Thinking about digital for the healthcare space

Build a digital experience to serve patients and you’ll serve your health system


A little more than a year ago, Core Creative added a robust digital expertise to its staff with the acquisition of an agency built around digital development, software engineering and building digital experiences. More than just experts in traditional table stakes of digital marketing - building websites, landing pages and programming emails - these are experts who develop (and engineer) powerful software and technology solutions that deliver measurable results for our clients. This team’s insight helps us present clients with the smartest (and often most efficient) approaches to use digital technology to serve users and solve a health system’s marketing challenges.

It's a deeper perspective for how digital solutions can serve the marketing communications plans we develop in the healthcare marketing space. And our digital team has been applying that perspective to the challenges our healthcare marketing clients face, helping them keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. Data protection. HIPAA compliance. App development. Recruitment software integration. Engaging "deskless" employees. Content strategy. CMS development. 3D modeling. And, as always with a technological landscape that changes by the day, more and more and more.

We asked our team to share some of the things that have caught their attention in the healthcare marketing world over the last 12 months.

Here’s what they had to share (note; these are their words, not mine).

Process

  • Our sprint based process has helped us show progress early and more often, allowing our clients to get buy in up the chain sooner so their projects stay on track. Pushing this process to be more of the norm is something we are continuing to do with our healthcare clients. It helps them feel more engaged and informed about what’s happening and when, which is important for complex website rebuilds or new software integration.

Brand & Content Strategy

  • Having a properly defined brand isn't necessary to just build a website. But having a properly defined brand is essential for creating a GREAT website that explains who you are and meets the content needs of your users. Having the full support of amazing brand and content strategists is one of the key differentiators in how successful your project ends up being.

Open Source CMS

  • There is a great opportunity to expand beyond the licensed CMSs (content management systems) common in healthcare to a powerful open source option saving marketers considerable money on licensing fees. There is also a common complaint that the content administration in many of common CMSs is complicated and inefficient. We have always focused on building open source CMSs that not only provide a great experience for the user but also make things easy for the admins. Being able to do that without tradeoffs in system integrations and features has always been our focus. And now we get to bring that to the healthcare industry.

SEM Strategies

  • Sound Search Engine Marketing strategies might be one of the most important tools healthcare marketers have and need to take advantage of to serve their patients. Properly employed, SEM can develop immediate results by targeting users by search intent. It’s a key piece of any marketing strategy. Getting a website built is one thing. Getting people there is another. SEM is a critical part of that, especially in healthcare marketing when people search for and need answers.

Patient Pathways

  • Patient Pathways, website experiences that allow patients to follow their own path to learn about their health, specific conditions and services available from a hospital or health system, are important and vital to healthcare marketing. Providing clarity for healthcare consumers is key. It’s imperative to allow patients to engage with their own healthcare experience. Developing patient pathways is an intriguing way to do that within healthcare websites. Let your users take control of their experience by building your website around their needs!

Data Protection

  • The need to protect patient/user data is hyper important in the healthcare industry. Being able to use user data to market in other industries is commonplace. There are additional considerations that need to be addressed in healthcare marketing regarding HIPAA. So while there are some great examples of healthcare organizations being data driven in their marketing, there are many others that are hesitant to do so. If a health system recognizes what they are trying to achieve, plans for it and takes the necessary steps to implement data security, their patients will be protected.

Marketing Automation

  • Healthcare seems to be behind in being able to provide relevant information to their consumers right when they need it, which seems to be correlated to the lack of understanding around marketing automation, and things like personalization which could help consumers get the information they desire much more quickly. Personalization doesn’t just mean putting a patient’s name on an email. It means using your data to effectively communicate with your patients in a way that helps them manage their care. This represents a big opportunity for healthcare marketers.

Data Integration

  • Data is commonly very siloed in healthcare. The true impact marketing initiatives have on the organization can be hard to see when systems don't talk to one another. Combining the data from each of the systems can be a challenge when the sharing of data isn't built into the company culture and/or individual data owners are not willing to make it happen. A holistic approach to unify data can drive incredible organizational benefits for health systems.

If you’re facing any of these challenges and would like to speak with someone on our team who might be able to help, let’s talk!

author

Colin Deval is the Senior Communications Strategist at Core Creative.

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