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Healthcare Marketing at #HCIC17: How Yesterday and Tomorrow Define Today

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This week, #TeamPerficient is participating in the Healthcare Internet Conference 2017. One of the most striking themes across the sessions is the need for insightful measurement.

Implementing an effective digital strategy requires choosing measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and tools that allow you to measure them. This process looks different for every healthcare organization, but it almost always comes down to three buckets of measurement:

  • What worked yesterday?
  • What will our audience need tomorrow?
  • What does that mean for today?

What worked yesterday?

Let’s start with some definitions. “Yesterday” covers all the days of your strategy prior to today. “Worked” means the content resonated with your audience and generated conversation and/or conversion. Now, in healthcare, conversion doesn’t always mean “schedule an appointment.” Conversion often can be much subtler online, such as regularly engaging with your content. Or a conversion that starts online actually can occur offline, such as reading a blog article and then calling a phone number for more information.

Too often, we see clients complain that a proven strategy or technique “doesn’t work for them” when, in fact, there were no effective measurements in place. To really know what worked yesterday and what didn’t, it’s important to have baselines in place. This will help you determine how many more calls your contact center received, how many more online forms were completed, and eventually how many more patients were acquired by a certain strategy or campaign.

What will our audience need tomorrow?

No one can know for certain what content or tools your audience will be searching for in the future. But you can take advantage of current data to make solid predictions. You can analyze patient activity, physician questions, and digital trends over time. Are there unexpected changes from month to month? Are your community’s health needs similar to or starkly different from national trends?

Monitoring live engagements on social media, call center lines, and email forms is another effective way to predict your audience’s needs. What questions are people asking? What content resonates with them? Is there a disconnect between the online and offline experience? Use the data at hand to proactively address patient concerns and make their digital experience easier, friendlier, and more relevant.

What does that mean for today?

Looking backward and forward is vital, and what we do today is shaped as much by past trends as future needs. Healthcare marketers continually must revise strategies and launch evolving initiatives to delight today’s patients and acquire more tomorrow, with the goal that these new patients will one day refer their friends and family to the organization.

Past experiences and future growth aren’t tangible if we don’t take action. It’s an ongoing, cyclical strategy that continues to grow over time. Setting measurable KPIs and effectively measuring them are the first steps toward implementing an effective digital strategy. Use what you know from yesterday and what you anticipate tomorrow to prioritize your actions today.

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