Introducing: Healthcare Idea Email from Hammock | Like Hammock Inc.’s popular Idea Email, the new Healthcare Idea Email briefly explores one topic, every other week. Learn more about the new Healthcare Idea Email at the bottom of the page.
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Idea: Healthcare Media Beyond Marketing
By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO
At Hammock, we encourage clients to think of media created for customers (members, patients, clinicians, etc.) beyond its role in marketing. Great customer media will go beyond selling a product; it will add value to a product or, in many cases, it is a vital part of the product. By that we mean, the buyer is often not purchasing a product, but seeking an outcome. In those cases, the way our clients communicate with buyers and the customer media developed are vital ingredients of the outcome itself.
An example of how media is becoming an integral part of outcomes is the use of video. As noted in Hammock’s Idea Email last week, the technology that enables real-time face-to-face video is now ubiquitous. Consumers, especially teenagers and grandparents, have transformed video-chat product names into generic verbs like Skyping or Facetiming to describe the screen-based interaction that the healthcare industry has called telemedicine for decades. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr have all recently announced new real-time video tools and platform improvements.
Historically, telemedicine was portrayed in television commercials as a high-tech science fiction idea. The actor-patients were set in a remote rain forest or cattle ranch, far away from the physician treating them in a high-tech lab.
Today’s reality is that anyone, anywhere can be served via today’s telemedicine platforms. One striking example is Doctor on Demand, a healthcare service that provides “video visits” (a friendlier term than telemedicine) with board-certified physicians and psychologists via smartphone, tablet and PC. Patients simply download an app or visit a website, provide a list of their symptoms and are instantly connected to a provider licensed in their state. Doctor on Demand delivers services through employers, health systems, health plans and directly to consumers.*
Bottom Line: Don’t let your understanding of the power of media and content be limited to marketing efforts like blog posts or thought-leadership presentations. While those are important, integrating content and media (like real-time face-to-face video) directly into the care of patients can redefine the role media plays in the outcome sought for the patient—and for your company.
*Doctor on Demand is based in San Francisco and backed by individuals including cofounders “Doctor Phil” McGraw and Sir Richard Branson and venture funds such as Venrock, Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. It also has a Nashville connection, as one of its founders is Adam Jackson, a Vanderbilt University graduate, and its CEO is Hill Ferguson, another Vanderbilt alum. Before heading west 15 years ago, both Adam and Hill worked briefly for SmallBusiness.com.
Photo: Doctor on Demand
About the new Healthcare Idea Email | As our popular Idea Email has a large number of healthcare marketers who subscribe, it did not surprise us that the No. 1 request we’ve received is to “offer more ideas about healthcare.” So we have. In addition to Idea Email, on other weeks you can receive the Healthcare Idea Email that is focused exclusively on healthcare-related marketing, media and content trends and topics. You can visit the Healthcare Idea Email archive and subscribe for your own copy here.