There are so many marketing channels to choose from, and it doesn’t get any easier now that consumer behavior has changed during the pandemic. Sometimes it can feel like all you have to do is choose tactics from a menu, but that usually just leaves a sour taste in your mouth. In this first of two episodes on nailing your marketing mix, you’ll learn tips for landing pages, digital advertising, websites, content marketing, and more.
Engage With Us
How to listen: shows.pippa.io/paradigm-shift-of-healthcare/howto
Archive of previous episodes: https://www.healthconnectivetech.com/paradigm-shift-of-healthcare/
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlthconnective
Announcer: It’s time to think differently about healthcare, but how do we keep up? The days of yesterday’s medicine are long gone and we’re left trying to figure out where to go from here. With all the talk about politics and technology, it can be easy to forget that healthcare is still all about humans. And many of those humans have unbelievable stories to tell. Here, we leave the policy debates to the other guys and focus instead on the people and ideas that are changing the way we address our health. It’s time to navigate the new landscape of healthcare together. And here’s some amazing stories along the way. Ready for a breath of fresh air? It’s time for your “Paradigm Shift.
Michael: Welcome to “Paradigm Shift of Healthcare,” and thank you for listening. I’m Michael Roberts, here today with my co-hosts Scott Zeitzer and Jared Johnson. In today’s episode, we’re discussing how to pick the right marketing mix, so, in other words, how we’re gonna select the channels, the tools, and the messages where you should focus your marketing budget and resources. Guys, this is a pretty big topic and I think that really, kind of, falls into two camps. I’m thinking about the different kinds of conversations that we’ve had with potential clients. You know, companies are either at this place where they’re just starting out, they’re trying to figure out what they need to do, then the other camp is they already have some, sort of, marketing that’s in play, they’re trying to figure out if they just need to refresh it, if they need to come at it in a new angle.
At some point, every company really should be at this refresh point, right? Like, we all need to, kinda, step back every once in a while and get a new set of eyes on our marketing, especially right now, you know. We’re recording this in early 2021, and we’re still very much in the COVID era, and we’ve seen in so many different industries how consumers have changed their behavior 100%. Everyone is confused about how to get the next purchase made.
Well, I was just messaging with my wife last night and we were talking about… she was trying to run and get some shopping done. And all of the times that are posted on the websites and on all of the local listings for these different stores that she was trying to go to were all out of date because of COVID. And so, here we are, consumers are completely behaving differently, companies are trying to figure out how to react. So, there’s a lot of people that are, kinda, in the spot. What’s next? How do we get this marketing process going?
So, I wanna open this up for conversation some because we use this when we start talking to new clients and when we start talking about how to try and help somebody, we have a few different ways of expressing this depending on what kinda client they are, but we basically use some, sort of, triage process. And that’s, kinda, language that you use quite a bit, Scott. So, how do you, kind of, think about it?
Scott: Yeah, yeah. I work with a lot of doctors. You work with a lot of doctors. So, they understand the idea of triage. And I worked my way through college as an EMT. So, I, kinda, get it, not at their level, but I try, and, you know, the whole idea of, all right, well, first of all, just to take a step back, I always say this. Most of the time when we talk to practices, it’s filled with people who wanna get somewhere, but they really don’t have a lot of good information about best practices and marketing overall. Forget about not knowing what direction to take or how to fine-tune something.
When I “triage” and I, kinda, focus on those three Ps, that’s why we came up with P3 Practice Marketing. I always go back to like, “Well, what kinda patients do you wanna see and what kinda procedures do you wanna do or pathologies do you wanna take care of?” Let’s just talk about that first. So, that we can start figuring out what they need because it can be. Even if you’re a really good marketer, etc., can be a little overwhelming to think about everything at the same time. So, breaking it down, it’s always been helpful when I try to figure that out.
Michael: There are so many ways that search engine optimization are changing, there’s so many ways that just digital marketing in general is changing. And, you know, we just recently had, like, another training session for our company where we were kinda catching up on the latest and greatest, but it’s a challenge. It’s difficult to keep up with all that information. It’s expensive to keep up with all that information. And so, for the companies that are really on the cutting edge and they’re really trying all these things, like that’s coming to the level that they need to be at, really maintaining like what’s the very, very next thing that I can go for, but, you know, so many companies, so many different organizations are nowhere near that spot. They just need a healthy core. You know, they have to start off with, is everything, kinda, in order so that I can have guests over potentially?
Scott: You make a really valid point. I mean, we had an hour and a half long conversation getting very detailed about what we’re doing well now, where we need to improve, what we’re gonna be working on for the year. And before you even get to those core things, I do wanna say this to all the practices out there. No matter who you end up using, there should be, like, a checklist of things you should be checking on. And part of it is like, do you work in my field? Do I have to explain to you what medical marketing is? Do you work with a lot of practices out there? That type of thing I think is important.
When I talk to practices and, you know, you’re talking about what are those core three things that I always talk about, that I always go to, it’s like, “Well, what kind of website do you have?” And to your point, Michael, like, we were just talking about, you know, yesterday, it’s like, well, that website now isn’t just, “Well, I have a biography about me and I have whatever content is on there that I’ll get to in a second,” but if it’s not downloading quickly, if it’s not complying with the American with Disabilities Act, if it’s just poorly structured, all of that stuff is gonna hurt them. So, having a good website designed by people who actually do this a lot is a good start.
I think the second thing, Michael, you and I talk about this all the time, good content marketing. I always make the joke. If you wanna be found for jumping jacks, then write about jumping jacks, right? And I can’t tell you how many times you and I have listened to people say, “Well, you know, I’ve got links out to other places where they talk about procedure X or I bought some patient education software, and there’s a link on my page,” and I always laugh with them, you know, it’s like, you don’t wanna compete with WebMD. You wanna talk about what you do, right? So, that’s that second component. You have a website, you have good content that really describes what you do, how you do it, why you do it, your experience level, what to expect. Surgeons that are out there, they don’t wanna see bloody pictures. They wanna really see by like, after surgery, what to expect, not during surgery, and all the cool incisions you’ve made or cuts that you’ve made. And then last but not least is reputation marketing, which, kinda, seals the deal.
Jared: You think about a couple of things related to this where we, kind of, when you start to go into SEO, in particular, where you mentioned content, right, and you’re right, you don’t wanna compete with the WebMD. There was a time period years ago where if you had your act together, and you were ready to do that, and you were prepared to have the resources to create that much condition-specific content, then you could compete and everything about Google rankings has changed since then, essentially.
Scott: Yeah, right.
Jared: So, you can’t start right now and do that. You know, they’re just basically like, “Hey, just take that off the table.” So, if part of the marketing mix is yeah, of course, we want to rank number one on everything. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times that’s just that’s the expectation. And so, you know, part of this is very easily just going in and saying, “Hey, cool. Let’s look at your analytics right now. Let’s look at your web traffic. Let’s just see what you’re getting based on the content you’ve got there now.” And it’s always less than people think. And it’s always concentrated on handful of pages within their site as compared to getting number one rankings for every single page. It’s indicated in the stats. And so, I always find that’s, like, a good baseline conversation to just say, “You know, let’s just look over to where you are now.”
Scott: We do something called a patient acquisition audit and we kinda let them know like, “Hey, here’s what you’re doing well online, here’s where you’re not doing as well. Some of that could be download speeds, a lot of it has to do with what terms, you know, that are being searched for you that you’re leading the way with. You’d be surprised. A lot of the practices with whom we talked to, like, they deal well with “branded terms,” which is, I think marketing speak by you guys for name of practice, common name of doctor, but not for actual procedures because they don’t have a lot of that info. And Jared, you brought up an interesting point. I talk to practices all the time about, I want to be number one for everything in orthopedics. Here’s my two answers to that for everybody.
Number one. No you don’t. You do not wanna be the number one person to be found for Colles’ fractures. For anybody listening, if you’re not an orthopod, a Colles’ fracture is a wrist fracture. A lot of people get them and practically, any orthopod could take care of the majority of them, I can assure you, thankfully, because a lot of people get Colles’ fractures, but it’s not really well reimbursed. It’s not something that anybody truly specialize in. Thank goodness. And so, you don’t wanna be found for everything. On top of that, nobody searches for “best orthopedic surgeon.” They search for the specific procedure, you know, like maybe “best total hip surgeon” or “total hip arthroplasty,” etc., but they never search for “orthopedics.” Just doesn’t happen.
Jared: It’s a really good point. Half of this is just understanding what people are searching for and how it has changed. You know, again, to the point of there was a time when different parts of the marketing mix made more sense and, kinda, bringing that back to the theme, Michael, that you started us off on here. The marketing mix changes constantly and it’s through no one’s fault. It’s just part of, like you said, is being able to keep up.
Michael: Everybody, I always appreciate that you tune in, that you’re listening to the show here. I wanted to let you know that we have set up a new newsletter that you can get to at paradigmshift.health. That’s paradigmshift.health. You can go there. And the reason that we’ve got this newsletter is that we like to send out a few extra pieces of information with the show. We also have the full transcript for every single episode that we do and we can let you know that through email. We can let you know, also if we have, like, a good quote card to be able to show for every episode. So, check that out if you’d like, paradigmshift.health. Thanks so much.
You know, this is something we’re talking about a lot from a practice perspective, but this is something we also see with larger companies as well. It’s not just a problem for the people that don’t know marketing as well. It’s also a problem for people that are in marketing and have just too many projects on their plate. Sometimes we come back to something and recognize that we didn’t update that particular site, or we forgot about that corner of our web presence. And so, I think all of us can, kinda, fall prey to this. We can all, kinda, fall behind on what needs to happen.
I’m gonna throw this to the other end of the spectrum, guys, where, you know, look, we know that we need to keep up. That’s one side of the problem, but whenever we’re trying new techniques, whenever we’re trying new tactics, there’s also that mentality that we have to battle of, well, I tried it and it didn’t work. And I sent out a tweet and I’m not, you know, Twitter famous. So, obviously, Twitter doesn’t work and we’ve all heard some variation on that. And so, trying to make sure that people are mentally prepared to take on any new endeavor like this.
Scott: You know, Michael, that’s a really good point. So, it’s really hard for everybody to keep up. I’ve worked for larger companies, I’ve worked at a small company obviously, and, you know, like you were saying, sometimes you forgot about it, sometimes you know about a particular thing that you need to focus on. You just don’t have the time. I remember we were talking to a friend of ours, a marketing person over that we actually interviewed, Reed Mollins over at the doctor.com. It’s now part of Press Ganey. And it was just about a year or so ago. And he said something to the degree of like, “I keep trying to focus on 2023, but they keep pulling me back to 2020.” And I thought that was a great line.
And I bring that up because there’s so much happening in marketing, especially the online portion where, you know, you gotta come back and revisit it. And to the larger companies, it’s about putting aside, allotting the time, the necessary time to play and stay in 2021 because that’s where we are now, so that you can be better off in 2023 or 2024. And to your point, Michael, it’s not just having a 20-minute conversation that I need to go do it. It’s like, what’s the plan? What should we do? How do we test it? How do we get that feedback and tweak it? To your point, one tweet’s not gonna tell you whether or not you’re gonna do well on Twitter.
Michael: There’s this mix then where I’ve got to have the essentials, I’ve got to make sure that we’re at least maintaining that foundation, right? Like, we’ve got to make sure that that core is there. We’ve got to be prepared for what’s new. We have to be ready to be patient with the process, which is nobody’s favorite word, for sure. You know, even as we’re, you know, looking at other ways that you can move beyond, just, sort of, that initial, you know, initial core foundation and you start looking into advertising, you start looking into expanding with your content, there’s still a lot of stuff that you’ve got to keep in mind, Scott. And I don’t think that we’re really through all of that kind of make sure you’ve got your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed, kinda, level here.
Scott: Yeah. And, you know, and I’ll say this over and over. Test, test, and retest. You’ve got to try to stay… whatever you’re doing, understanding the return on investment will be critical to the success of not only setting expectations with yourself, but your customers, both internal and external. I know that that’s something we focus on quite a bit. You know, in a way when we provide marketing, whether that’s to the larger firms with whom we work or the smaller practices that we work, that return on investment, that’s building trust with them, that testing across the board and what might work for one company may not work for another and tweaking it and listening is gonna be really, really important.
Jared: Well, Scott, right. Another side effect of testing is that it shakes us loose from the thought of, “Well, we’ve always done it that way. So, we have to keep doing it that way,” you know, that one channel, or tactic, or advertising and that one way has to be part of the marketing mix. It shakes us loose from that type of thinking, because if we don’t have that, if we’re not used to being able to make choices and add or remove things to and from the marketing mix, then we fall, you know, time after time, we just fall into this trap of, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” And there’s a lot of growing pains involved when we just fall into that rut if we’re like, “Hey, well, we just don’t know any better. I’d rather just do the thing we’ve done before.” And that’s a very real part of this whole discussion that sometimes doesn’t get talked about. So, I’m glad you brought that up because it’s not just to help us tweak, and understand and be able to measure, but it’s also shaking loose an old mindset that is keeping us from keeping up with the best marketing mix.
Scott: No doubt about that. No doubt.
Michael: Let’s look at that from an advertising perspective, you know, because that’s something that we deal with quite a bit when it comes to, “Hey, I wanna tack on, you know.” It’s not necessarily, I’m starting from this mindset, but let’s tack on a Google ads campaign, let’s talk on a Facebook ads campaign. Let’s start paying to get people to my website and to this content. A lot of people will just wanna go straight through that process without making any changes to their website, without making sure that the informational page that they have to explain about that topic is actually conversion-friendly, actually leads to a point to where people are willing to sign up and people are willing to give over information. So, that’s a challenge that we see a lot of different times, you know, and if you are revisiting your marketing, go back through your landing pages, do they make sense? Are they compelling? Go back through this if you’re just starting out, if you’re just trying to get people to go to your site for the first time.
You know, think about how much competition there is now for that top ad that shows up in Google results. There are so many people that are trying to get that spot and then how quickly we as consumers move on from that information if it’s not exactly what we’re hoping for. Guys, I don’t know about you, but I think I have less patience for a Google ad when I click on it than I would for just like a regular organic result.
Scott: Yes. We almost had that like you just feel like, “Okay, are you trying to con me?” kind of a feeling when you click on the ad. And you have the added portion of, “You know, I’m a doctor. I don’t know if I should be having an ad online if you’re a practice.” And then if you are a pharma med-tech company, reassuring them quickly and effectively like, “No, I’m really just trying to give you good information.”
And to everybody out there, you know, especially in trying to understand, you know, how effective is this content, have other people read it too. I really believe that if you’re not basically giving good information like, “Hey, this is what this particular procedure is.
This is the experience that I have,” you know, if it’s for a particular practice or a practitioner. “This is what our group does,” because, you know, sometimes the doctor is almost like the captain of the ship, shall we say, and, “This is what you can expect from that workflow perspective,” I think that’s critical from a practice perspective. And when you’re the med-tech or pharma company, it’s how do you make that information more accessible to all the patients, and then if you’re providing information to doctors, that’s great. You should. That’s who you’re probably selling to, but if you wanna help the doctors, re-explaining that information from a patient’s perspective, critical to the success to that type of a campaign.
Jared: For sure, Scott. What landing pages in particular? I mean, how do they fit into that? I think those are some questions you and Michael get quite often in terms of, like, what needs to be on your landing page to be effective?
Scott: Step one, “Hey, you need a landing page.” I can’t tell you how many practices will call us up and say, “We just wanna run some ads now.” We’re like, “No, not yet. Where are they gonna go after they click on it? Where are they going?” If you, kinda, walkthrough, and this is something Michael and I talk about a lot is that landing page has to have information on it that essentially makes the patient feel better that this particular practice or practitioner is the right choice for me and why. So, part of that conversation is the experience level, part of that conversation is what the procedure is. Again, don’t get so detailed that you’re, again, trying to compete with WebMD.
I always kid with my total joint replacement surgeons that it’s great that you got beautiful chamfer cuts on the total knee, but that’s not what they wanna hear about. They wanna hear about, like, how long does the procedure take? When do I get out of the hospital? Am I gonna do it in an ambulatory surgical center or a hospital? What specific things that you’re doing to minimize COVID? What can I expect in the weeks afterward? How quickly can I get back to being me, whatever that means? All of those things are the critical components of a successful landing page.
But to Michael’s point, if it’s an ad, you better say that quickly and efficiently. And so, that’s the other portion of this conversation. Take a look at other people’s work or get someone to write it for you who does it for a living because I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are wonderful writers. You know, they’re English majors and they’ve written and, etc., but there’s a particular style, Michael, for writing a landing page for, I’ll call it, Google-ability and sellability than certainly just “standard writing.” Would you agree?
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. When we go through the hiring process and or just work with different writers, there really is that conversation of, well, what kind of writer are they? You know, there’s the medical writer, there’s the copywriter, there’s all those different folks. And so, but if you are that large kind of company, what are the things that you can provide for them when somebody comes through from an ad that gets them started down your process? And this is a more, obviously more advanced, kinda, marketing technique, but can you get them in some, sort of, auto-response sequence that helps, kinda, educate them on why your company can help them or why you can provide more service to them? So, obviously, we’re talking about, again, two very different kinds of companies here at very different stages of what they need, but these are the things to keep in mind.
You really have to understand how big your sale is. You have to understand how much intention your site visitor has. Are they ready to potentially get an appointment where they can find out more about why Dr. Smith is a good surgeon for them, or are they the customer that’s looking for some, sort of, new device to go in their hospital and they have to take this information back to their boss, who’s gonna talk to their boss? You know that customer journey there is extremely different. So, you really can’t treat this as a one-size-fits-all kind of approach.
Scott: No doubt. You’re absolutely right about that. And you get back to the big company, a med tech or pharma, and we deal with quite a few of them. And, you know, the conversation gets down to of like, you know, what is their intent? What are you trying to accomplish? I know that we’ve created, over the years, quite a few physician locators and portals for the med-tech and pharma companies to essentially provide marketing components wherever those are just print ads, or online ads, or just, you know, rack cards, etc. We’ve created all these different types of ways to help out, whether it’s the patient directly online or to help the doctor explain it to the patient. And I always go back to like, “How do we make that day easier?” You know, so, if you’re giving information about a particular product and you want patients to find the doctors or surgeons that are utilizing the product that you are selling, right? I mean, there’s so many physician locators out there.
And goodness gracious. I am always blown away by how poor some of the physician locators are that we’ve reviewed for other people. You know, they have a physician locator and it’s really difficult to use it, or it doesn’t work properly, or why do you make me type in so much information when you only have eight people? We had that once. So, you know, really understanding how to make that journey more accessible, and easier to use, I think is critical. Getting the patient information they need quickly and efficiently will not only help the patient but will help the practice, right? So, any way that you can save some time, I think it’s a help.
Jared: One hundred percent, Scott. I think when we really wrap up all this, we realize there’s a lot more we can dive into. And so, I think this deserves a second part, like, a round two here even a little bit more where we focus on the budget. You know, how do you split that up because I love the thought that you and Michael have both brought in here. There are a lot of parallels. There are still ways we do it the same way regardless of whether you are starting from scratch or you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s the same framework. We’re still looking at it the same way. They’re just different considerations. And so for all those parts, I think we’ll wrap for today, but I wanna thank you and Michael for all these thoughts, man. There’s so much to dive into and I can’t wait for the second round that we’ll get into, but thanks so much, and thanks everyone for listening.
Scott: Have a great day, everybody stay safe.
Announcer: Thanks again for tuning into the “Paradigm Shift of Healthcare.” This program is brought to you by Health Connective, custom marketing solutions for med tech and pharma. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.