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Your Three-Year Roadmap to Digital Sophistication

Picture this:

  • You lack helpful reporting or real-time insights
  • Your website has a clunky patient interface
  • You don’t utilize personas or data-driven media targeting
  • You find yourself reacting rather than proactively planning

If you can relate to any of these statements, your organization is in need of digital glow-up. In this week’s episode, Jenny outlines a realistic three-year roadmap to become digitally sophisticated within your marketing organization.

Year 1 – Build the Foundation

  1. Create or revisit your organization’s messaging and personas.
  2. Make a measurement plan. Figure out what metrics your need to see to know if your plan is working.
  3. Build a conversion-oriented media plan that’s HIPAA compliant.
  4. Invest in local marketing optimizations.
  5. Set up user journey tracking on your website to better understand user flow
  6. Measure, measure, measure! 

Year 2 – Get a Bit More Sophisticated

  1. Begin to make website updates based on insights from user journey mapping.
  2. Pick a CRM to implement and begin website integration.
  3. Continue to push conversion-oriented media, but add in some brand-building media.

Year 3 – Fine-Tune with More Data!

  1. Get even more sophisticated, now that your new website and CRM are rocking and rolling.
  2. Focus on user journey nurturing (including current patients) within CRM 
  3. Execute a broader media play, with awareness through conversion tactics

Connect with Jenny:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” a healthcare marketing podcast. I am your host, Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp. We are a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We work with payers and providers across the country to help patients better find and access care.

I am Jenny. So thrilled to be here with you today. This is episode number 51, which is a huge milestone for us. Super excited to officially be over the hill of 50. And, I was having some internal conversations with our team and a topic just came to me of something that I really wanted to share with our listeners.

It feels almost like something that I should have talked about already. So I first of all, apologize it’s taken me until episode 51 to get here, but I want to talk about the three-year roadmap to digital sophistication. So it’s really interesting, regardless of the [00:01:00] size of the organization or the size of the marketing team and our almost 9 years of being a healthcare marketing agency.

We have seen a trend of it taking about 3 years for a marketing team to become digitally savvy. And there’s a variety of reasons for that, but I think I’d love to talk today about those three years, what the theme of each year is and what some core accomplishments are in each of those three years in order to progress.

So, Stepping back a little bit, I think it’s really exciting for people to be able to create huge goals about, you know, coming into a new healthcare organization, say a regional hospital system or a regional payer as a new head of marketing coming in and saying, wow, you know, this marketing organization is kind of, Behind the times they’re doing a lot of things that really are not best practices anymore, perhaps not being smart with their media [00:02:00] buys or not having a really sophisticated website and then wanting to completely transform the organization in a year.

And I love the excitement of moving fast. I mean, anybody who knows me will say that is the core of who I am as a human being, but I also think it’s realistic to understand what it takes most organizations from a time perspective. And in what order they accomplish things. So this episode is for you if your current state includes these four things. Number one, you have lack of helpful reporting or real time insights.

When somebody asks, how did that media campaign perform last month for this business unit or service line? You can’t really answer it or perhaps it takes a long time to be able to answer it and even then you don’t really feel confident or confident about your answers or feel like it isn’t as comprehensive as it should be.

Number two, you feel as though you have a clunky patient interface for your website and specifically lack of ability to act online. So if you are in healthcare, pay your provider and you say, you [00:03:00] know, our people call in. To schedule or to buy, no. In healthcare, it’s the consumerization of healthcare.

That’s the age we are in. If people are calling in to buy from you, it means you’re missing out on a huge market share that you could be capitalizing on. So if they are calling in that means there’s a lot of potential. Let’s focus on it. Number three, you don’t have personas or a data driven media plan.

So we talked to a lot of folks who are working with agencies. Typically they do a little bit of healthcare, but healthcare isn’t really the big bread and butter, the main area of focus, and they really aren’t targeted. It’s more like awareness marketing and media planning. I did an entire podcast. It was just the last one about, um, awareness agencies or brand agencies versus performance agencies.

And if you’ve been working with a brand agency, then you definitely have not had a persona-driven or data-driven media targeting. So that’s number three. And number four, if you’re doing reactive versus proactive planning. So if you’re [00:04:00] deciding, you know, in February, what your budget for the year should be, whether it’s your team’s issue from a timeline delay, or perhaps it’s finance or some other group within the leadership team, then this also is something that could be a great episode for you.

So we’re going to talk about three years. It takes three years, in my opinion, and from the hundreds of healthcare organizations on the payer and provider side that I’ve seen in order to become digitally savvy. Year one, The theme is build the foundation year two the theme is get a bit more sophisticated and year three the theme is fine tune with data.

So let’s talk about year one. In year one, there’s a handful of things that you’re going to focus on the first one being creating. Or if it already exists, revisiting your company’s messaging and personas. Who are you as an organization? What value do you provide to patients?

What are your differentiators? Who are the people that you’re targeting? What are their pain points and the reasons why they would [00:05:00] choose to go with you? All of that really needs to be fine tuned before you begin doing anything else as far as a marketing strategy, because you want to make sure that you’re positioning yourself appropriately and really talking to your target audience appropriately.

So that’s number one. Number two is making a measurement plan and making sure that you are compliant with all of the recent changes in HIPAA, FTC, and state laws. So many people that are not yet digitally sophisticated, one of their biggest frustrations is lack of measurement. So that’s why this is number two.

You really need to understand your marketing tech stack, what you can measure with the tools you have now, and what tools you need to add in order to effectively measure your user or patient journey. So a measurement plan. 

Number three is launching a conversion oriented media plan. So I’ve talked in a prior episode specifically about media. And when you’re thinking about marketing strategies and media plans, you have upper funnel, that’s really like awareness and brand [00:06:00] building, medium middle of the funnel where you’re really reengaging people that know of you and making sure you stay top of mind. And then bottom funnel is when people are actively trying to find your product or service and they need to make a decision.

They need to find a provider. They need to buy an insurance plan. So that’s. Where we consider conversion oriented media. For year one, we recommend, let’s say you have a million dollar media budget. We recommend repurposing a hundred percent of that media buy to conversion-oriented media with really good measurement on it.

You need to understand if you really focus on the bottom of that funnel where people are actively trying to fund you what sort of revenue you can drive and what sort of conversion rate you’ll see. Of course, tons of disclaimers. You need to do competitive intelligence. You need to do media research to be able to understand what your individual market is and what saturation looks like.

But as much as possible, your media in year one should be spent on conversion oriented tactics and keywords. [00:07:00] Next is you need to really focus on the local marketing optimization. So one of the things we see people overlook often when they’re not a digitally savvy organization, yet, is they really fail to optimize all of the local listings so that one that comes top of mind.

First, of course, is Google local listings. There’s a variety of other ones in healthcare. You want to think about but Google local listings really picks the lion’s share of you know, searches and engagement. And you want to make sure that you’ve claimed all your listings. You have a review solicitation process set up.There’s a big checklist you want to take care of to make sure that you’re foundationally strong when it comes to your individual listings. It’s a great thing to tackle in year one. 

Next is you want to set up user journey tracking on your website to better understand user flow. So, you know, you’re launching these conversion oriented media campaigns.

You have your measurement plan in place. Let’s understand how your current website is performing. Where are people falling off in the conversion cycle? You know, when [00:08:00] they land on a landing page, what are they doing? How long are they staying? Are they clicking through? We want to collect all of this data and we’re going to use it in year two.

And so really the theme of year one is building that foundation and measure going into year two, it starts to get a little bit more exciting, right? You’ve probably built a lot of internal buy in because of the speed at what you’re pivoting and the refocusing within marketing to really make sure that you’re reaching as many patients as possible with your marketing programs, probably have had some really exciting new dashboards and reports to share within your organization. So you probably have a lot of buy in. It’s really an exciting time. Now is the time to focus on a website rebuild and acquiring and integrating a CRM. So first let’s talk about the website.

Many people that have more of a less sophisticated marketing team internally, their website probably is five plus years old, and user flow probably isn’t great, probably takes way too many steps to be able to actually buy from you [00:09:00] online. So prioritizing a complete website build beginning of year two, clutch super important.

I also mentioned a CRM because at this point you want to begin aggregating data within your CRM to prepare some for some exciting things later in the year and year two and primarily in year three. So a CRM allows you to effectively nurture those prospects. And then also nurture them once they are actually patients of yours to be able to continue the relationship, really speak to them more intimately one to one.

There’s a lot of things you can do because it is within a HIPAA world as far as nurturing them and giving them a more one to one relationship that you just can’t if it’s outside of a CRM. So that’s another reason it’s important. And then you also want to begin focusing a little bit higher up in that conversion funnel, still maximizing when we’re thinking about paid media, still maximizing the conversion-oriented tactics at the bottom, but perhaps beginning to invest a little bit more one step up in that funnel, [00:10:00] perhaps something like paid social, where you’re really targeting the right person at the right place that maybe they’re not actively looking for you, but you can start building more of that brand awareness.

So that’s year two. Year two is getting a bit more sophisticated. Year three, this is when you can really fine tune with all of that data that you have. So at this point, going into year three, you have a new website. Your CRM is integrated to your, with your website. So you’re getting new patient prospect information submitted.

You have a really healthy database that you’ve started. At this point, you can start doing some more sophisticated user or patient journey nurturing, including your current patients or customers through the CRM. So for example, if you’re a health plan coming into open enrollment or AEP, perhaps you’ll start targeting those people that are your current customers, encouraging them to renew with you.

So there’s a lot of more sophisticated things that you could do if your data is clean and you have some really good user journey mapping and content strategies. And then third, now you [00:11:00] finally can start thinking more about broader awareness media, because you’ve really understood how much you can get.

If it’s strictly a conversion play, how many patients can you get? How many new patients can you get? If you broaden that a little bit more to the right person, but maybe not the right time and then higher level. Now let’s do some broader brand awareness but not taking money away from those bottom funnels.

That’s only if you have net new media dollars that you need to spend. So again, hopefully this was helpful. We see people all the time try to do all of these things in one year, and it always ends up taking three years, so we thought it would really be helpful. Again, if you are in a situation where you don’t have good reporting or insights, your website’s pretty clunky.

You don’t have personas or data driven media strategies and you’re reactive and planning, sit down and start thinking about what it would look like within your organization to put forth a three year plan like this, and where you would be, you know, going into 2028, if you were able to kick this off and accomplish it, as always, we’re [00:12:00] here to chat.

I would love to chat with you more. Feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email and Hedy and Hopp would be thrilled to chat more with you about your individual marketing needs. As always, please rate this episode, leave a review and shoot us any future episode ideas as well. Until next time, continue showing up and doing your best to make patients lives easier and impact as many people as possible through your work.

Thank you again, and have a great rest of your day.



About the Author

The Hedy & Hopp digital production team is the glue that keeps all activation work running. From auditing websites and tagging, to content strategy and CRM implementation, our digital production unicorns ensure the tiniest detail is reviewed and accurate before it gets to our clients. Their determination in finding solutions for any challenge makes this team marketing happy.

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