By John Lavey, President

In June, Forrester released its 2022 Customer Experience (CX) Index. Forrester revealed that CX quality fell for 19% of brands tracked across 13 industries in 2022. It was the largest one-year drop in the history of the survey. 

What happened? Forrester suggested a “waning attention on customers, even though customers expect more from digital and hybrid experiences.” 

Healthcare can’t afford to drop its attention to customers. In September 2021, Press Ganey—a renowned leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem—surveyed more than 1,000 adults to evaluate consumer preferences and expectations for healthcare. What Press Ganey found and published in its 2021 Consumer Experience Trends in Healthcare Report echoes what is true in other industries: A digital-first mindset is the ticket to a positive consumer experience. 

So, how can digital content help?  For starters, organizations should focus their attention on creating trustworthy content. 

According to Press Ganey, 51.1% of patients turn to the web when choosing a new primary care provider (PCP). Even more specifically, consumers rely on search engines (22%) almost as much as they do doctor referrals (24%) to find a PCP. 

When considering content, think about these areas:

  1. Website: When patients visit your organization’s website, what do they find? Do they find stale content, stock photos, and an outdated list of services and physicians? Or do they find engaging blog posts from healthcare providers, educational material about conditions and treatments, and content that empowers them to participate in their own care?



  2. Social media: “Social media holds more opportunities than just advancing an organization’s brand and marketing strategies; it can also do a lot to help boost patient engagement,” Sara Heath wrote in a 2016 article for Patient Engagement HIT. Social media—specifically Twitter, TikTok and Facebook—can help connect prospective and current patients with patient education tools, develop a sense of community, and improve patient satisfaction.  



  3. Video: One of the best ways to build trust with prospective (and current) patients is through video. Video can make an organization seem more personable and approachable—which is important in an industry where people are often intimidated. 

How is your organization using digital content to improve the consumer experience?



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, President

We view helpful content as one of the highest forms of marketing. Helpful content is superior marketing to content that hypes a solution.

Sometimes the most helpful kind of content, particularly for B2B marketing, is educating your customers and creating resources that they can use to do their jobs more effectively. 

Helping educate your audience to help them be better at their jobs can take many forms. Here are three ideas:

User conferences
Many of our clients host user conferences, assembling a curriculum to introduce customers to the latest and best ideas about their job. These two-day or three-day events are big lifts for companies to put on, and they can be expensive, but they are viewed positively by customers. 

Client universities
Some clients we’ve worked with have adopted the idea of themselves as a university, continually teaching their customers how to be better at their job. When the customers are a channel seller of their solution, it’s not only helpful but also savvy. The university model differs from the user conference model to the extent that the teaching and the messaging last beyond the three-day span. The investment in that kind of marketing spans year round.

Library of resources
This kind of content marketing offers clients a library of resources to help them do their jobs. Providing presentation decks, e-books, videos and more, marked with their branding so they can use them in their marketing or sales to clients, is good content marketing.

How can you help teach your client and sharpen your content marketing?

 
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, President

With the labor market as tight as it is, it has never been harder to attract and retain talent. If your company is like some, the move to remote work means that you are no longer just competing with companies in your geographic area; you are competing against the rest of the world for the best people in your industry. 

Finding ways to stand out from the competition and truly engage potential candidates for hire is hard to do, but using video to assist your recruiting efforts is a dynamic way to meet that challenge. 

Short videos that tell authentic stories about who you are and why someone would want to work with you right now can cut through the details you will likely have to share in a job posting. 

Here are some of the tips for what you will want in an effective video to accompany your recruitment postings:

Short—The most popular format for viewing videos right now is on TikTok, and the sweet spot for length of video there is 7 seconds to 15 seconds. Chances are you can’t communicate the value of a role in a TikTok video, but you should aim for brevity. There are industry-specific and platform-specific standards, but getting a video to 1 minute is a good goal.

Authentic—Letting your passion come through about your mission as an organization and why you care about what you do is important. It’s not so much what you say as how you say it. That energy is contagious.

Clear—Get to the point quickly, or create a clear call to action about what they can do next if interested. The platforms themselves can provide an assist here. But if it’s important, for example, to make it clear whether you are open to remote work, say it out loud.

Storytelling content is a critical part of every stakeholder journey, not just your customer journeys. Think about how you can help your prospective employees at each stage of their search. Video can help. 

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.

 

 

We often take it for granted that a content calendar is part of the value we provide healthcare clients, but being able to provide timely, consistent, relevant and highly engaging content requires planning, a structured slate of content and an accompanying schedule. 

For social media, blog posts and content campaigns, having a content calendar helps you avoid duplicating content, saves you from last-minute (poor) planning, and helps you visualize your content strategy well into the future. 

Our approach to creating content for healthcare clients means creating content in advance while allowing room for timely opportunities to respond to something newsworthy that captures the attention of the audience.

Our experience over time is clients need real-time visibility (or close to that) into the status of projects in the works. So, creating a schedule in a shared, collaborative platform can be the basis for a good workflow.

The calendar, combined with status updates and performance reporting, feeds best practices and a great partnership. 

Most companies can’t create content effectively on their own. It’s too specialized and expensive to create content across media types, distribute across multiple channels, and measure to determine success.

If you are struggling to share the great stories you have to tell, consider what it will require to stay on track. A content calendar is a wonderful start.  


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

Some people think about content marketing campaigns in healthcare as providing thought leadership, then pushing engaged leads into a call to action where they are entering the sales process. But sometimes that formula isn’t helpful enough, or you may want more tools to try when you are rolling out campaigns. 

One option that some healthcare marketers are succeeding with includes deploying more collaborative content tools, where the call to action might be an interactive calculator tool or worksheets to help guide a collaborative session. That session might help a customer work through an approach to a problem. 

This is a smart way to think about engaging your audience, as an alternative or supplement to e-books and webinars. 

Developing interactive calculator tools is a terrific option if you can do it in a meaningful way that your customer will trust. There are lots of options for how to build calculators, or you can select an off-the-shelf option. If building out a tool is too big a lift, offering to take your customer’s data and come back with a savings estimate provides you an opportunity to maintain a consultative role. 

One of our clients uses worksheets to facilitate a conversation with prospects. Given the complexity of the problems faced by some of your customers, this is a wise way to think about building a relationship. When you roll up your sleeves and sit down to help a prospective customer, it really changes the dynamic and builds trust.

If you want to be a truly consultative seller, then supporting your efforts with collaborative content marketing tools is something you should consider. It supports our highest aspirations: content that works!

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.

 

 

WhatWorks

By John Lavey

By far, the most common question I receive from healthcare clients and prospective clients, or even friends when we talk about healthcare marketing, is: “What works?”

That question is really an umbrella for more specific questions, such as:

  1. What is effective right now at helping me get my message across or growing my business?

  2. What is the best way to spend my marketing dollars, and how can I be sure they are being spent wisely?

  3. How can I partner with someone outside, and what marketing staffing should I have internally to be successful?

These are the essential questions any organization will have about its marketing, particularly for healthcare companies that are trying to market to hard-to-reach buyers in provider, payer and pharma organizations. So, what works? Here are three key places to start, based on your answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you have a clear picture of what your customer journey looks like? When we dig into a company’s marketing, we take a look at all aspects of what it looks like, from thought leadership to sales support, event marketing, even onboarding and customer retention. If you have a clear idea of what that journey looks like, and then, where you are weaker or stronger, you have an idea of what needs attention. Invest to address gaps in content that supports that customer journey.

  2. Are you committed to more closely linking marketing to sales? Many organizations have embraced account-based marketing. All organizations have content management systems. Most have marketing investments. Rarely are all of these investments as interoperable as they could be, or should be. If you don’t have connective tissue between sales and marketing, you should fix that first.

  3. Are you ready for lead generation, or do you really need to generate demand? We all want to drive leads, and create opportunities for conversations about our solutions. But the reality is that some companies aren’t well known enough to be the “go to” for when a customer is ready to evaluate options for solutions. Those companies need to invest in thought leadership, and meeting demand for solutions to problems, even shaping conversations at the awareness stage, before it comes to consideration and decision making

Give us a call if you’d like to talk more about what isn’t working for you, and where you might start. 

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.

 

 

comedyclub

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I spend most of my professional life helping clients tell stories across all forms of media to accomplish a business objective. But in my personal life for the past eight years, I’ve also been part of a few storytelling groups in Nashville and have gotten up on stage in bars and comedy clubs to tell comic stories. 

Telling a story in front of a crowd has informed my perspective on marketing, and I’ve learned through great nights where I was killing it (and one or two nights where I’ve bombed) three truths about what it takes to engage an audience. I think those three truths are just as relevant for engaging your audience at a healthcare conference as they are in a club.

  1. Show, Don’t Tell—Any writer will tell you this, but you have to make people feel the details and concrete nature of a problem or challenge you face. When you are telling a story about a bad date, it matters to share details about how bad the calamari was, or how you were both glancing at your phones, and some of the specific and terribly awkward words shared. When it comes to talking about industry issues (say physician burnout), we tend to focus a lot on data-supported points (which are necessary for making a decision) but don’t engage our hearts and minds like the stories of men and women logging into an EHR at 1 a.m. after days and days of treating patients.

     

  2. Create a Story With an Arc—Most of us prefer to deliver a resolution, and when you are telling a funny story, that means to deliver a laugh line. But if you don’t take someone on a journey that shares the ups and downs to demonstrate the depth of a problem, then you won’t get the payoff of a great laugh. In talking about solutions in our work, it’s a similar dynamic. The great CEO, writer and speaker Nancy Duarte talks about the principles of good storytelling when presenting, and the importance of creating an arc, with distance between “what is and what could be.” If you don’t create the arc of a story, you are delivering a boring corporate presentation.

     

  3. Resolve With Truth—I’m convinced that what is magical about laughter is that it is a spontaneous reaction to something that we believe to be true (however unexpected). And a group of people laughing is shared recognition of something resolved, and the relief of resolving the situation you’ve shared in a way that they didn’t expect but that they believe. With your presentation, you have the ability to deliver the same resolution by accurately telling a story of a situation faced in their work and resolving the situation with something they believe. 

Storytelling and creating engagement with your ideas and solutions can be enhanced with attention to these tips, in my experience with clients, too, not just strangers in a comedy club. And that’s no joke.

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

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.