By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

It used to be in the marketing agency world that you wanted to be all things to all people, and have everything under one roof. The problem with that model is that it may not enable you to match client needs with the best solution. You are able only to match client needs with the best solution you have in-house. It often results in generalists tasked with meeting highly specific needs.

That is a particular problem for healthcare. The breadth and depth of this industry require a keen understanding of the challenges at all levels—in particular where the topics are clinical, financial and technical. A writer who understands how to write an article about heart health for a consumer audience isn’t always the same fit for content about pharma technology aimed at a financial decision maker. 

As rapidly as the world of marketing is evolving and changing, at Hammock we see the need to find the best-in-class provider of services every single time: writers who are specialists in their field; photographers and videographers able to be deployed on a moment’s notice where they live; experts in preferred marketing automation platforms used by clients; paid push specialists with experience in the client’s industry.

We’ve made a business out of ensuring core competencies are in-house and then working with the best people in their respective disciplines, who are contractors to us on projects and recurring contracted work, and utilizing tried-and-true processes and platforms to ensure our control over workflows and our ability to provide the best client experience and deliver the best results.

We’ve used this method of delivering award-winning marketing media for 30 years, and worked with hundreds of team members outside our walls along the way. In a recent get-to-know-you call, while I was explaining what we do, the prospective client beat me to the punch line: “So, your company has ‘The Hollywood Model?’” Yes, indeed.

Movies and TVs have been made for decades by companies that gather subspecialties to serve on teams to execute the most entertaining content we all enjoy. In our view, it’s the most successful and efficient way to meet our clients’ needs.

Do you want specialists or generalists serving your marketing needs? Welcome to Hollywood.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

HollywoodHills

By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

It used to be in the marketing agency world that you wanted to be all things to all people, and have everything under one roof. The problem with that model is that it may not enable you to match client needs with the best solution. You are able only to match client needs with the best solution you have in-house. It often results in generalists tasked with meeting highly specific needs.

As rapidly as the world of marketing is evolving and changing, at Hammock we see the need to find the best-in-class provider of services every single time: writers who are specialists in their field; photographers and videographers able to be deployed on a moment’s notice where they live; experts in preferred marketing automation platforms used by clients; paid push specialists with experience in the client’s industry.

We’ve made a business out of ensuring core competencies are in-house and then working with the best people in their respective disciplines, who are contractors to us on projects and recurring contracted work, and utilizing tried-and-true processes and platforms to ensure our control over workflows and our ability to provide the best client experience and deliver the best results.

We’ve used this method of delivering award-winning marketing media for 30 years, and worked with hundreds of team members outside our walls along the way. In a get-to-know-you call last week, while I was explaining what we do, the prospective client beat me to the punch line: “So, your company has ‘The Hollywood Model?’” Yes, indeed.

Movies and TVs have been made for decades by companies that gather subspecialties to serve on teams to execute the most entertaining content we all enjoy. In our view, it’s the most successful and efficient way to meet our clients’ needs.

Do you want specialists or generalists serving your marketing needs? Welcome to Hollywood.

Photo: Getty Images



About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.


bridgecommunication

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

My conversations with healthcare organizations—providers, payers, pharma companies, technology or service solutions—show me that the marketers within those organizations need more help understanding the industry that is there to support their efforts. 

When Hammock was founded 30 years ago, we were not known as a marketing company. We were known as a custom publishing company. At the time, it was appropriate for describing what we did: creating recurring custom-published marketing media for clients (which they owned) to accomplish a business objective.

It also helped explain how we were different from advertising agencies or public relations (PR) firms. Our work went directly to customers and prospects. Advertising and PR were piggybacking on someone else’s published media to reach customers and prospects. 

During the Great Recession (2007–2009) many print newspapers and magazines collapsed. Traditional advertising agencies and PR firms also took a hit when those media failed. 

The vocabulary to describe what we do to help clients communicate and grow started changing. For example, the industry organization Rex Hammock co-founded in 1998, the Custom Publishing Council, became the Custom Content Council. 

Advertising and PR functions are still critical, of course. One consideration is who has expertise in going direct to audiences, and who is there to help efforts using someone else’s media? 

We’ve evolved new capabilities and embraced new media, from digital to video to social. But where we add value is the same today as it was in 1991. We help support and nurture the customer journey, before they are a customer, and afterward. We deliver strategy and implementation, as well as measurement of key performance indicators, and we help our clients establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Everybody has a story to tell, a message to deliver, and we specialize in helping you take yours directly to the people who need to hear, read or view it so that you can continue to grow.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

tools

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

It’s no secret that healthcare marketers had to shift gears in 2020. According to the inaugural HIMSS Healthcare Technology Marketing Survey, more than 85% of marketing decision-makers at healthcare or healthcare technology organizations reported using content marketing, social media, webinars, email marketing and virtual events as part of their 2020 marketing strategy—and more than 75% of marketing decision-makers expect to continue using these tactics throughout 2021.

When marketers were asked what marketing tools were most effective, the top five answers were: 
  1. Webinars
 (At Hammock, we think of webinars as a type of content marketing.)
  2. Account-based marketing

  3. Virtual events

  4. Content marketing

  5. Social media

It’s no surprise in a year when in-person events were so limited that webinars and virtual events were so highly rated by marketers. Notable as a rising investment by marketers was an uptick in the spend on account-based marketing (ABM)—61% of respondents reported using ABM during 2020, while 67% said they intend to use the tactic in 2021. ABM is the practice of marketing to individual prospects or customers, and tracking the interactions with those targets.

In healthcare, particularly, ABM makes sense because of the relatively small universe of buyers compared with, say, marketing to millions of consumers or small-business owners, where casting a large net is required. When marketing to healthcare providers or payers, the targets are known. The survey results suggest we’ll see a rise in ABM moving forward—39% of survey respondents reported that ABM will be in their top five marketing spending areas in 2021.

The top three areas that healthcare technology marketers indicated a desire to learn more about from a subject matter expert are: 
  1. Marketing optimization

  2. Account-based marketing

  3. Content marketing

If you would like to connect to resources we’ve developed around these topics or if you would like a subject matter expert from Hammock to present to your marketing team or leadership about best practices in these areas, please let us know

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

 communicating through tin-can phones

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

The children’s game of telephone continues to be an apt analogy for how misinformation can be spread widely. Humans are great at many things, but we aren’t always reliable at recollection. Real information, when passed down and shared widely and inaccurately, becomes conventional wisdom.

In healthcare marketing, for example, we often hear that women make 80% of healthcare decisions. This is based, probably, on a 2014 report that indicates 80% of healthcare decisions about kids are made by women. 

Is that being picky? I’d argue it’s critical. You wouldn’t want to build a healthcare marketing strategy around the idea that your market is 80% women, if it’s not.  

In healthcare content marketing, this “game of telephone” dynamic can be particularly damaging for organizations seeking to position themselves as thought leaders. You don’t want to be trafficking warmed-over conventional wisdom for three reasons:

  1. It’s not accurate.
  2. It looks bad.
  3. It prevents you from sharing unique insights.

When you work with an outside content partner, you can expect them to help provide additional research to support the content you create. But that research should be carefully done and rely on authoritative sources. It should be accurate.

That outside partner should also understand your unique value and your unique voice. When research means warming over conventional wisdom, you are delivering poor insights and risk looking bad. 

Are you playing a game of telephone with your content?

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Healthcare organizations’ returning to in-person events and conferences is a welcome sight. We have held the opinion that there is a lot you can do virtually, but nothing replaces being with one another for sharing knowledge, building relationships and developing business.

At the same time, there were some savings that groups realized during the pandemic, and the cost structure of virtual events was a line item that was mighty appealing to some. Airfare, hotels, meals and entertainment are all event costs that will come roaring back, along with the benefits of the in-person environment. 

Some healthcare organizations, prior to the pandemic and now, saw the opportunity to continue the conversation with attendees year round through the development of content that was shared long after the booths were taken down. 

Content can be developed during a conference, such as video content from interviews with attendees, speakers and other key persons. Proprietary research can be developed prior to a conference and shared with attendees as part of the programming for the event. Post-event wrap-ups can synthesize the theme of a whole event. South by Southwest spawned a magazine to share the vibe of its event all year. 

When large investments are made into your events, what other ways can you leverage those investments to continue the value of the event?

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

This week 26 years ago, I moved to Nashville. My first job here in town was as a healthcare reporter. Let me say that healthcare as a beat is a massive undertaking for anyone to cover adequately, but particularly someone without experience in the industry. I moved from covering school board meetings to covering the most dynamic industry in our city. 

In those early days, I would read about some specialized segment of the industry, say physician practice management, then go and conduct an interview with a CEO of the leading company in that space. To say I was outmatched and outgunned is an understatement. Like a lot of young people, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. 

After a few years, I went to business school at night to understand more about the business of healthcare. More than 20 years later, the experience I’ve gained and the schooling I’ve had make healthcare more comprehensible, but healthcare remains a dynamic and complex business. At least now, I know what I don’t know.

Building a content company that serves the healthcare market is fueled by the fact that we know what we don’t know. Our team of experienced healthcare content professionals possesses a great deal of domain expertise. The value we deliver to clients is based on the acquisition of expertise in the areas where more specialized knowledge is required. For Hammock, that means we work with a whole host of contractors and specialists. 

People come to us because we understand their space. But our clients remain the experts in what they do. We assist them in developing content to support their business objectives. Our best relationships are based on this mutual understanding and respect for each other’s specialized knowledge and expertise. 

Do you know what you don’t know about how to maximize your healthcare business with content marketing? Let us know. 

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

Young man and woman positioning orange puzzle pieces while standing at the edge of cliff against white background

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I heard a great question this week from a prospective client: Why do customers choose you and why do they stay with you? 

It’s a great question because the person who asked it recognized the fundamental value of how a relationship works. A good business partner offers more than what you sought them out for in the first place.

Developing recurring content, across a variety of media, to support a business objective typically requires skill sets that are too specific and too expensive to replicate in-house. 

Most healthcare companies that want to do content marketing need a partner with the subject matter expertise, team, processes and experience to help.

In many cases, they are looking for a partner because they’ve come to the conclusion that they can’t justify the investment in-house. So they see it as a replacement for a full-time equivalent (FTE) or FTEs. 

But long-term relationships are much more than a replacement for an FTE. 

Sure, with the right partner, clients find that they are able to focus on projects and other priorities that serve their core business. And the clients understand that a professional process makes it easier on their team. 

But there is deeper, more fundamental value when you find the right outside partner. You have an extension of your team that is focused on serving your customers and prospects, just like you are, with solutions that perfectly position your brand.

A good outside partner can serve as a sounding board, and constantly challenge you to focus on the audience’s concerns, and not corporate speak. 

The right outside partner’s access to domain expertise is valuable for helping you hone your message.

And the right outside partner starts to show you all the ways content plays a role in moving healthcare customers through their journey, such as building presentations for sales or investor groups, developing training videos, or helping improve their client conferences, to name a few.

Finding the right partner means looking at the reasons they are the right fit for right now, but also for next year and the years to come. 

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

In our last healthcare idea email, we discussed the need to make healthcare more continuous and less episodic and shared that we are interested in examples of companies delivering models that are truly customer-centered.
 
One example is Amazon Care. Much was made of the “failure” of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan’s joint venture, Haven. Haven, established by these three companies to transform healthcare, was disbanded earlier this year after three years. 
 
But what we discussed in a January idea email was how these companies would leverage their experience to develop innovations for their own employees. One of those innovations is Amazon Care. This app for Amazon employees serves as a “centralized hub where patients identify their problem or concern. Amazon Care then directs them to the right resources.”
 
Nothing could better describe helping a customer along their journey. That’s what customer-centered care should look like. Helpful content and platforms to aid us in our journey to navigate healthcare. 
 
Healthcare is confusing and, unlike other customer experiences, it’s usually not welcome or our first choice. Having clear help to get what we need is what should happen. As healthcare marketers, we should work to be part of the team building those experiences.
 
Takeaway: Is your approach helping or preventing customers from navigating their healthcare journey?
 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I have been struck in a few recent conversations by the idea of how “warm” and “cold” healthcare can be in terms of engaging us as customers. I was talking to someone whose wife has been undergoing cancer treatments and has a 20-minute meeting once a month with the doctor. In those 20 minutes, she feels exceptionally cared for. It’s a warm experience.