start of any campaign planning
  • Incorporate digital marketing channels, resources and efforts across a broad range of initiatives as well as providing the ability to dive deep into the content in relevant subject areas
  • Engagement is the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign
  • Always remember to include mobile audiences in your thinking and approach

So how do you know when you have achieved digital marketing mastery:

  • Digitally Driven – Digital strategies and tactics account for more than half of your overall marketing budget and digital managers and directors have a seat at the table when the organization is developing their annual marketing plan.
  • Brand Powered – The brand is the identity of the organization and should represent the face and voice of the organization. Organizations need to build and enhance the brand experience through digital marketing venues.
  • Content Relevancy – We live in a world where we are surrounded by content – it is the context of that content that sometimes gets overlooked. Organizations must design their websites so content is prioritized for specific audiences and keep content educational not promotional.
  • Goal Oriented – Digital marketing efforts should be tied to business goals and measurement should be a priority. The results should be reported regularly and transparent for the organization to see.

Just like any organization, moving to the new digital marketing paradigm will take time for healthcare organizations. Change usually causes resistance within organizations so it is important to prepare your organization with change management strategies and start changing the mindset that visibility means marketing.

Healthcare organizations that embrace the new digital marketing mindset will have a competitive advantage because they will more effectively connect and engage with patients and be able to convert unknown consumers into patients. By leveraging digital marketing tools, healthcare organizations can empower patients with information that can improve their overall health and wellness.

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Don Hammer

Don Hammer is a Client Executive at Perficient. He has a Masters of Medical Informatics from Northwestern University and focuses on analytics across the finance, operations, HR, consumer. patient and clinical domains.

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