How to rise above all the marketing chatter is perhaps one of the most difficult marketing questions to tackle. And at a busy event like HIMSS16, most health IT products and solutions look and sound the same.
I recently had the chance to speak with John Lynn, founder of HealthcareScene.com and HITMC.com, to discuss this very topic. In this interview, John sheds some light on how health IT marketing and PR professionals can get people to care about what they are selling. He also highlights the most common mistakes health IT marketers make and some powerful ways they can resolve to fix them.
What is the biggest mistake most health IT marketers make? And why is it such a stumble?
The biggest mistake marketers make is to focus on their solution instead of the customers' problems. Potential customers don't care about what your company has to offer until they understand that you understand their problem and that you have a way to fix the problem. Once you achieve this with a customer, then they care about the features and functions of your product. Said another way, no one needs to buy a secure text message solution. Many organizations need a secure way to improve communication within in their organization.
This is an easy trap to fall into. Working at a company, you become very familiar with the products and services you provide. So, it's easy to stumble into the trap of focusing on the features and functions and not the problems and solutions. Focusing on the later will change how you think about marketing and customer's responses to your marketing efforts.
Name 3 things that every health IT marketer should put on their 2016 resolution list and why?
1. Find a Sustainable Approach to Content - The key word here is sustainable. Every organization is different. Some companies have the expertise and skill base to write a regular blog. Others don't and need to look at riding the coattails of other popular blogs or outsourcing content. The same applies to all your other possible content efforts: social media, whitepapers, webinars, etc.
2. Step Up Your Tracking - This is true for all of your marketing efforts. Put in the time and effort required to know the impact each of your marketing efforts provide. That includes leveraging all the amazing online tracking tools, but also applies to offline efforts such as exhibiting and sponsoring conferences.
3. Experiment with Video - The #2 search engine in the world is YouTube (Google is 1st). New video platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, and Blab are exploding in use. Take a look at these various video platforms and consider how they might benefit your marketing efforts.
What are the best ways companies exhibiting at HIMSS16 can get noticed on-site via digital media?
Leveraging influencers is the best way to set yourself apart at HIMSS. When an influencer (or multiple if you can swing it) combines their effort with a vendor's efforts in the right way, it really makes a vendor stand out. The right influencer can often draw a crowd onsite at the event, but their reach also brands your company well beyond the event.
Booth babes at HIMSS16 will also get you noticed, but for all the wrong reasons. So, ditch the booth babes and stick with the influential "nerds" that will draw the type of crowd you want at your booth.
What trends in health IT marketing are working really well?
Content marketing is probably the biggest trend in healthcare marketing right now. When you look at the health IT purchase process, it makes a lot of sense why content marketing is so popular and valuable. There are very few purchases in healthcare IT that are simple, impulse buys. The majority of healthcare IT companies have to execute a complex sell into a complex organization who has multiple stakeholders and gate keepers that they have to influence to make the sale.
This is why content marketing is so effective. Well done content that focuses on the problems of an organization and the solutions a vendor offers is something that can easily be shared around a healthcare organization in order to garner the widespread buy in that's required to make a health IT purchase. Plus, a well done content marketing campaign shares content easily across email, social, search engines, and display advertising in a truly integrated marketing campaign. All of these touch points means that one stakeholder will see your tweet, another will see your email, and another finds you through a search online.
Another popular trend is marketing automation. Health IT marketing is generally behind most industries when it comes to implementing a well thought out marketing automation program. Doing so can ensure proper follow up and nurturing of your sales funnel.