In healthcare marketing, leaders often face the challenge of helping their teams become more efficient in a field full of regulations and diverse patient needs. Balancing new regulatory demands and accommodating diverse patient needs requires finding smart ways to streamline processes and maximize productivity. In this week’s episode, discover how to amp up your healthcare marketing team with Jenny Bristow, CEO and founder at Hedy & Hopp.

Jenny explores innovative approaches to streamline workflows, maximize collaboration, and amplify success. She hits on project briefs, scorecards, case studies, and in-house knowledge-sharing to revolutionize your approach. Tune in to learn how to utilize these actionable steps and empower your team toward greater efficiency.

Jenny’s book Recommendation: Traction by Gino Wickman


Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy, a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am your host. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp. We’re a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We work with payers, providers, and folks driving innovation in healthcare all across the country. 

I’m really excited to be here with you today and share some insights. We just wrapped up our monthly all hands. So once a month, our entire agency gets together to be able to talk about status updates for ongoing initiatives within the organization. We do shout outs related to our core values. One of the things that takes up a big part of the agenda though, is talking about ongoing operational improvements. And an interesting conversation I have often with the marketing leaders that are our clients or folks wanting to be our clients is ways that they can improve their own marketing team’s performance.  


So we’re a marketing agency, right? We work with marketing teams within healthcare companies. Sometimes those teams are two or three people teams. Sometimes they are 40 to 50 people teams. It really varies based off of the size of the organization and the budget prioritization of marketing within that organization. For example, we have a variety of children’s hospitals that are clients and at one maybe they have a five person team and at another they may have a 40 person team. So you can see big variations even with the same category within the healthcare space. But often folks come and ask me, you know, Jenny, “How can I manage my team more efficiently? What are some ideas to be able to kind of tighten up our deliverables, work more effectively with your agency or agency as a partner?” And as we are going through our all hands today, I jotted down a couple of things that I thought could be really helpful to share.  


So if you manage an internal marketing team at a healthcare organization, here are four things you can consider to incorporate into your processes or the way that you view your work that can make your team more effective. The first one.The very first thing my team does whenever we land a new client, whether it is a project, a one-time piece of work that has a set timeline, as well as a set deliverable, is we create a project brief. And that’s again, if they’re a project or if it’s an ongoing retainer client. A project brief is a simple document that outlines why the project or work needs to exist, what the objective is, how we will know if it’s successful. And then often it will include details such as geography, service line, or any business unit information that you need. 

It’s designed to be one piece of paper that you can hand say to senior leadership if they’re asking why you’re spending money or time on work, a contractor or an agency, if you need somebody to lean in or even another member of your team, if they’re net new coming into a project or a piece of work, they can read the brief and easily understand what is going on. We create the brief right after the scope of work is signed, in conjunction with the client kickoff meeting. And then that brief for us is the north star for that work. We’ll update it throughout the life of the work if we get additional facts from the client or any additional information just needs to be added to provide clarity for the team that’s either working on it or that will be reported to.  


So if you are not yet creating a project brief for your internal work with your internal team members, pause and ask yourself if creating a brief for all of the asks, all of the work that you do before you begin working on it, could help reduce the chaoticness or the confusion within your organization. And I’m gonna bet the answer is yes, ’cause there’s certainly a reason why we do it here at Hedy & Hopp and most agencies do it. It’s a pretty standard practice. 

So again, number one, number one tip for making your internal marketing team more effective is standardizing the creation of briefs for every single project or piece of work that goes out your door. And maybe you have, you know, a campaign brief and then some tactical pieces are underneath it. You don’t necessarily need to do a brief for a newspaper, a local newspaper ad that you’re doing, that should roll up to a bigger brief that more summarizes the work.  


That’s number one. Number two, scorecards. So at Hedy & Hopp, we are an EOS organization. So EOS stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. There is a fabulous book called “Traction” and it walks through the importance of measuring what’s important. Not only measuring it, but also providing visibility throughout the organization. It helps ensure that everybody is truly rowing the boat in the same direction. 

We’ve been an EOS organization for about two and a half years, and the standardization of processes, the ease of communication within teams and our ability to set and achieve goals as an organization has increased massively over those two and a half years. So, I’ll link to the book itself in the show notes, but think about if you were to create a scorecard to be able to measure the effectiveness of your team at doing their jobs, what are some things that individuals and the departments within your team could actually report on or on a weekly or a monthly basis?  


So for example, here at Hedy & Hopp, some of the things that we report on are; are projects being completed on time? What is the quality? And we have a variety of ways to measure quality within our agency. So, you could come up with your own quality factors, but is the quality of work at a standard that we are setting for ourselves? Is the work being done on budget and on budget? It doesn’t necessarily mean need to mean out of pocket dollars. It could also mean hours. So did you estimate correctly as far as how many hours it would take your team to complete something. And then results. One of the key ways, whenever marketing leaders come to me and say, “You know, Jenny, we historically have not been a data driven organization. I’m a huge believer of being data-driven. What are some ways I can improve the way that we are talking about and sharing metrics within our organization and measuring results within a weekly and monthly dashboard within our team?”  


By far, one of the number one ways to make that happen is you’re setting a standard about what your expectations are for how campaigns should be managed and reported upon within the organization. And it’s a really great way to do it. So, that also ensures you go back to the brief. Number one, you have to report on what the expectations are for performance and the brief in order to report on and to see if you hit that goal in the weekly or monthly dashboard that you’re creating. Again, this doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you share with senior leadership. It can just be something within your own team structure that you report on to understand like what makes your own week, month, and quarter a success for the marketing team. It can be something you can hold yourselves accountable to or as a leader you can hold your team accountable to. But I would totally recommend looking into setting up some dashboards. 


Number three case studies. So this is something as an agency, of course we create case studies, right? We wanna highlight the work that we’re doing so we can help more patients access care. We wanna work with even more providers, payers, and innovation groups across the country. We’re very passionate about it, right? So for us to showcase our work means we can get more work. But as an internal marketing team, showcasing the success of your work and do a couple of things. And there’s a couple of different reasons that you wanna start thinking about standardizing the development of a case study after specific and certain kinds of projects wrap within your team. The first is, again, if you’re trying to become a data-driven organization, it certainly will help if you have people within your organization report on the results.  


If in the brief you said you needed to have X number of leads come in for a specific service line, if in your weekly monthly dashboards you’ve been reporting upon that, and let’s say you hit the ball outta the park, gosh, that’s a great case study to be able to put it together and then showcase not only to your entire marketing team, ’cause perhaps only a certain percentage of them worked on that piece of work, but you can highlight it and say, this is the way we view success within our marketing team, right? We view it by having an understanding of the number of patients we wanted to reach and then achieving that, and we’re gonna share that. But number two, it also allows you to have some really great ammunition to be able to share with leadership to be able to say, here is why you approve that marketing budget that we requested. Here is the impact we are having on revenue today based off the new patients we’re bringing in the door. 


And then a third exciting one is, as a marketing leader, it’s also an opportunity for you to be able to submit your work for awards. And again, if you go back, there was an episode I did about why and how you submit to awards. This is a great example though. If you wanna showcase your team’s work as far as being data driven, really excelling by maximizing your budget, driving certain service line success, having a case study will allow you to submit for those awards and then really make your team feel super proud of the work that they did. And then fourth and final, one of the things that we actually measure within Hedy & Hopp is our subject matter experts within our organization sharing their subject matter expertise, right?  


We are an organization that is very focused on continually growing, learning, and expanding our skill sets. We have the ability to do a lot of education and training even just within our own ecosystem, and you do too. So creating some sort of system where you’re doing lunch and learns, maybe it’s  a morning zoom session every other Tuesday where certain team members have half an hour to be able to showcase a new technology they’re using, a smart way to integrate AI into your processes (There’s episode coming on that soon), or perhaps it is somebody giving an update on Google’s algorithm changes and how that potentially could impact your budget planning for the balance of the year. A lot of expertise lives within your own team. And finding a way to standardize the sharing of that in a way that, again, twofold not only helps your entire team, but also helps your individual team members get experience sharing and talking about their expertise.  


One thing that great leaders know is that by helping other people become more comfortable at public speaking and sharing their knowledge, that’s gonna help them tremendously with their own professional career. Short and long term, even after they leave your organization, they are gonna be a better communicator of ideas and thoughts because of their time working with you if you implement something like that. So it’s really a win-win. 

So if you are an internal marketing leader within an organization, again, four things I’d recommend integrating, thinking about how you can make this standardized during 2024. A brief, every single thing that you do needs to roll up to a brief within your organization. Weekly and monthly Scorecards, how are you reporting on the work that you’re doing and how do you know that it’s up to the standard that you want your team and your organization to perform for? Number three case studies, you’re doing great work. Get into the process of standardizing and talking about it internally and externally. And then number four, knowledge sharing. You have lots of smart people on your team. Really find a way to be able to help them and you shine. 

So that’s it for today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy. Thank you so much for tuning in. Again, I’m gonna share a link to the book, “Traction” in the notes, show notes if you are really wondering and curious about how you can make your department more data driven. It talks about becoming an entire organization that follows EOS, but if you’re just really thinking even about your own department, there’s a lot of great practices that you can integrate that could make you more effective and efficient at communicating. So thank you again for tuning in. We will see you on next week’s episode. Have a great day.

When you find out you have a budget that must be spent by end of your fiscal year, how should you spend it? We outline Foundation vs. Acquisition activities and the framework we use to help our clients spend the funds in a way that can help the entire fiscal budget of next year perform better.

In this week’s podcast, Jenny talks about utilizing end-of-year budget surpluses. One way is through Foundation activities, or one time projects that have a defined start and end time that set your organization up for success next year. The other are Acquisition initiatives, which help your organization finish out the current year in a strong way. Jenny offers advice on how to choose where to put that extra budget and how to choose the projects that will have the biggest payoff in the long term.

Connect with Jenny:

[00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of We Are Marketing, Happy, a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow and I am your host. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp. We’re a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. I’m really excited to be here with you today to talk a little bit about end of fiscal year budgets. 

I’ve received three phone calls this week. Today’s Tuesday. I’m recording on a Tuesday will be released on Friday, but I’m recording on a Tuesday. I’ve received three phone calls already from folks that have end of year budget surpluses, and they’ve called me and they’ve said, Jenny, we really want to brainstorm and talk about ways that we can invest this for our patient acquisition work. 

And so there’s a structure and framework that I use to help people decide the prioritization of where to spend their budgets. And I wanted to share that with you today. So first, let’s set the stage. Let’s imagine, you have a new [00:01:00] fiscal year starting July 1st, and you just realized you have a budget surplus that you need to spend between now and June 30th.

So that way your budget for next year stays the same. We’re not going to talk about if you should just give it back or not. We’re going to assume you want to spend it, and you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to maximize your marketing for the year. So you’re going to spend it.

There’s two different approaches. You have either foundation or acquisition work that you can do. So I want to walk through that thought process. Vast majority of the time, I advise folks to spend that excess budget on foundation activities. What can we do between now and the end of the fiscal that will help make all of next year’s fiscal more successful?

So those activities may be something along the lines of patient journey mapping. What is their experience coming to your website, learning about a specific offering or service [00:02:00] line, and then actually finding a doctor, scheduling an appointment, mapping that out and identifying where you can improve the digital user experience.

Perhaps, it’s a Google local listings audit and optimization that could be a really impactful one-time activity to again, improve your entire program for next year and marketing budget success. Perhaps it is a content marketing strategy, doing an audit of the assets you have now and prioritizing maybe what you want to develop next year.

Maybe you need to clean up your messaging and you need to really become clear on the way that you talk about your organization, persona development, really figuring out who you’re talking to for your service lines or your offerings and really cleaning that up going into next year. Those are all foundation activities.

You can think of them as like one time projects that have a defined start and end time. And again, they’re going to benefit your entire 2025 fiscal [00:03:00] marketing output. On the other side, if you feel really great about your foundation. Maybe your conversion rates are super strong. You’ve already invested in all of those.

Then you can start proactively thinking about acquisition. Maybe you want to drive a really strong end of fiscal campaign performance. Maybe you want to test out some additional marketing tactics. I want to walk through again, the framework of how I help our clients think about where to put excess budget if it’s again, acquisition focused. 

So you feel like your foundation is good. Now you want to focus on the actual acquisition of patients. Paid media is one place that a lot of folks want to put those dollars, some framework to think about paid media bottom of the funnel is really where people already know that they need what you’re offering and they’re just trying to find a doctor, they’re trying to schedule an appointment. They’re trying to get in. That’s Google and Bing and other search media, right? That’s pay per click. That’s really putting the money in [00:04:00] Google and making sure whenever people Google orthopedic doctor near me, they are able to find your services and schedule an appointment.

Interesting things you can test that maybe go above and beyond that, really thinking about social media. How do you, what, maybe you want to test some certain campaigns, maybe you haven’t done social media in the past, but that’s an opportunity for you to really be thinking more about who your average customer is or your patient is thinking going back to that persona that hopefully you have developed already.

How can we reach those folks? On a variety of channels online, and maybe you want to test out some fun channels like Spotify and Pandora, uh, streaming ads. Maybe you want to test there’s a variety of tactics that maybe are on your wishlist podcast advertising. Maybe there’s a variety of things that are on your wishlist that maybe you want to do just a little sprint for to be able to test the performance leading into the next year’s fiscal.

The one thing that I would always advise against and this is 1 thing that we’ve had a lot of folks ask us about is simply trying [00:05:00] to do awareness campaigns between now and the end of the fiscal and that may be something like a Facebook campaign that doesn’t have smart persona targeting or doesn’t have a good content strategy or patient journey behind it. It’s really just trying to get your brand out there. 

Unless you’re maximizing and ensuring that every single patient who’s proactively trying to find you online can find you and schedule an appointment easily. I would never advise you to spend money on awareness. Ever. A lot of agencies would be happy to do the money, put it on programmatic.

Stop it. Stop it. Don’t do that. I actually don’t even allow our clients to spend money on programmatic unless it’s a very specific use case. And we feel really confident that they’re maximizing media otherwise. I’m not even to get into all of the privacy potential concerns with programmatic platforms.It really is just very low effectiveness um, and difficult to prove from a brand awareness perspective. 

So, if you are finding yourself in this really fun [00:06:00] position, like a lot of folks are, end of fiscal have some budget leftover want to maximize it. 

I strongly encourage you to think about foundation projects that you can do between now and the end of the fiscal year that can help make all of 2025’s fiscal output more successful. What have been your hiccups? What have been areas that are impacting your overall success. Is your cost per patient acquired too high with your media campaigns? Dig in and find out why if you can do foundational activities and improve the cost per new patient by 10%, that essentially gives you 10 percent additional budget for next year. With all other things equal. So if you are finding yourself in this fun position of having budget left, call me. I’d love to brainstorm and give you some ideas of what we see other folks doing. But again, I strongly recommend that you spend some time focusing on that patient journey and maximizing it.

One time [00:07:00] projects, maybe content audit strategies to improve searchability. There are so many ways to tackle it. It just depends on what your individual organization is struggling with. But again definitely recommend foundation versus acquisition activities. Thank you for tuning in today.

Hopefully this gave you some good food for thought. If you’re one of the many folks in this fun position right now, and as always we’d love to be your partner. So if you’re currently working on a patient acquisition campaign and perhaps looking for a new marketing agency partner, give us a call. We are a full service agency.

And we would love to work with additional providers and payers across the country to help you maximize your marketing budget. Thanks for tuning in today. Have a great rest of your week. We will talk to you soon.

In this week’s episode, Jenny discusses candidate recruiting and how marketing teams can lean in to help build a full and successful candidate pipeline.

Healthcare marketing is a pendulum. On one end, marketing efforts are focused on new patient acquisition. On the other end, HR and recruiting teams need to invest time and resources into finding quality providers to deliver the care you are promising new patients.

Jenny outlines three key steps for recruiting marketing:

  1. Strategy

    Jenny states that in today’s hiring landscape, it’s essential to do research to figure out the competitive landscape for recruiting. You can’t just rely on throwing up a job posting and expecting a full pipeline of qualified candidates.

    Do research to figure out the pay range for similar positions in your area, key differentiators, and value propositions. Create a variety of postings to test what positioning works best and figure out ways to stand out.
  2. User Journey

    Jenny explains that the next step is putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes to figure out what journey they have to take to apply for your position. Do they have to add their information multiple times? Is there a way to easily add a phone number or email to get a file started? Document the steps a candidate takes, and optimize to improve. 

    In today’s world, there are two ways people find you: they could either be actively looking for a new position, or they could be the right person for the job but not actively looking. In order to catch the latter, you may have to spend a little to promote your posting and make sure it’s seen by the right people.
  3. Optimization

    Finally, Jenny recommends treating your candidate recruiting efforts like patient acquisition. Every dollar counts. Figure out how much you’re spending for each stage of your recruiting process – interviews, applicants, hires, and employee retention – and optimize.

Connect with Jenny:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends, welcome to today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy, a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am your host. I am the CEO and Founder here at Hedy and Hopp. We are a full service healthcare-exclusive marketing agency based in the Midwest. And we are the Founders and the hosts of the podcast.

So thank you for joining today. I’m going to jump right in. We’ve been having a lot of really interesting conversations over the last three weeks around candidate recruiting. So as far back as we’ve been doing healthcare marketing. So eight years ago, whenever we, whenever I started the agency we realized this, it’s a pendulum, right?

You’re either doing marketing for patient acquisitions. You’re trying to help patients find the care that they need within your organization, or you’re actively trying to find and hire providers to be able to make sure you can deliver the care that you’re promising to patients. So, we’re kind of that pendulum is [00:01:00] swinging back.

We’re having lots of conversations right now about how marketing can lean in and assist HR and the recruiting teams to be able to get a more full and successful candidate pipeline. So I want to talk a little bit about that process. And there are three key steps in the process that I want to outline.

We have strategy, user journey, and optimization. So I’m going to go through each of them briefly. So the first one, strategy, it’s so important whenever you’re leaning in as a healthcare marketer to assist the HR or recruiting teams, if you’re leaning in to be able to help them be able to more fill the patient funnel, let’s say you are a

system or a provider group in Colorado, and you desperately need more RNs. The first thing you should do is spend some time on job boards finding out what the other offers are. So if I’m an RN in [00:02:00] Boulder and I go on Indeed, what are the competing offers? What is the pay? What are the main value propositions?

What are the differentiators? Just like in marketing, how you have to figure out how you’re going to have differentiators for your patients. To have them choose you for care, you have to do the same thing for recruiting. It is way too tight of a job market to assume that you can simply put a job posting together, throw it up on Indeed, and you’ll have a whole funnel full of candidates.

You have to be very strategic. What we recommend is spending a few hours going through and really documenting what are the different opportunities that those roles or those individuals for those roles have? What are the decisions that they can make if they’re looking for an open position? So really documenting what are the pay ranges that you see?

What are the key differentiators? Is it schedule flexibility? Is it hiring bonus? Is it retention bonus? [00:03:00] Whatever. There’s financial and non-financial reasons why somebody may choose to work with you. So document the decision matrix and what other options are out there outside of your organization.

Then create another document or part of the document that lists out all of the different things you can offer and figure out what is going to make your job posting actually stand out. What we love doing is once we’ve created this matrix is really identify three to four key messaging and positions that you can test.

So, perhaps leading with different differentiators or testing different financial structures. Of course, you always have the hourly or the salary, but then maybe you’re leading more heavily with the hiring bonus because that’s what everybody’s doing in that market, so you have to do that as a bare minimum or whatever it may be, but identifying what those three to four testing components are and then making a variety of job postings that reallyhighlight those different [00:04:00] positionings, the different ways that you can stand out. 

That is a very important step one. Step two is documenting the user journey. So anybody who has been in the job search process recently knows it is so frustrating! I have a lot of friends and prior colleagues that are actively job hunting.

Or even if you just go on LinkedIn, you see so many people complaining about how difficult it is to even just apply for a job because of the clunkiness of the technology. So put yourself in that candidate’s shoes. Actually go through your application process and understand how many clicks does it take before you can actually submit your application?

How much information do you have to have handy? Do you have to upload your resume and manually enter your information? Is it possible to do the application on a mobile device? Is there a separate landing page for this specific role that you’re trying to fill that really outlines those key differentiators and puts them right into a quick [00:05:00] apply situation online, documenting the journey and then identifying opportunities to be able to improve it through smarter marketing, whether it’s landing pages, quick links, et cetera, or technology improvements. 

A lot of the candidate tracking software is actually have a new functionality where you can maybe have somebody when they begin the application, enter their cell phone number or their email. And that will initially start their file. So your recruiter can follow up with them in case they don’t actually finish the application.

So there’s all these like technical tricks that you can do to really increase the volume. And then you’re going to be relying of course, on HR and recruiting to have a strong follow up process, which of course, you can lean into as far as communication, timeline, cadence, automation, all that fun stuff.

But the third one is once you have, you know what you’re saying and how you’re standing out, you know that the technology is there, then actually starting promoting. So just like when you’re doing patient recruiting, you have two separate ways people will find you. The first. Is that they’re actively looking for a new position.

So this is on job boards.[00:06:00] Even honestly, in Google, there’s a variety of paid media opportunities. You can make sure that your job posting is front and center, but there’s also the right person, right credentials that isn’t actively searching. And that’s where additional media opportunities, such as Facebook or Meta ads.

Even on TikTok, if you have a strong TikTok presence for your organization, there’s lots of different ways that you can target folks based off of their experience, credentials, et cetera. And then it’s all about optimization. So something we strongly recommend is really viewing it just like the patient acquisition funnel.

How can you measure the dollars you’re spending on marketing for recruiting through the number of applicants that you receive, interviews, and then new hires with one of our prior clients, we actually even had it go through 30 day retention. So we really knew candidates were strong if they not only are interviewed, offered, hired, but then 30 days later, if they were still there, that’s the kind of candidate that our marketing optimized towards.

So making sure you’re measuring [00:07:00] things and optimizing appropriately, treat it just like patient acquisition. You got to make every dollar count. 

Last thing, I had two separate people ask me this question yesterday with all of the patient privacy and analytics rules of the changing and the analytics set up the tactics that we can do.

What in the world does that do to candidate marketing? Is candidate marketing beholden to these same rules? Kind of. Is the short answer. So, in an ideal world, you will have a separate recruiting or careers website or micro site that is completely separate from your organization’s website that patients access.

In that situation, you often can get away with using Google Analytics 4 right out of the box. You might even be able to do directly Facebook and Reddit conversion tags on it. If there is no patient-related information. It’s strictly a recruiting and careers website. For most people though, it’s actually a page tab, a section of their current site, [00:08:00] in which case you have two choices, you can bifurcate your website and have some of it have certain kinds of tags and some of it have the other we recommend just going full tilt safe.

Yeah, let’s treat everything the same, figure out what your new solution is, whether you go with our privacy solution, the server side tag manager, hit me up if you want to talk about that. Or if you go with a CDP or a new analytics tool, whatever it is, it’s really easiest if you just do it across the board.

One thing I’ll say is that server-side tag manager is Hedy and Hopp’s privacy oriented solution. We actually have the ability to integrate meta and LinkedIn’s conversion APIs. So you can still get full conversion data on everything, but you’re not unnecessarily collecting IP addresses, device IDs, all of that fun stuff.

So, really can go on the other side. So, thank you so much for tuning in again. If you have any questions about candidate recruiting your HR marketing campaigns, give me a call. We love brainstorming this stuff. We [00:09:00] love sharing ideas. And definitely happy to share some case studies for some cool work that we’ve done recently.

But thank you so much for tuning in. We will see you on a future episode of We Are Marketing Happy.

Today, Jenny welcomes Hedy and Hopp’s own Director of Analytics and Decision Science, Mark Brandes to talk about the difference between GTM (Google Tag Manager) and sGTM (Server-Side Google Tag Manager).

Mark states that, while many healthcare marketers utilize traditional web GTM as an essential analytics tool, the tool is really focused on adding information to send between platforms. GTM doesn’t offer a ton of options for removing information, which is a critical consideration when it comes to sensitive PHI/PII that might get shared.

With Server-Side Google Tag Manager, the container lives on your server that you control, making it a safer place where you can make changes in a compliant environment. SGTM is a solution that allows you to continue using platforms like GA4 in a compliant and safe way.

This episode does include a visual presentation, so if you’re just listening in, you can download that presentation here to follow along.

Connect with Mark:


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 so excited to have Hedy and Hopp’s own Mark Brandes. He is our Director of Decision Science and Analytics. Join us today. Mark is going to walk through and explain the difference between Google Tag Manager versus server-side Google Tag Manager. 

This has been a technical explanation we’ve been doing a lot for folks that have been inquiring about our patient privacy package that we’re now offering and just understanding the technology and how it functions can be really helpful to understand how it’s able to safely protect patient information. 

So I will say this is one of the rare podcasts that we actually do have a visual cue. So if you’re listening on Spotify or any other audio-only platform, please know that there’ll be a link in the show notes to access the deck. Otherwise you can always go to our YouTube channel and actually watch the whole video recording [00:0one:00] as well.

And with that, Mark, I’ll hand it over to you. 

Mark: Yeah, great. Thanks for having me on Jenny. So, yeah, we wanted to have a conversation about GTM and sGTM because there’s still some confusion around it. People are still getting kind of used to what both technologies are some people think it’s a replacement for one or do I need them both?

And so we’re gonna help out with that today by giving you a little bit of a background on GTM and then kind of walk you through SGTM. So, it starts off with a software we’re all kind of familiar with which is GTM. A lot of us have used it or are aware of it, have seen it on our websites.

But really the idea with kind of a traditional, web GTM tagging container. The idea is that you’re gonna have this container on your website, and it’s gonna have multiple different tags. They’re all going to be assigned to say different events or different platforms. So when somebody downloads a form or goes to a page, that’s going to signal something in your GTM container, what they call a trigger.

[00:02:00] And those triggers are then going to tell the tags to then send data. To whatever platform you want to. So if you want Facebook to know that this form was downloaded, you would send that signal then to a tag, which would send that data to Facebook or to Google Analytics or to something else. So, you also have 3rd parties in here.

Some people send stuff to Pardot. Some people send stuff to a click tracking platform, like  HotJar. So that’s really what’s going on here. It’s kind of sending all these individual signals to all these different platforms. 

Jenny: And GTM stands for Google Tag Manager. Just for those of us that are listening in the call that maybe it’s not their day to day technology, GTM is Google Tag Manager.

Mark: That’s right. Thanks, Jenny. So, yeah. And with that I think what we’ll see from a privacy standpoint is that with Google Tag Manager in the slide for you, as if you were watching, I’m kind of showing you an example of what one of those tags that might look like inside of GTM. And for those of you listening, I’ll kind of explain [00:03:00] it a little bit, but basically the idea is there’s several fields where you can basically put information in.

You can say what I’m going to tell whatever software this thing is. So, the one I’m looking at right now is a tag in GTM that would send data to Google Analytics for. To tell them somebody clicked on a link to click to email. So that’s usually like some email link somewhere on your page. Somebody clicked it to send an email.

So we’re going to send that trigger to our GA4 to let that platform know that this event happened. And so what you’ll see in this image is that there’s a lot of different ways to add data to GTM tags. So that’s usually the way I explained it as, you can add different variables. You can add more information.

You can add if there’s other what the link was, what it said what kind of style it was in. So there’s a lot of different fields on a lot of different info. You can add on to that tag. The thing is, there’s not a whole lot of ways to remove information in these tags. There are some there’s some abilities you [00:04:00] have to say, cut out certain pieces of data, but those aren’t always available. And usually it’s all about adding more information to the tag and not necessarily removing it. And so what that tells us is that kind of the compliance we’re looking for, based on the new HIPAA guidance, based on some of the new guidelines we’re following, it’s difficult to remove things like IP address or certain device information from a tag like this within GTM.

So that brings us to sGTM. And so just like Jenny explained, this is now a server-side Google Tag Manager instead of just Google Tag Manager. So what we just showed was kind of what we call a web GTM. So the idea is it’s on your site. It’s based in Google servers. So it’s a web-based GTM, based in Google servers.

The difference here with sGTM is now it’s a server-side Google tag manager and we call it a server-side because now we’re [00:05:00] placing it on your client’s or your server. And so it’s in a place where you control, you have the keys to that server and therefore it becomes a safer place than say, putting it on Google server.

So now. You have the ability to make changes where you kind of control the environment. And that creates kind of a safe Harbor for that data. 

Jenny: And one good point is that it still may be a Google server, but it’ll be a Google server only for your organization. And Google will sign a business associates agreement in order to promise that they’ll keep that information safe and secure.

Mark: That’s right, Jenny. And so even though, yeah, the server technically is owned by another property, you can have those business associates agreements in place with them to actually make sure that’s still a safe environment for you. Okay, so what sGTM is, so it really is a separate container. 

So, how we talked about GTM being a container on your site that holds all these tags. Well, this is going to be a separate container apart from that. [00:06:00] So the idea is they aren’t replacing each other. They work in tandem. So the idea is you can still continue to have your GTM container that has all your tags already set up.

What you’re going to add to the equation now is this SGTM container, which is now going to accept the signals from your GTM container and enable you to make some data transformations. So I’ll show an example here in a second. So again, reminding you just real quick, because I feel like it’s good to just do a quick switch here.

This is our traditional web tag. We just talked about. So now when we’re watching. When we switch to sGTM, you can kind of see that change that happens. Right? So instead of all those individual tags, sending their data straight to each platform. Now, all of that data is going to your cloud server instead, inside of your sGTM container.

And now what’s going to happen is within there, you’re going to accept those pieces of data into your and now, when they’re in there, sGTM gives you a chance to actually adjust some [00:07:00] of that data to change it up. And then once you’ve changed it now, you can actually do the same piece of movement that you did before.

Which is take that data and send it to the platforms. So you can continue that process after you’ve cleaned the data. So we’ll show a little bit what’s going on behind the scenes. This gets a little bit more technical for everybody. But the idea is if you were to go in when you’re on a website with the choosing, say, Google, GTM or Google Analytics 4, what you’d see if you went saying to the network information is you’d see little packets of information that are getting past the different places. The one that GA4 typically sends is the one that we see with that pink arrow headed to it up at the top there. It’s that collect kind of statement.

So the idea is that’s what GTM is helping to send to Google Analytics 4 to tell it all the different things that you’re collecting and all the different pieces of [00:08:00] information. So, one of those in there could be your IP address. It could be data. It could be the name of the event. So there could be all kinds of pieces of info.

So, what’s happening here is all this data instead of it going straight to GA4, like we showed with the Web GTM. With sGTM, it’s now coming into that container and what happens is you can see that next step down where it says GA4 client there. 

What happens is that client is now going to split all those variables out, so we can see them all and therefore we can adjust them. So we may have that field one equals value one there. That could be, your IP address and then what the IP addresses is. And then what we can do is basically take that, adjust it and change it. So we can remove some pieces of, some pieces of information from that IP, they call them octets so it’s in between all those little dots.

So we can remove a couple of those to make it more vague. Right? So we can still know, maybe a city, maybe a state, but we wouldn’t know that person’s [00:09:00] specific IP and their specific location. And so now we’ve helped kind of anonymize that a bit. And so we can send that data instead to GA4. Which is helping not identify the person, but still give us some of that data.

And so what we’ve done is we’ve basically made that data transformation. We’ve taken in that variable. We’ve changed up the value and then we’ve sent it out. And so that doesn’t have to just be necessarily IP address. You can say, remove a page URL. So if that’s something you don’t want, say, Facebook to have access to, you don’t think it needs URLs.

Well, you can remove those URLs. You can hash them and send those along to Facebook then. So it wouldn’t actually know what page this event happened on. So you have a way to kind of clean your data in different ways. And so what data available, what things you can kind of transform are all different based on the software you’re working with.

But that’s one of the wonderful things about is it gives you kind of list. You can see all these variables. You can see the values in them, [00:one0:00] and then you can make rules to change each one of them. And so, in that way. That’s how kind of the two softwares work together. You’ve got GTM doing its kind of standard triggering and tagging.

And then basically that data is getting now sent to this SGTM server where it’s kind of making these adjustments for you. 

Jenny: Yeah. And I think one thing that’s really interesting is whenever we are doing a patient privacy implementation, we have the ability to work with our client and their legal and compliance teams, and really align on exactly what data needs to be cleaned.

What data they are comfortable sharing, because some people are more conservative than others based on their state and the subindustry within healthcare, et cetera, but it does allow you then to continue using platforms like Google analytics for in a compliant and safe way, because a lot of clients and folks are coming to us because they’ve already invested lots of time and energy on getting dashboards and reporting infrastructure set up.

And so this is a way to kind of continue that, but in a safe way. 

Mark: Yeah, that’s exactly right, Jenny. And we do have those conversations quite often. [00:oneone:00] There’s always going to be a little gray area there. So there’s, different legal counsels can have different opinions. And until some of this really, gets into case law and we have some kind of judgments there, we’re going to kind of still live in that gray area.

And so I think this is what’s so nice is, yeah, we can list all those out and we can make decisions, we can document it all. So it can be shared, it can be referred to which is a really handy thing. 

Jenny: And modified. Right, in the future. So whenever a case does happen, we have all the documentation and then go back and modify it, which really cleans things up that you don’t have to do a whole other audit, a year or two from now, whenever some clarity is released.

Exactly. Yeah. So, well, Mark, thank you so much for our listeners. I know this was a slightly more technical episode than we typically do, but for those of you that are heads down trying to figure out your patient privacy solution, understanding how the technology actually works and functions can really help empower you to make the right decisions for your own organizations, marketing tech stack.

So, as always, if you have any [00:one2:00] questions or you want to chat with the Hedy and Hopp team directly. Reach out to us, go to our website, fill out the contact form. We’d be happy to talk to you about your own marketing tech stack implementation and any specific questions you have about how to make sure that your patient’s information is safe.

And with that, thank you for tuning into this week’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.” We look forward to seeing you on a future episode. Bye.

In today’s episode, Jenny breaks down the fundamentals of building a successful content marketing strategy, using the example of the multi-pronged content marketing strategy Hedy and Hopp built for St. Louis Children’s Hospital with two key components:

Jenny shares a few things to keep in mind when building a content marketing strategy from the ground up, which include the following:

  1. Content Strategy. Understand what topics are trending in the healthcare space you’re in by reviewing monthly search trends. Create a big picture plan quarterly or biannually to stay relevant.
  2. Optimization. Make sure content is personalized by platform, as different platforms require different optimizations when it comes to content length, style, and strategy. 
  3. Goals. Align your content structure with your goals. The original goal for St. Louis Children’s was to improve brand perception by the community (which surveys showed we accomplished), but we have very clear new patient goals also. For example, if a new doc comes on board and needs their schedule filled, you can feature them with a clear “Book Dr. Sally now” CTA and their schedule will fill up if you do it right.
  4. Paid Support. Bolster organic optimizations with paid promotions to ensure new content and topics reach your target audience.
  5. Video Production. Don’t let video resources stop you from creating content. Your videos don’t have to have super high production! While you may want to earmark certain topics and content for higher production value, sometimes lower quality video can be seen as more trustworthy by consumers. One of St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s most popular series for MomDocs came from a Facebook Live that was filmed on an iPhone!
  6. Patient Privacy. Keep patient privacy top of mind. Even if your content is on a separate property, it’s still a part of your organization. Make sure that the analytics and privacy solutions you use for your main property carry over.

Connect with Jenny:

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Case Study:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of we are marketing happy, a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am the host of the podcast and also the CEO and Founder of Hedy and Hopp. We are a full service healthcare marketing agency that absolutely loves the work that we do. So I am thrilled to be here with you today.

One of the topics that we continue to see coming across our desks here at Hedy and Hopp is content marketing strategy. We have really developed a couple of best practices that we find work really well to build a foundation of content. And then also really be able to expand that content out across your entire digital presence as well as a key social media platform, so I thought I’d share that with you today, and I’m going to use one of my favorite projects that we work on with St. Louis Children’s Hospital as the example. So, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is a longtime client of Hedy and Hopp.[00:01:00] 

We absolutely love the work that they do. I’ll put a link to the case study actually in the show notes, you can go check out not only the case study, but the live site itself. But I want to talk a little bit about why it works. So when the decision was made to do a content strategy for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, one of the first decisions was to actually create a separate standalone website to house that content.

And that happened for a couple of key reasons. The first was that it really helped with creative flexibility. I’m sure all of you marketers tuning in know that whenever you are within the constraints of your primary website, there’s a lot of formatting options that you don’t necessarily have flexibility with.

You may not have flexibility with URL structure, from an SEO perspective, et cetera. And usually a content marketing platform just has a different feel for a consumer than one where they’re actively trying to find a provider. So in this situation, [00:02:00] we chose to make a separate standalone site, Children’s Mom Docs.

And the entire concept was that we were going to have physicians answer questions that parents were struggling with at that time. So again, built a separate website to house all of this content. One of the reasons why we felt it was really important to have a separate website is because we know that social media trends shift, right? 

When the website was launched, Vine was still a thing, right? Like imagine had we built the entire website or the entire strategy on the foundation of Vine. It just really could put you in handcuffs as far as future expandability. So what we always recommend is have a separate website or a subdomain of your current site, whatever, from a digital ecosystem management policy you may have within your organization do that. And then definitely need to make sure that you consider what social media platforms you want to choose to [00:03:00] expand to and then realize that you have to do editing for that content according to the different social media rules.

So we’ll talk about that in a moment. So a few notes of things that you need to be thinking about from a workload perspective and priority perspective. I have six. First one content strategy. So what we do with St. Louis Children’s Hospital is every month we look at search trends. So what are parents actively searching?

This could be related to children’s health in general, it could be related and kind of focus down to key service lines and topics that fall within those service lines. You’ll have to make that targeting decision yourself of how broad or narrow you want to be based off your content marketing strategy and goals, but we always recommend to our clients that even if you create an annual strategy of like how often you’re going to post and the format of how you’re going to post, you need to refresh the topics at a quarterly basis at minimum, because, as we’ve all seen over the last couple of years, life comes at you fast.

And so the topics and things that parents are going to be searching [00:04:00] for are going to shift rapidly. So your processes need to adapt to that. Second optimization strategies vary by platform. So it could be content, length, style, optimization approaches. What’s going to work for Tik TOK is going to be very different than what’s going to work on YouTube, but guess what?

It can be the same topic. It can be the same question, and then it can be shot multiple times or shot once and then edited down according to the channels. So really thinking about what is our POV or what is our topic and point of view that we want to talk about for this day or for this particular content piece. And then how are we going to optimize per channel? 

Next is goals. The original goal for St. Louis Children’s Hospital back when this originally started eight years ago was to improve brand perception by the community. They wanted their brand to feel more approachable, more likable. And so our solution was actually putting the doctors out front and center answering the questions.

Let’s make them real. Let’s make them real humans. Instead of a faceless, scary building. And it’s worked [00:05:00] really well. Brand perception studies that have been done over the last few years have really shown that it has really increased the likability and comfortability with folks going to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

But maybe yours is different. Maybe your goal is to promote a specific service line, or maybe your goal is to raise awareness for a specific service line that is new. Sometimes you may see that a goal, and we’ve intertwined this with some of the work at St. Louis Children’s Hospital is when a new doc comes on board.

By featuring them in the series that can fill their schedule up pretty quickly because it makes them more well known. And really get some visibility out into the community about that doc. So gotta to keep your goals top of mind. Number four, you got to support it with paid organic optimization is phenomenal.

And a huge volume of traffic for St. Louis Children’s and their content series is organic, but we find having a short term push of each new content piece. And this goes beyond just Children’s. This is for all of our clients. We do content work for short term pushes of paid really accelerate the [00:06:00] organic optimization and listings. 

And we all know, theoretically, like that shouldn’t exist. Like paid shouldn’t help organic, but it does. So we recommend really figuring out what kind of paid can you use to support this content and what channels and in what frequency or duration do you want to do it? Is it going to be per episode?

Is it going to be per month? Figure that out and stick to it, but you have to have some sort of paid to ensure there’s eyeballs on your content. Five, video production. Video does not have to be highly produced folks. One of our most successful content series was a Facebook live that we shot on our iPhone.

It was great. Had hundreds of people tuning in every single week, engaging, asking questions during the video series. It was extremely successful. That was on an iPhone. Now I will say that not only with St. Louis Children’s, but also with some of our other content clients, they do choose to use video production services or vendors for [00:07:00] some content pieces, perhaps content pieces that they know would get additional visibility, or they want to be higher priority.

But then you can actually do lower quality video content or use the resources that you have within your own team for other pieces. So do not hinge a content strategy and a video strategy on if you have internal video services or a video agency that you really like. That should not hold you back.

People do not expect that. And in fact, some studies have shown that people actually trust video content more when it isn’t highly produced. Good thing to keep in mind. And number six, the final tip is patient privacy still matters. So even if it’s a separate website, you still have to pay attention to all the patient privacy stuff happening right now.

HIPAA rules, state laws, all those things still apply, especially if you’re talking about service line specific content and then linking to the schedule and appointment now. On your main website. So whatever patient privacy solution you’ve implemented on your main website, you need to carry those best [00:08:00] practices over to this content platform to be able to make sure that patient privacy is still top of mind. And number one. 

So hopefully that was helpful. Hopefully these tips give you a little bit of an idea about if you’re thinking about doing a content strategy, some ways that you could optimize it. One thing that I want to give a quick shout out on is if you are still struggling to figure out patient privacy and what you want to do moving forward, please call us.

Q4, we launched a patient privacy solution where our team is implementing server side Google Tag Manager. You’ll have a BAA with Google. You’ll have a BAA with us. It’s the most cost effective and compliant solution out there. You’ll still get to use Google Analytics but all patient information, PII as far as device ID, IP address, et cetera, location, et cetera. All of that will be wiped as part of the server side tag manager solution. So, we are leaders in this space. We’re helping lots of folks overcome this hurdle. And if you’re still in the decision making process of, what path do we go down?

Give us a call. [00:09:00] Let us help out. We’d love to be here for you. So thanks for tuning into this episode of We Are Marketing Happy. Hope to see you on a future episode. Take care.

In today’s episode, Jenny shares her top three reasons to spend energy and resources toward submitting for awards: for recruitment, for credibility, and for ego. 

Mentally categorizing award submissions into these three buckets each year helps her understand where her energy is going, and if it matches her goals.

Connect with Jenny:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi, friends. Welcome to today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy, a healthcare marketing podcast. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am the host of the podcast and I’m also the founder and owner of  Hedy and Hopp, a full service healthcare marketing agency. I am excited to hop on today to chat with y’all about a topic that actually came up in a SHSMD forum.

So for those of you that have attended SHSMD in the past, you’ll know that there’s an awesome forum that folks within the industry hop on, ask questions, and then other folks in their field could then answer questions and give advice or recommendations. One of the questions was from a marketer within a healthcare system, and they were really toying with the idea of, should they spend the energy and the resources to apply for one of those “best places to work” for their organization? As healthcare marketers, y’all wear many, many hats and one of them sometimes can be [00:01:00] deciding on and submitting to awards. At Hedy & Hopp, we actually have a philosophy about awards. And it also kind of leans into speaking opportunities as well.

So I thought I would share that here. So there are really, in our mind, three reasons to spend energy and resources on either award or a speaking opportunity. And the first one’s for recruitment. So for your organization, if you are on a hiring spree, if you’re trying to fill a lot of difficult to fill positions I know the nursing shortage has eased a bit, but a lot of y’all are still really trying to fill some of those really difficult to fill positions.

“Best places to work” awards can be a good solution to be able to give yourself some third party credibility for being a place of employment that’s candidate friendly. So for recruitment is one of them. I will say that you usually have the option of looking at things like your local business journal.

They usually use a third party organization that [00:02:00] you have to pay a few thousand dollars to do surveys for your team members. There are also other “best place to work” awards that don’t require expensive third party survey process and you can just do your due diligence and figure out which one makes the most sense.

You definitely wanted to be one that has credibility within your own geography, so it could be a industry-specific, a healthcare-specific one as long as you have the ability to really leverage and utilize it and intertwine it with your open position promotion that you do. The second one is for credibility.

So again, first one for recruitment. Second one for credibility. So, um, a lot of organizations once a year kind of spin up the big initiative to be able to apply for the best children’s hospital in the nation award, or trying to win awards for specific service lines 

For your marketing campaigns, for example, there may be a situation where you want to actually [00:03:00] apply for some awards to be able to get credibility for some of the work that you’re doing. Perhaps to validate it for your boss that your work is good. So credibility could be for internal or for external purposes. So you kind of have to use a filter and figure out when it makes sense to apply for something for credibility.

Usually it’s going to be through the patient’s lens and that it gives your facility or your service line or your physicians additional credibility. And then that’s something that you can intertwine throughout your annual marketing strategy as far as figuring out how to really maximize it. The third one, and this is a reason why or this is a reason a lot of people overlook, but it’s for ego.

Right? So the first one’s for recruitment, second one is for credibility, and the third one’s for ego. So you cannot overlook ego. Maybe there’s a doc within your organization that’s really great on camera, but they’re kind of grouchy and difficult because they don’t really see the value of doing content marketing.

Maybe submit them for an award for a [00:04:00] podcast they were on or for a content series that they did. Sometimes an ego boost by being recognized by peers can be enough to get somebody to shift their point of view to be more willing to do a part of the process or engage in your work in a way that can really help the entire organization.

So this isn’t one that you want to leverage very often, but it’s definitely one that you want to keep in your back pocket as a reason to apply for something. So again, as you’re thinking about your year, the awards that you want to actually spend energy and resources to apply for, because again, awards not only cost the time to identify them, prioritize them, and fill out the application.

Sometimes those applications could be meaty and could take hours, but they all always have a cost associated with them that can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. And especially for those of you with shrinking budgets, you got to figure out how to prioritize it. So again, as you’re thinking about your award strategy for 2024, I strongly recommend that you create an Excel [00:05:00] spreadsheet with a couple of columns and one of those columns needs to be what’s the purpose?

Why are we applying for this? Is it for recruitment for credibility or for ego? So hopefully that was helpful. Thank you for tuning in this week. And we look forward to seeing you on a future episode of We Are Marketing Happy. Take care.

Today Jenny welcomes Jeff Stewart, VP of Strategic Marketing at CHRISTUS Health. Jeff discusses CHRISTUS Health’s strategic journey to grow brand equity through streamlining each of CHRISTUS Health’s twelve distinct health systems under one united strategic vision.

Jeff offers advice for striking the right balance between consolidating marketing initiatives and finding the right partners who perform specific functions really well, as there is no single agency that can do it all really well, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. 

Finally, Jeff shares his advice for marketing leaders who are tasked with consolidating teams, agencies, and initiatives. Jeff shares a “both and” strategic approach to marketing that enables CHRISTUS Health to drive a unified brand message at a large scale, while also offering unique, localized selling points for each health system within CHRISTUS Health.

Connect with Jeff:

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. And I am so excited to have with me Jeff Stewart. He is the VP of strategic marketing at Christus Health. Jeff, welcome.

Jeff: Thanks for having me excited to talk to you.

Jenny: So we, my team fell in love. We saw you speak at a conference this year and you’re just a very succinct and eloquent speaker. So you and I connected afterwards. And one of the things that we really got into some detail on is the strategy around building an internal team. So as you joined Christus and began you know, over the last few years, kind of reshaping things together, talk to me big picture about some of your objectives in doing that. And some of the key steps you’ve made. 

Jeff: Well, I think the motivating factor comes from what will be familiar to everybody in the industry right now, which is cost pressure and labor pressure. Right. When you have labor costs that are [00:01:00] skyrocketing with no end in sight, really, even when they plateau, I doubt that there’s any real significant reduction to come.

And obviously, the first priority is always our clinical staff, which means that marketing becomes something that gets a real hard look. And so that cross pressure was very real. And it justifies, I think, in the minds of the executives, why we do things. But when you look at the strategy part of it, Christus has helped at a real opportunity to grow our brand equity and to have a tighter control.

Essentially we had in, in each of our sort of individual health systems, we had a marketing team that was dedicated to that area and they were empowered to certain levels over the years to execute what they needed to do to market for that individual health system. They had our brand guidelines. They could go to any agency. They knew what our logo was, but they could kind of use any logo on any piece depending on whatever. So it really created as we now step [00:02:00] back in a digital world and think, you really can only have one brand identity in a digital world in healthcare. But yet we have 12.

And so how do we begin the work of pulling that together? And I think that starts by getting us all on the same page and getting us all under the same structure, all under the same authority. And then bringing in a lot of that work that was out. And we also transitioned from treating our brand guidelines as a set of rules.

And that if you possess these rules, you can therefore stick that into the marketing machine, pull the lever and out comes Christus. And I think if brand guidelines, are just at that, they’re guidelines. And so we have rules, but the rules need to be stretched and broken and grow and evolve. And you can only do that with a more central authority.

So we did it to answer the labor pressure, the cost pressure, to deal with the reality of the fact we were never going to have staffs of five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 12 in any particular hospital at any given time. But we also recognize that was creating [00:03:00] strategic problems for us on the other side.

So we have a goal of being a strong brand of Chris’s health. We weren’t going to get there. As a bunch of independent teams. 

Jenny: Absolutely. Over the last eight years at Hedy and Hopp, we’ve seen a lot of systems centralize their marketing teams. What balance did you walk as far as centralizing everything versus maybe leaving a little bit of the tactical or execution work at the location level? Where did you fall?

Jeff: Oh, Yeah. So, and I think we’re still on that journey and it continues to be a journey. But what I would say is, our executive vice president, chief strategy officer is such a great guy. And we really appreciate the guidance and vision that he gives us. One of the things is he really views that, like, get everybody on board, right?

Like make this a positive thing. And I think so often, and I hear this, and it was a tendency to do this of like, Well, system says so, right? Corporate says so. And if they become edicts and that didn’t, then everybody feels like they weren’t heard. They didn’t have the chance to talk about why they want to [00:04:00] do what they want to do or how it’s set up that way.

And so we’ve really focused on bringing the things along one at a time with a compelling case. And so we’ve gone back a number of times and done some additional research on any particular consumer, narratives. One great example is we recently moved the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, which is a Christus hospital.

And it’s a wonderful freestanding academic children’s facility, women’s and children’s hospital in San Antonio. We moved them over to be Christus Children’s and bring them into the brand part of the centralization part of bringing them close to the family. But in order to do that, we could certainly, I guess, tell them to do it, but that.

No, but it’s never going to go well right, but instead, we conducted research and one of the key things that came out as we asked 100 people in San Antonio, who owns Children’s Hospital San Antonio, what network are they associated with? And the answer was not Christus. What we were first. We weren’t second.

We weren’t. We were third, right? And so that [00:05:00] becomes clear. We got to make it Christus Children’s. They’ll give them the why. And so, we did that on the marketing people, right? Moving our teams, re centralizing our teams here out of Irving, Texas, and the why that made sense. And we’ve made a number of other, we’ve centralized our creative services.

We give the why, and it makes sense. And now, we’re on, we’re in the process of looking at it. media planning, media buying, budgeting, but all of those continue to be a series of successive conversations as they make sense so that we’re never doing too much at any time. 

Jenny: That makes a whole lot of sense.

One thing that I think was interesting that we hear all of the time is that again, 12 locations have the freedom to choose their agency partner. That may mean you’re working with 24, 36 individual agencies, so as you’re going through and cleaning things up right like how are you choosing and selecting how many partners you have, the areas of expertise that folks are leaning in on [00:06:00] versus what you’re keeping in house?

Yeah, sure. I’d love feedback. 

Jeff: Yeah. Right. So, we didn’t want to get down to one, we know one is too few, right? But we know 11 is too many. So where’s the in between? And really we just work with the people that we’ve had a really successful and great relationship with. And one of our partners we use for a decent amount of creative work has been with Christus.

Christus turned 25 in three months and I believe he’s actually done 30 years worth of work because he was with one of the systems prior to Christus. And he’s great. He really knows us and understands us and knows our challenges and has had the opportunity to work with a number of different ministries, health systems over the years.

And we have a strategy creative agency that we’ve used now we brought that I brought on after I started here we did an RFP and found them and we continue to use them, and they have gone through other systems on this journey that we’re on as well and so you’re getting a lot of understanding of how other systems have tackled service line planning and transitioning or involving corporate led campaigns with.

With health system led campaigns, what that blend and [00:07:00] process looks like. But then on the digital side, I think that’s where we had some real opportunity that since I’ve started I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find one agency who does it all. And you got to find the agencies to do certain things really well.

And so, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an SEO agency over the last 10 years that I just think is, just hands down, not just healthcare, across everywhere, one of the smartest agencies around. And so they’re really good at that, but they’re not, they may not be our best option for say web development.

And actually we use a couple of different web development agencies, some that are better on the infrastructure side, because we’re an Azure SAS world, and that’s its own animal and then some that are better on the Sitecore side and some that are actually better on integrating with Sitecore. And then we have a mobile app partner.

And that, is that a pain too? Sometimes it is, because sometimes you have overlaps and how do you make the decision, but also that creates competition and helps keep us on our toes. But, I think specifically [00:08:00] digital niche is the right move.

Jenny: Absolutely. I think one thing that’s really interesting and that successful leaders do is really viewing their agency and vendor partners as humans and extensions of their teams, because everybody has strengths and weaknesses, right? In areas that they really shine in. I think you talked about bringing multiple agencies with you.

I think that’s the biggest compliment an agency can get is when somebody leaves, goes to a new organization and chooses to bring you over. 

Jeff: When I use the word partner advisedly. We mean that, right? We’ve had a recent conversation with one of them.

I said, if anybody, any agency partner who listens ever worked with me, I tell you all the time, if I’m wrong, I’m counting on you to tell me. And if we get to a point where you can’t tell me I’m wrong, this relationship won’t work. Right? It absolutely has to work. I depend on you. 

And in fact, where I look back where things haven’t always gone well with agencies. One of, one of the challenges we find is they don’t want to challenge us and, or they get to a point where the [00:09:00] communication begins to break down and we just really struggle, then, to ever get to a point where we’re benefiting from them or where they’re not able to say, like, we’ve worked with other partners who’ve done this, but don’t have to be healthcare.

Right? It might be somebody who says, look at the web. The best way to schedule appointments on the website is actually to take from say A service some sort of service industry, like a moving service, sorry, like scheduling, moving vans, like scheduling an appointment. And, we solve that challenge for them this way.

We think it could apply here. I need that to come inside. Cause if I just talk to the group sitting out here, I’m not getting that right? 

Jenny: Absolutely. Especially a number of folks have been in healthcare for a long period of time in house, it can be really difficult to be exposed to innovation. So that definitely makes sense.

So last question I have is for any marketing leader that is being charged with doing a consolidation of their marketing teams, agencies, initiatives, what advice would you give them?

Jeff: I’m going to [00:10:00] plug something real quick, but it’s a book that I’ve recently been reading. It’s called Both/And Thinking and it’s by Marianne Lewis, who I actually took a classroom at the University of Cincinnati and Think very highly of her, but it’s that. We really, this is a paradigm that I’ve tried to bring to the team is how do we make both things true?

Because quite often the centralization conversation is an either/or conversation, right? Which is either we’re going to do it all locally. Or we’re going to shove system stuff down, down their gullet. Right? And that’s not the way to look at it. It’s both. Right? And so if we can understand the dilemma that we’re faced with the competing sets of goals and incentives that exist at the local level and existed at the system level.

When we think about it in that sense, we can find a way to make both things true, right? So we look at, we’re on the verge of launching in the first quarter, it’s all approved, ready to go. Our first system led cardiology campaign. Now it’s [00:11:00] my, or my first slide. We’ve done it a few years ago and they did it the way that I think a lot of places do it, which is here’s your heart commercial, or I think it was actually oncology, here’s your cancer commercial, and it’s going to run in all our markets, and that’s it.

Or maybe, well, we could swap out the logo at the end. That’s not answering the real need. And so when we came back, it’s not answering the local level where they really want to feel like the reason to buy locally is there, right? We got the system, we got the brand, but we didn’t get the local. And so, and I think oftentimes you hear presenters, we can do a localized campaign or we can do a system and that’s not true.

We can do both. Right? Because we look at where your greatest efficiencies are in a system led campaign. They are in the top level broadcast, right? And the broadcast multimedia doing the big shoots, where you get, the lighting trucks and sound, but you do the whole deal, right? You only want to do that once.

You don’t want to do that 12 times, but we think about further down the funnel. And as you get from the far away to the [00:12:00] closer. When you get down to social and when you get down to search, you have the ability to present unique reasons to buy for each of, in our case, for each of our ministries, right?

So we can say, we can do the hard work up top to say Christus equals heart. We just want to drive that emotional connection. Christus and heart care are linked together and that we are there to care for you and your family. That’s easy to do and broadcast big dollars that work in all of our ministries because that’s true across all of our ministries.

But when you get down closer and closer to the point of conversion to the point of care, you have the opportunity to increase your localization of reasons to buy, right? So there we have in, let’s say, East Texas. We have the only dedicated heart hospital in all of East Texas. That matters. If you’re doing a heart commercial, that’s not mentioning that you have a hundred bed heart hospital in Tyler, Texas with almost 50 employed cardiologists to support it.

You’re [00:13:00] that’s almost a criminal negligent, right? Like you have to do that. But for somebody who is in Corpus Christi or in Beville, Texas, Alice, Texas, they’re a little bit further out. There’s not really a connection to that, but they have their own local reasons to, to understand where Christus provides dedicated heart care in their area.

And so we’ve focused on making both things true, high level system, brand efficiency and localized assets that matter at the point of care to the consumers. 

Jenny: I love that. It makes me think of a huge access to care campaign that we did a few years ago where it was similar it was very large, not nationwide, but as nationwide as systems get, and it was large, big production, creative. 

And then whenever you would actually begin going down that digital experience, individual landing pages with the access to care information that then could point out the individual differentiators. So there’s a way you have to get really [00:14:00] tactical in the execution of it down into the weeds.

But that’s such a great reminder that both/and I’m definitely going to buy that book.

Jeff: So it’s really good. I appreciate it. And I know Dr. Lewis or took her class but it’s really helped. I think our team reconceptualized, I had many of my team come up and go, I’m an either or person.

I didn’t, I guess I get that. And I’ve always sort of accepted it with this both and it’s like there, and we keep coming back to it. And it’s so fun when you get an idea that lives with the team and they can take it and say, Hey, Thanks. And let’s make two things true. We can make two things true at once.

We can look at a dilemma and face the paradox and find ways to get through it. 

Jenny: Oh my gosh, Jeff, this has been such a fun interview. Thank you so much for being on today’s episode of We Are Marketing Happy listeners. Thank you so much for tuning in. I’m gonna put Jeff’s LinkedIn link down in the show notes.

So if you have any questions for him or want to connect, find that information there. And until next week have a fabulous time, go make a difference. And we’ll see you on [00:15:00] future episodes.

In today’s episode, Jenny is joined by Hedy & Hopp Senior Vice President and long-time friend Maggie Piasecki. Harkening back to their early days working at a healthcare recruiting firm, together they discuss the growing demand for healthcare workers and how viewing recruiting as a marketing function can help fulfill that demand. They discuss the different approaches needed to engage active job seekers versus more passive groups and how organizations can benefit from taking a full-funnel approach to their recruitment, including focusing on upstream objectives like brand awareness. Maggie shares how a focus on the emotional drivers of the audience can help recruiters make their organization and roles standout, and the benefits of small tests and ongoing optimization in driving results. Jenny also discusses how many healthcare organizations are budgeting dollars and headcount for recruitment marketing and gives tips on how marketing and HR colleagues can best collaborate in 2024.

Connect with Jenny:

Connect with Maggie:

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’m the CEO and founder at Hedy & Hopp, and I am so excited for the first time we have Hedy & Hopp’s SVP, Maggie Pasecki, joining us. Maggie, you have been with Hedy and Hop for over two years, really helping make sure that this agency fulfills the promises that we make our clients.

And you have been just so instrumental and helping us do that. But you and I go way back 20 years, not going to talk about how old we were when it was 20 years ago, but I love that it’s come full circle because the first marketing we did together, our very first roles out of college, was healthcare recruiting marketing.

Maggie: Yes. Yes, it sure was. It seems like ages ago. In fact, there’s a picture right there of us about 20 years ago at Google headquarters, learning about digital marketing techniques [00:01:00] back in the early days.

Jenny: I love it. Oh my goodness. So it was really interesting because 20 years ago, the healthcare recruiting company that we worked for, we were for the first time, right, like starting to use marketing tactics through the lens of an HR function to be able to recruit candidates. And now that, life has come full circle, we’re now doing that for a lot of our clients. We’re seeing more and more organizationally that marketing and HR functions are really collaborating because staffing continues to be an issue.

I think, was it a Becker’s report came out last week, and staffing is less of a concern for 2024, but still it’s like 57 percent of organizations are having staffing crises. So just because it’s not 100%, it still is very high as far as the level of concern. So I would love to kind of pick your brain a little bit, for those marketers that are just beginning to partner with their HR teams, when folks come to us, what are the, some of the first things [00:02:00] that we do to help kind of prep their campaigns for success?

Maggie: Yeah, it’s a great question. Healthcare recruitment is always tough, right? It was 20 years ago when we were working on it. But I think the dynamics in today’s age, for a variety of reasons, whether it’s staffing shortages due to COVID-19 recurrence is still or just sort of the burnout that they’re experiencing, they really come to us asking for creativity on how they find, engage, and recruit talent, and I think they’re really struggling with this idea of being sort of a passive type of job seeker, if you will. So we’ve got a portion of the healthcare staff, force, that’s actively looking for a job.

Those are going to be easier to engage. There’s a very large portion, though, that are sitting there that are really, I would say have a lot of ample excitement around potentially moving, but they’re not yet thinking about it. And so they typically are coming to us asking, how do we engage with that passive group that’s not yet proactively looking for a job?

And that really requires them to flip [00:03:00] the thinking from less recruitment versus how you would traditionally go after like consumer-based marketing and a funnel type of approach.

Jenny: Absolutely. There was a campaign we did that was a bit ago, but it continued to grow and expand because they had to start just with nurse recruiting and it was a very large regional campaign.

So one of the things that I thought was so brilliant is we actually had our strategists go in and begin researching each individual market and look at the competitors and say, like, what are they promoting and talking about? Is it a hiring bonus? Is it flexibility with scheduling and time? Is it, what are those perks that you’re competing against through the lens of the candidate and then testing those messages in the actual campaign creatives themselves?

One thing that I know you talk about a lot is like the core of Hedyology is, it’s not about the brand. It’s more about the end user. So like, talk about that a little bit.

Maggie: Yeah. So I think, one of the other things that when a client comes to us is they’ll [00:04:00] have their core brand attributes, like why would someone come to work there?

Right? So they get a bonus or they’re getting better PTO or they’re getting better flex time to go be with their family. Those are all kind of the core things that you would expect as a healthcare worker looking to potentially shift jobs, but I think more importantly, where we can come in and really help flip the perspective of the recruiter is we have to be able to bridge those sort of brand driven attributes with actual emotive needs of that actual healthcare worker that they are recruiting.

So, when you’re in sort of that passive recruitment stage, you really need to engage with that individual on an emotional level, right? Changing jobs is a big deal. You’re asking them to change in a sort of, kind of, uphill their day-to-day. And for some of these healthcare workers, they’ve been with their health organization for a really long time.

So typically, when somebody comes to us, we put them through a process, which we call Hedyology. And, Hedyology really does two things. One is it is an audience-first driven approach to how a brand engages with [00:05:00] their audience. And then it builds a data-forward foundation so that most importantly, that recruiter or healthcare brand can really understand and measure how successful they’re being.

So we really focus on taking those brand attributes and mapping those and really building a connection with what are the going to be the emotional drivers of their audience, right? Because at the end of the day, everybody makes decisions based off emotion. You rationalize them, right? But you’re going to initially engage based off an emotional decision and really getting recruiters to kind of flip that perspective and take that emotionally-driven approach with how they’re first engaging with that brand and sort of dripping them down a marketing funnel, if you will, I think really gets them and it helps them set apart from the other brands that are pushing a lot of marketing material out the door.

Jenny: Absolutely. And I think one of the things that you mentioned that’s so key is really viewing it as a marketing funnel, right? Like you’re nurturing this relationship.

A candidate’s not all of a sudden going to see your post or [00:06:00] your content and say, Oh, I’m going to upend my life and I’m going to apply today unless they’re truly unhappy and they’re ready to make a change. The vast majority of candidates aren’t. And that goes all the way through once an application is done, right?

Continuing to nurture them because sometimes the interview and hiring process can take a while, so making sure that you continue communication through that.

Maggie: Right. So, well, and often, the funnel for recruitment, if you will, typically starts at the point of application, right? So we often encourage them to extend up, right?

You really have to extend up into that general awareness and sort of building affinity of right, why that candidate would be interested in your brand. That can take a significant amount of time for passive type of job applicants or seekers. And so really spending a lot of time from the marketing perspective and turning that into recruitment and getting recruiters to think about that with the upstream type of work, I think is really critical as we move into 2024.

Jenny: Absolutely. So, what are some key points or [00:07:00] tips that you would give folks? We are already talking about like changing the messaging and changing the POV of the way of that you’re communicating and thinking about it. But if I’m a marketer and I’m sitting in my department right now, all of a sudden I’m hearing all about these staffing shortages, but maybe there hasn’t been an organizational push for our teams to work together, I feel like this could be a good opportunity for people to be able to drive internal collaboration. What tips would you give folks, whether their organizations are encouraging collaboration or not to kind of start that process?

Maggie: Yeah, it’s a good question. So I think, for marketers and healthcare organizations, they have their own challenges, right?

They’re focused on patient acquisition and building brand awareness. Those are also really hard challenges in today’s market. And then you’ve got the recruiter on the other side, who’s really focused on, hitting numbers and getting bodies in the door for a lack of a better word. I think the two can learn a lot from each other.

If I was a recruiter in a healthcare organization, as I go into [00:08:00] 2024, I would be trying to think of, how am I going to think about this differently of how we are building a funnel of applicants, how we are building more of a name for our brand within the healthcare worker space so people do want to come work here?

And I would be picking the brain of that marketer, right? So I would be scheduling time to try and learn from their patient marketing acquisition strategies. I also would be thinking less about the typical job board, if you will, or LinkedIn type of only funnel campaigns for the people that I’m trying to recruit.

And I would maybe be thinking about exploring agency relationships and or tech platform relationships that can help me expand my reach or the type of healthcare workers that I’m trying to get in the door.

Jenny: Absolutely. I think one thing that we have seen just as an FYI for anybody tuning into this, more and more organizations are having as large of a marketing budget for HR as specialty [00:09:00] service lines over on the patient acquisition side.

So if that’s not yet happening within your organization, that’s something to raise, raise a flag on and start having those chats. I think one of the things that I love so much in my role is I get to talk to so many folks in different groups across the country and figuring out and learning more about their team structure and their budgeting process and approval process and the way that they work with agencies or don’t.

And so that’s definitely one trend that we’ve seen more and more folks do over the last five years is really budgeting and prioritizing marketing in that way. It’s not just head count for HR. There’s actually a literal marketing budget tied to it.

Maggie: Yeah, and I think the other key piece is testing, right?

So, we had a client, we worked mainly with the head of marketing, it was a regional healthcare system. This person I think was out to lunch maybe with a recruiting contact within the organization, and they started just talking about the challenges that recruiter had. And so what our marketing contact did is they offered to work with us and run a recruitment test for that [00:10:00] recruiting department for the specific type of nurse that they were looking for.

It wasn’t a huge effort, right? So they didn’t have to put all of their eggs in one basket with trying to change direction and we ran a small test for them. And because we were audience-first, because we had a data foundation, we were really able to measure success, both from that upstream work down to whether or not applicants actually came in the door and whether they were hired.

And it was a small test that I think they were able to quickly optimize and show impact to determine how they ask for more budget moving into that next fiscal year. So that would also be, a small test. Test and measure and pivot quickly.

Jenny: Exactly. I love it. Well, Maggie, thank you so much for being on today.

It’s always fabulous for me to see your face, but also for sharing your insights for all of our listeners. And thank you folks for tuning in. We will be taking a short little hiatus for the holiday. We’re taking off two weeks so we can enjoy time with our friends and family instead of launching podcast episodes, but we will be back in [00:11:00] January with weekly Friday episodes.

So tune in then. And in the meantime have a safe and fabulous time with your friends and family. Take care.

In today’s episode, Jenny shares her top tips for establishing a strong and streamlined content marketing foundation, including audience strategy, production, and distribution. She starts off discussing Hedy & Hopp’s own content marketing approach, including her tips for simplified content production and how to use a “pillar content” strategy to maximize your time and effort. She then shares how a multi-channel distribution strategy can reach the right audiences in the right channels, even for complex organizations with a variety of content topics and personas. Jenny also shares tips for how to tag and organize content within a CRM to enable more automated “right persona, right content” approaches, and helps you think about segmenting your content strategy based on the type of care your audience is seeking. She wraps up with some tips for what to consider as you go into a website redesign or CRM implementation in 2024.

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 Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy & Hopp. We are a full-service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We’re based in the Midwest, but work with providers and payers and innovators all across the country in the healthcare space.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about content marketing strategy. Hedy & Hopp, our own marketing has really ramped up and we’ve gotten a lot more organized. It’s very easy whenever you’re an agency and you do a lot of content marketing for your clients to kind of not do as much work for yourself, but starting in 2023 and then really the second half of 2023, really doubled down, become much more process oriented.

And I’ve had a non insignificant number of people reach out to me and say like, how have you done it? We need to do this for our organization. We have to stand up some content marketing plans. We just don’t really know where to go from a strategy [00:01:00] perspective. And I think there’s a lot of things that we do as content marketers that we just take for granted.

So I thought I’d talk about that today and share some easy tips and insights. So, first, as we started thinking about our content marketing strategy as an organization, we’ve already identified the personas, like who are we trying to talk to? How do we want our voice to be known within the industry and within our, the world of the prospects and the influencers.

So we’ve done a lot of that work. I want to talk a little bit more about the production and the sharing of that content. So the first thing we did is we determined what is going to be our pillar piece of content each week. And for us, it’s the podcast. We have put a lot of energy into making this podcast what it is.

It’s been a great way for us to be introduced to just some amazing people across the country. We were named the number one healthcare marketing agency podcast for 2023. Thank you Swaay.Health for that award. So it was pretty easy, no brainer for us to make that [00:02:00] pillar for our content each week. One thing that I would lean on and encourage each of you as you’re thinking about what should our content pillar be, is I’d really encourage you to really think about video.

Think about what can you do with minimal production costs with the resources you already have available to you. Gone are the days where you have to do 30,000 production shoots for every piece of content. Of course, there’s still commercial productions you’ll need to do that will require high value as far as like the expenses of the number of people involved, but for podcasts or social media content, I just record this using Zoom, super easy.

I have a couple of different audio setups that I use every week. So simpler is easier because you’re much more likely to stick to it. And people respond when it’s simple, it feels more organic. So that’s our foundation. And then after you have that foundation, you have to think about distribution. What are all the different ways that you can repurpose that content based off of where your prospects or [00:03:00] your individuals you need to reach, where are they spending their time?

So for us, we had a couple of clear things. We have a really vibrant YouTube channel. We get tons and tons of views every year. We’ve been creating content really since like 2017. So we take the recording of this podcast and of course it’s released on normal podcast channels, but we also repurpose it and put it on YouTube.

We have a process where we then create a variety of different social media sharing components where we’re integrating some of the video or highlighting some key content pieces we want to share on socials and then we’re also sharing it through email. So we have a couple of different touch points based off of how the prospect likes to receive information, right?

It’s really kind of taking it where the people you’re trying to reach are spending their time, can be really simple. So then I already hear you saying like, but Jenny, we have a really complex system. Let’s say it’s [00:04:00] a children’s hospital and you have a lot of different either cute services or specialty service lines that you really need to focus on.

We have a variety of different personas. Let’s say you have a persona for a parent of a child who receives regular services at the system, but maybe it’s allergies like asthma related and they just come in regularly, or maybe it’s more of an acute care situation or it’s a shorter term stay. If you’re creating personas within your CRM system, you then can opt into a variety of service line updates within your CRM.

So then that content can be aggregated automatically through an email campaign that is sent out regularly. You also could have it be by service line with distribution channels within each of them. I’ll say, for example, if I am a mom that is coming in on a regular basis for services, let’s say on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, I would be interested in a lot of different categorical updates [00:05:00] about your system versus if I was a mom that really just was going to be there for a short period of time, and hopefully I wouldn’t see you again, right?

The cadence, the frequency, all of those things would be different. And so you really don’t have to make content marketing super complex. The best place to start is who are we talking to? What are the key questions they’re trying to answer the information we’re trying to convey to them and how can we systematize it?

You have so many things going on within your organization – most systems have fewer people today on their marketing teams than they did a couple of years ago – so how can we systematize this and know where and how we’re creating content and then really make sure the distribution is reaching those people in a meaningful way?

As you’re thinking about website updates for next year, maybe a website redo for next year, maybe you’re launching and rolling out a CRM, I really want to encourage you to pause for a minute. Think about those personas and then think [00:06:00] about the content categories that each persona would be interested in.

Because if you do that work upfront, there’s a lot of backend things that you can do from a tagging and filtering perspective that will make it much easier to distribute the content to the people that need it the most. So I hope that was helpful. This is the kind of strategy work that Hedy & Hopp loves doing, so if you’re currently in the middle of figuring out how you’re going to reach more people or the right people with the right message and just really trying to ramp up your content strategy, give us a call. We’d love to brainstorm.

So until next time thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Hedy & Hopp’s “We Are, Marketing Happy” and we’ll see you next week.

In this week’s episode, Jenny welcomes Brian Deffaa, Chief Marketing Officer of Maryland-based LifeBridge Health. Brian shares his background in consumer and retail marketing and his journey into healthcare, where he is now on a mission to bring real emotion into delivering healthcare marketing. Brian discusses his “inside-out” approach to rallying LifeBridge teammates around a clear, compelling mission based on the organization’s history. Brian also discusses how he has translated that mission into a unique, authentic, and defensible brand proposition for LifeBridge Health that can be felt across every marketing touchpoint. Brian also discusses how he navigates measurement and ROI around more brand and awareness-driving marketing efforts.

Connect with Brian:

Connect with Jenny:

LifeBridge Health Creative:

“I’m Fine” Campaign: 

“Care Bravely” Movement: 

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends, welcome to today’s episode of We Are, Marketing Happy – A Healthcare Marketing Podcast. I am Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and Founder at Hedy & Hopp, a full-service, fully healthcare marketing agency, and I am so honored to be joined today by Brian Deffaa. He is the CMO at LifeBridge Health, which is located in Baltimore, in the Maryland region.

And, Brian, my team met you at Becker’s and we actually lightly talked about some of the things that you shared on our Becker’s recap. And they were so impressed with your ability to bring emotional intelligence into marketing that we just had to do an episode entirely on you and your strategy.

So, welcome.

Brian: Thank you. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed our conversation as well. Hopefully I can live up to that build-up.

Jenny: You already have, trust me. So one thing, I have a couple of key points I want to chat about today with you. Just a quick little summary, we typically don’t go into people’s [00:01:00] backgrounds on our episode. We’re going to link though to your LinkedIn in the show notes for folks that want to connect with you, but you have a very consumer marketing focused background, and then you came into healthcare. And one of the things that you mentioned on a prior call that you and I had was the interesting world we live in healthcare right now, where we have a really fragmented industry that is seeing some really rapid consolidation.

And one of the questions I have for you is, how do you create a culture within your marketing organization and throughout the entire organizational ecosystem? And how does that happen?

Brian: So, thank you for that. Before I answer your question, I’ll go back into a little bit of my history because I think it’s informative to answer your question.

I came from retail, I came from automotive, consumer finance, Capital One, Target, places like that. And one of the things that I learned from those organizations is that when they’re really well run, everybody understands what they’re running [00:02:00] toward. They understand the mission of the organization, how they’re different, and they can articulate it in one or two sentences. 

Whether they’re in the strategy department, whether they’re in the mail room, they know what the organization does, where it fits in the world, and why they believe they exist. So that was a real interesting education for me coming from B2C organizations and successful ones who carved out a unique niche in their spot. So I took that learning into health care. And what was interesting for me about healthcare is, when we look at the top 100 brands, there’s not a single healthcare provider organization in those top 100.

Yet we are 20 to 25% GDP in the U.S. And so those two things in my own head, they don’t match. If you have that much of an impact financially in people’s lives and in the economy, and you have that much of an impact personally in people’s lives, why is there no brand relevance? Why is there no single [00:03:00] brand really capitalizing on that and making headway with consumers?

And I think a lot of it is because it’s a very clinically driven industry, at least it has been. One of the reasons I’m here, and, as you noted at the beginning, this healthcare is relatively new to me. I’ve been here for 5 years now, but I had never touched healthcare before and it’s emblematic of where the industry is going.

Never before has healthcare really had to appeal to consumers in a B2C kind of way. And everybody and their brother from us as a large health system to insurance providers, like, the Blue Crosses of the world to OneMedical, which is Amazon, which you now see just today, they released an announcement that they are partnering with Common Spirit, which is another large health system.

So there’s this really interesting convergence of activity in the healthcare space, brand marketing and communication will always [00:04:00] play a role in that. But to your question about culture, we haven’t had to play that game as health systems, as providers. We haven’t, you build it and they will come, has been the model. Now that whole model is breaking down, it’s similar to the movie we’ve seen happen in retail where department stores were the 900 pound gorilla and now they’ve gone away, but we’re having to really understand and reevaluate, what our uniqueness is, how we communicate that uniqueness, how we tell our team members, this is how we’re unique and this is how we would like you to act and interact with our consumers. And then what value are those activities delivering to consumers?

Jenny: Yeah, I love that. I feel like so often whenever we’re chatting with different organizations or systems across the country, so much of their activity is focused on service line specific campaigns like, oh, we have an open MRI at this location, right?

It is very specific and tactical. And one of the quotes that I wrote down verbatim because it like really hit me [00:05:00] when we talked last time is if you can’t deliver emotion in healthcare, you’re not doing it right.

Brian: Right. Brand marketers for decades now have imbued things like water with emotion, right?

They’re literally selling water that I can walk down to the water fountain and get. So where is that emotion in delivering healthcare when you’re at the most difficult times in people’s lives and they’re relying on you literally for their life or the well-being and mental well-being of their family?

That’s when we should be at our best. And that’s when everybody in the organization should be rallied around a central idea to deliver for that family and those patients. And I don’t think we’ve thought about it that way. And you brought up something, which made me think, it’s service line saying we have the best doctors, the best buildings, the best equipment.

That’s what we’ve all heard Steve Jobs say is speeds and feeds. It’s not emotional. It’s not defensible from a brand standpoint. It’s just the latest and the greatest, right? And those things have a [00:06:00] place in the communication and the valve prop, but it shouldn’t be what we rest on. It should be emotion that we’re building into that exchange in their relationship with consumers and then you cement that decision with the speeds and feeds, but it shouldn’t be what we lead with. 

Jenny: So, Brian, the phrase everyone rallies behind, I have to bring up behind you. There’s the banner that says “We Care Bravely.” Talk a little bit about that. That feels like something worth rallying behind.

Brian: So, when I arrived at LifeBridge Health, we had grown, as a lot of other health systems have done recently, especially through acquisition, through buying additional hospitals, building on our continuum of care providing skilled nursing facilities, all those kinds of things that health systems do, but we had, we were still operating both operationally and from a brand standpoint as individual entities.

So we had this hospital here, that hospital there, this nursing home over here, and there was no connective tissue. There was no mental glue that was [00:07:00] putting all of these things together that you could go to as a consumer and say, we have all of your needs wrapped up. But when we started digging back into our history, so LifeBridge Health was founded because other hospital systems in our area weren’t allowing Jewish doctors or Jewish patients into their facilities.

So this organization, this group of leaders came together and said, we’re going to create a health system for us. And so it was emblematic of what we are today, which is finding a problem, finding an innovative and non-traditional way to solve that problem.

So that was the red thread that kind of drew us together. And we still operate along those premise. And, but we hadn’t given voice to it. We hadn’t put like a lexicon together for people to use to your point earlier about culture. So we came up with the term along with our advertising agency, Strawberry Frot in New York, about Care Bravely

When we see a problem, we care [00:08:00] about where it’s going. We care about the solution, but we particularly care about the patient. We will do anything, whether it’s traditional healthcare or non-traditional healthcare to serve that patient and to build a healthier community. And it was that, we don’t take no for an answer kind of approach that has become our culture and then care bravely has been that rallying grind.

It’s nice as a marketer, because I hear people use that term. That was really a “Care Bravely” movement, or he cared bravely for that patient. So it’s entered the daily use of people on the front line and giving care. And it’s really gratifying for my team to hear that. And it’s, that’s, it’s built that connective tissue that we so wanted.

Jenny: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a real win for the marketer, right? When you’re like, yes, it’s working. When the frontline people are using the phrase, that your campaign has been hugely successful. One of the things we chat often, there’s the big player, nationwide players, right, where they have locations across the country and then you have strong regional players. And then you have those [00:09:00] that are more tightly geographically bound. And all of them often are coming to us or having conversations about, how do we stand up to some of these huge players?

One of our clients came to us and said, listen, these huge players, they literally built a location right across the river. Like you can see them from us. So how are we going to differentiate ourselves? I know you have John Hopkins in your own backyard, so I know you have some beautiful work within your culture and some great shared language that you can get behind.

What else would you offer marketers or what other execution tips would you offer marketers that are in that same space?

Brian: Yeah, and that’s some of the biggest challenges that we’ve faced both internally to get people to buy in on where we’re heading and externally to make it stand out. So our approach and our discussions and our strategy is we’re never going to be a Hopkins for a whole bunch of reasons.

And nor do we really want to be because that just costs hundreds of millions of dollars to do [00:10:00] and it’s not really defensible So what we want to do was create something that was unique to us. It was authentic to where we came from, like the story I just shared, but had a different mindset. So we don’t want to do the esoteric like Hopkins.

We want to be the community health system. We wanna be in your community. We wanna be doing non-traditional things, not just around clinical care, but we have, we partner with ten Safe Streets organizations and some, Safe Streets is an entity around the country that is about violence interruption.

So we help manage those ten Safe Street sites. We hire folks, we train them. They do violence interruption and people ask us, why is the health system doing that? It’s because we want to keep people out of our ED. We want to intercede before the violence occurs. We want to help train people and give them other skills about how to avoid violence in the first place.

We want to give jobs and opportunities into those communities. So they have other outlets [00:11:00] besides violence and selling drugs and all sorts of other, nefarious things. But it’s a non-traditional approach and it’s what Care Bravely is all about. We try and find other different solutions that haven’t been tried outside of what would typically be clinical care.

And so now, we’re starting to look at gun violence. How do we get involved in that space? How do we get involved in early childhood education? We have a large Jewish Orthodox community here in Baltimore. How do we get the information to them to take better care of them and their families. Through research, we did a survey a couple of years ago around what does that particular community need?

And so we’ve talked about education. We’ve talked about seminars. We do a lot of those things to really address the needs of that particular community outside of a clinical setting.

Jenny: So, all of, I love all of this. It really helps cement your reputation and participation in the community. How do you report on the success of that from an ROI perspective?.

How do you go in and justify your marketing budget to leadership and say, Hey, here’s all the dollars we put towards reducing gun violence. Give it to me again next year.

Brian: It’s a short answer is, it’s a challenge and for a variety of reasons. One, a lot of that stuff is pretty qualitative.

So there’s some metrics involved. Some are, the other thing I’ve noticed about healthcare marketing is that when you’re in a retail setting, or when you’re in the automotive industry, you have chain of custody of data from A to B to C. In healthcare, especially when you’ve grown through acquisition, you’ve bolted things on, a lot of the systems don’t talk to one another.

A lot of the way you record data isn’t the same. The way you have physicians in the system isn’t the same. So that’s a long way of saying, none of the data talks to each other. It’s very difficult to get a tool to line up. Over the last few years, we’ve gotten a lot better as a marketing team about getting 1 step further into the funnel.

And so we can get, [00:13:00] for an example, to schedule an online appointment, we can get people to the site. We can get them to schedule an appointment and we understand what the data looks like now, but we don’t know if they actually showed up and nor do I know what revenue is associated with that appointment because they’re individual position system.

Some are on our network. Some aren’t. So to be able to say, I spent $500,000 dollars on a campaign and revenue, I had 250 appointments and I had $1.25 million revenue. I just can’t put that story together. And so it’s frustrating as somebody who lives and dies by data that our industry hasn’t caught up with other parts of marketing and other things that people do in their lives.

It just, it isn’t there yet, because a lot of that capital investment, a lot of the operating expense is just, it’s enormous. And there’s so, there’s such a great need across the system for data. We’re trying to change tires on a moving car.

Jenny: Yeah, that’s a great analogy. And I will say, though, I feel it probably [00:14:00] does go back to your organization’s core values, right?

If your leadership team is built in to the concept of really being that community partner, that probably does make it easier to justify it, right? Versus if you’re the only one ringing that bell in meetings and then it becomes much more difficult. 

Brian: Yeah, this would have been impossible. Care Bravely, specifically, but some of the other stuff that we do, would be impossible if we didn’t have strong leaders who believed in the mission. In fact, our CEO, Neil Meltzer, has been a champion of both, and Leslie Simmons, our COO, have been champions of both Care Bravely and then what that means in terms of making investments in the community. And frankly, we gave, Care Bravely was just a voice to what we had already been doing.

We just put it underneath that rubric of Care Bravely. And so we, as a system, we’ve taken a number of roll the dice kind of opportunities in the last few years to do things that help create healthier communities, not knowing if we’d have an ROI on the back end, but believing in the work and believing we would have some sort of return.[00:15:00]

And so, management does those kinds of things, whether or not we have metrics to track them. But we as marketers are continually trying to put stuff on top of those efforts to measure it.

Jenny: Absolutely. So I want to end on having you talk a little bit about a campaign that you did that made me literally laugh out loud whenever one of my team members shared it with me. And it’s “I’m Fine.”

I would love to hear just a little bit about your inspiration for that campaign and how you’ve leveraged it across digital channels, traditional channels, et cetera, and how that kind of rolls up to your organization’s core values.

Brian: So, in doing some of our research, people don’t pay attention to healthcare marketing. It’s all flavors of the same. And that flavor is vanilla. It all looks the same, it acts the same, it says the same things. To your point earlier about, we have the latest MRI, we have a new shiny building.

Those things are great, but they don’t resonate with people, they don’t stick, they don’t [00:16:00] differentiate, they don’t do any of that stuff. We wanted to take a really distinct approach, and to your point earlier about, being in the backyard of a 900 pound gorilla that is Johns Hopkins or even University of Maryland, we have, if we’re going to punch, we have to punch hard and make sure it stands out.

Because we won’t get that chance again and we don’t have a billion dollars to go and make sure we blanket the airwaves. So we wanted to make sure that our creative stood out, resonated with folks because these are everyday activities that people do where they get injured. And a lot of us know our primary care givers or primary doctors, but a lot of us don’t.

And we don’t have the first clue about how to get care, especially if you move around a lot as a lot of people do. So, and we also had a competitive advantage. We were one of the first in our market to have actual digital appointments like OpenTable. In many cases, people, when they schedule an online appointment, it’s a request for an appointment.

We had actual time slots devoted to this effort. We had a frictionless way to get that [00:17:00] done. So we wanted to promote it quite a bit. So, marrying a competitive advantage with some creative that really stood out, that was funny. And then we branded the tool as Hello Brave rather than just say, hey, it’s our eVisit.

It’s our digital physician. Everybody has one of those. They’re all forgettable. So we wanted to call it something and tie it back to our mission, which is Care Bravely. So we call it Hello Brave. And it’s worked. It’s worked really well. It stands out in the marketplace. We get lots of compliments on it.

Some people are like, Hey, did that person really get injured? No. But again, if they’re, if they, if it’s memorable for them, if it stood out for them, we’re doing our job because we only get one chance to make that impression.

Jenny: Oh, I love it. Well, Brian, keep up the good work. You are raising the bar for what creative can do to bring healthcare alive and make consumers begin to pay attention to the, to the great organizations in their own backyard, really.

So [00:18:00] please. Keep doing what you’re doing. For listeners, I’m going to put Brian’s LinkedIn, as well as some examples of the creative in the show notes, please go check them out and connect with him. And Brian, thank you again for being on today’s episode. This was fabulous.

Brian: No, great. Thank you for having me. I hope people have found some value in it. It was wonderful.

Jenny: Good. So, and for all listeners, thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you on a future episode of We Are, Marketing Happy.