In this week’s episode, Jenny chats with Hedy & Hopp’s own Director of Activation, Lindsey Brown to talk about rural marketing. They discuss the unique challenges and opportunities that working with regional hospital systems or payors in rural communities present:

Challenge 1: Channel

Lindsey states that access to channels may differ from marketing in urban areas. Rural areas may have more limited or no access to things like fiber internet, cable TV, and even billboards and signage. However, that doesn’t mean rural areas are disconnected, the opportunities to connect are just through different channels:

Challenge 2: Content

The second challenge Lindsey brings up is that the framing of content looks a little bit different in rural areas. Rather than focusing on messaging like “24/7” or “Get Seen Today,” which may not be feasible in rural areas, rural audiences may respond better to practical messaging that promotes convenience, scheduling ahead, or social determinate of health topics like transportation or cost.

Finally, Jenny and Lindsey offer a few areas to research if you are marketing in a rural community:

Connect with Jenny:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

WAMH 54

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” a healthcare marketing podcast. I am super excited to be here with you today. My name is Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp. We are a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. And I have with me today, our Director of Activation, Lindsey Brown.

Lindsey: Hi, Jenny. Hi, everyone. Great to be back. 

Jenny: So, Lindsey, our team has been so busy. You and your team have been so busy developing media strategies and marketing strategies to be able to activate on behalf of our clients. And, quite a few of them have at least part or all of their audiences in rural locations.

So, we started talking about rural marketing because it’s very different, right, than how you would approach a heavily populated metropolitan area. And I loved it, whenever we were talking, you really broke down rural [00:01:00] marketing as far as two major challenges, the channel and the content. So tell me about that.

Lindsey: Yeah, absolutely. So, it has been an honor to really dig into sort of a new audience set for us at Hedy and Hopp, or at least in my career. A lot of times in my previous life, you know, I’ve been working really with hospital systems that are in very densely populated areas and their audiences are usually, you know, in that general vicinity.

So it’s been really great to learn more about the rural communities, how best to reach those potential new patients for some of these regional hospital systems and payers that really reached that rural community. And so one of the key challenges that we really uncovered quickly is how are we going to reach this audience just based on the limitations in wireless access? Even though a vast majority, so we’re looking at 95, 99 percent of those in a rural community do have access to internet.

The kind of internet access that you have may not [00:02:00] be as robust or as powerful as you might be able to get in the city. Things like fiber are not available in those rural communities, by and large. Other things like television, so most of these communities don’t have cable. So cable television is not an area where we really can explore. 

Same with billboards. In a smaller area, there’s fewer opportunities to have your message in a billboard because you have much fewer literal billboards or even digital billboards available to you and gas stations and things to that effect. So, these kinds of things really are areas of, I guess, limitation, but then opportunity to really think about marketing and reaching these folks in a different way than we’re kind of used to doing in more densely populated areas.

So, thinking about local communities. So, something that has been really impactful for a couple of our current clients is really partnering with local schools, even the high school where, you know, football or other sporting events are really big. And having your name associated with that local community can be really impactful as a nice reinforcement, but even [00:03:00] some kind of partnership with local businesses or other places that can have flyers or other kinds of like partnership abilities with those local areas can be really impactful again to just build awareness, name recognition, make sure that folks know about your capabilities and your services and how they can access them, which really comes to like the 2nd point, right? The content.

So then. What do we talk about it? You know, we can’t necessarily go to market with the same kind of messaging. Like, book your appointment now, we can see you in 24 hours. Like, that kind of stuff probably doesn’t really work in these communities because they may need more time to figure out transportation, to figure out who’s going to cover for them while they’re out, whether they’re, you know, they’re working and they don’t have as many folks to back them up or, you know, they’re owning their own business.

So they can’t get away. So, things more about convenience scheduling ahead of time so you can plan for that time out. And things like how to, you know, reach the hospital. What kinds of transportation, bus lines, [00:04:00] or other modes of transportation are available. That will drop you right at the front door.

So some of these more practical messages might actually resonate more with these communities where it’s the practical things that are actually limiting them from accessing your services. 

Jenny: Absolutely. And I know one of the things that we always talk about with our clients as we’re developing messaging and communication strategies is that social determinants of health, right?

Is there certain levels of poverty or income limitations within the regions we’re talking to? And that can happen in both, clearly, highly urban areas as well as rural, but often if we’re looking at like some of our clients, historically, if we’re looking at super large rural areas, oftentimes there’s also a pretty large percentage of the population that does have some sort of social determinants of health that’s going to impact their ability to access care. So figuring that out upfront and having them be part of the core messaging is super important to make sure that your services are accessed. 

Lindsey: Absolutely, and that you’re showing up to them in the right way. Because again, if your message is all about, [00:05:00] I’m going to use the 24 hour example again.

If your message is all about that is not going to resonate with a rural community. Someone that just, you know, doesn’t have that kind of flexibility in their time. So making sure that message again resonates with what they’re living with day to day. Ways to you know, expand upon how you’re active in that community again, through those partnerships and things like that really help to, let those potential new patients or those potential new customers really see you as part of the community and not just some big company that’s way out here. They don’t know what I’m dealing with. They don’t understand who I am and who we are here in this town that can really help kind of bridge some of those gaps and make those connections.

Jenny: Yeah. And I think what’s interesting, I loved watching this. Some of the campaigns that you put into market middle of middle beginning of last year did still, even in rural markets still included things like streaming services, so putting ads on Netflix and Hulu. So just because people are in rural areas does not mean, you know, I grew up in a rural area.

My parents live in a very rural area. I guarantee you, they still have all of those same services. So [00:06:00] I guess, Making sure that you don’t, you know, view those people as, Oh, they only have, you know, satellite TV, and they only have landlines or dial up internet. You know, you just can’t go into it. You need to actually get the data because each rural area really can have its own sort of you know, personality as far as how tech savvy they may or may not be.

Lindsey: Yeah, and a lot of those Internet service providers really offer the correct speed that you need to run things like Netflix, but they may not have the correct speed to run things like, you know, gaming. So there are avenues, like connected TV is a perfect example of where you can reach this audience because they will be watching those services.

Generally, that’s where the population is moving. You may not be able to get them through cable. You can get them through connected. Another way to think about that too, is in YouTube. So this is a highly, this YouTube is a highly used channel among this population. Really all social media is really highly used around this population.

So those are channels where you can really make some impact. And again, start to build some engagement and build some [00:07:00] reputation based on the content that you’re sharing, ensuring that it is localized, ensuring that it does feel authentic. And like you’re coming from that kind of a place will be really important there.

But those are huge channels for this audience as well. So do not discount those digital mediums at all. 

Jenny: Okay. I’m going to totally put you on the spot here. Okay. So you’re so good at on the spot questions. I’m excited to ask this. If I were a marketing manager at a regional or a, you know, rural oriented provider or payer, and I was thinking about what my media plan should look like for the next six months, let’s say I have a kind of limited budget and I perhaps haven’t tested very many interesting tactics, but maybe I’ve like only really done radio and billboards so far. If you had to provide a couple of recommendations of platforms, just to dig into, to learn more and research more around, not that you’re saying this is what you want to do.

Everyone should do but like here’s the areas you should research to see if it matches your demographic. What are like the four to six ones that you prioritize? If it [00:08:00] is, if it’s performance oriented. So if their main goal is to drive signups or new patients. 

Lindsey: So again, I’m going to, I’m going to talk about social media.

So I feel like social media is one place where you are going to get a big bang for your buck there. It’s not always seen as the most conversion driven tactic, but that I think is not the case when we get into the rural communities. Again, if we’re talking about folks that are engaged with each other in social media, this is an area where you need to explore, especially if you’ve only been doing a couple of broadcast mediums like radio or billboards, where you’re probably not getting a ton of reach, which means your opportunity to kind of see results from those tactics are going to be pretty small.

Doing something really simple, like social media, where you can really easily pivot and start to learn a little bit more about your audience. I would actually spend some time on the social media platforms. Like, look at Instagram, look at Facebook, look at TikTok, look at all of those platforms just to see what are some of the key businesses in those areas.

What are they doing? How are they [00:09:00] reaching those particular communities? Do a little bit of competitive Intel, maybe not with a good direct competitor to you, but like, For others in that area, how are they speaking to those folks? And then, you know, what are they using? So social media, I’m going to say is going to be really important.

I also don’t want people to discount like the need for programmatic or some kind of programmatic advertising again. Not always the best conversion driver, but that’s where that message is going to be really important. So if you make sure that message is direct about either booking an appointment or booking a consultation, that you have a variety of appointments available, something very quick.

Likely, you’re going to see better conversions than you would if you just kind of did general brand awareness that didn’t really have a call to action. So programmatic, don’t discount it. Make sure your message is really tight and has a purpose. And then the last thing I’ll say is, you know, do some due diligence and looking around over the next 6 months on what those what, like, key events are happening.

Where are some areas where your brand could actually show up? What are there any partners? You can look at partnering with or, you know. Companies, you can [00:10:00] look at partnering with to kind of co brand, maybe a message or something that could be distributed at that event or help with signage something like that.

The next 6 months are going to be tough for every single advertiser, whether you’re in a rural community or an urban community. I don’t know if, you know, but we’re in an election year. So, you know, some of those paid opportunities are going to be limited. So you have to be a little bit more creative about what partnerships or other things you can use that don’t require a physical ad space, for example to kind of think outside the box there. 

Jenny: Yeah. What about paid search? Is that a bottom of the funnel, like always on thing in your mind? 

Lindsey: Of course, of course. I don’t know why I forget about that channel.

Cause it’s probably the most important channel, but absolutely your paid search is going to do wonders for you. You have a lot of capabilities in terms of the type of messaging that you can execute. You can test different things, especially if you’re making a switch from branding to more convenience messaging, something like that.

Really easy way to test that out. And it could be a really low spend. So really nice economical choice as well to kind of get those [00:11:00] appointments moving in.

Jenny:  I love it. Well, Lindsey, this was extremely helpful and fun to talk about. If you are a rural marketer and you’re trying to figure out where in the world you should focus, give us a call.

We’d love to chat and share some more ideas offline about some things that have worked for our clients over the past few years. Things changed so fast. So that what worked six years ago, isn’t what’s going to work now. So we’re happy to share and brainstorm a little bit specifically for your organization, but as always, thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.”

We will see you next week.

In this week’s episode, Jenny discusses conversion rate optimization (CRO) for paid media. CRO may benefit you if you are running a paid media campaign where results have stalled, you aren’t getting the conversions you expected, or you have campaigns that are underperforming.

Jenny brings up her time at Amazon and details the CRO Amazon employed to increase purchases. She then describes the 5 different types of CRO tests you can run to test the efficacy of your paid media. 

Five Types of CRO tests:

1. Credibility/Authority

2. User Experience

3. Social Proof

4. Value Proposition

5. Risk Reversal

It’s important to run CRO tests to figure out what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to paid media performance. You never know what types of optimizations will have the greatest impact on your campaigns until you put it to the test.

Connect with Jenny:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

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 CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp, a healthcare marketing agency, and I am your host. I’m very excited today to be on to talk a little bit about conversion rate optimization for your paid media programs. 

This is a topic I used to speak on quite often at healthcare marketing conferences, and I have really pivoted away from this topic just because there are so many other more timely and urgent topics, but I think it’s really worth revisiting. This will be relevant for you if you’re running a paid media program, and your results have stalled.

You’re not really getting the conversions that you expected, or perhaps some campaigns are underperforming than others. And so we talked a lot about developing paid media strategies, maybe service line or business line specific. There are other episodes on that, but whenever you [00:01:00] have your paid media campaign set up and running, and it’s actually driving people to a landing page or a page on your website, that’s where the fun begins.

So in a prior life before starting Hedy and Hopp, I actually worked at Amazon. It was an amazing roller coaster ride of an experience, but one of the things that was the most interesting to me is I got to see behind the scenes and really understand how they leveraged data. So, at Amazon, every single page had dozens of optimization tests running at any given time.

So there was either an A/B test or multivariate test. They were testing one variable or multiple variables at any given time, always with the objective of trying to get people to be more likely to check out, to add more items to their cart. So to increase that shopping value of that shopping trip for that individual.

And it was really interesting to me because at the time this was back in like 2012. At the [00:02:00] time, this practice wasn’t really standard in the digital marketing world. So whenever I started Hedy and Hopp, I was very passionate about bringing this knowledge and strategy and insight over into healthcare marketing and help people in healthcare really think about their marketing work as being more data driven.

Part of that work is really thinking about how to continuously improve the efficacy of your landing pages or the pages on your site that you’re sending people. So there are five different types of tests that you can run. [00:03:00] 

So let’s start from the top. So when we’re thinking about a conversion rate optimization program, what we’re really talking about is either doing an A/B. So you’re testing one variable or multivariate where you have have multiple components on your landing page changing at one time. We strongly recommend that you always have at least one test running on your landing pages.

Simply because there’s always opportunity for improvement. So you’ve designed what you believe is the perfect, let’s say service line specific landing page. Let’s say it is a pediatric urgent care landing page, and you have designed what you think is perfect. There’s always going to be variables you can change as far as messaging, user experience, et cetera.

So we recommend going through this process, and then using a tool to continuously test it. So one visitor receives one version, [00:04:00] the next visitor receives the next, and you see if it positively or negatively impacts their likelihood to convert. So. Let’s talk a little bit about the five different types of tests that you can run.

The first is any related to credibility or authority. So for example, if we’re going back to that pediatric urgent care example, perhaps this is a new company that has just launched and we didn’t really have much credibility. We’re a new brand in the market. So perhaps it could be something along the lines of “10,000 patients served.”

Something like that, some sort of number or language or some sort of messaging or visual that actually gives you additional credibility as an organization and makes the user feel more comfortable proceeding with that purchase. That’s number one. Number two is user experience. So this is altering the layout, design, or other user interface components to make it easier for the more streamlined for the individual to move forward. 

So for example, pediatric urgent care, perhaps we test the [00:05:00] location of a phone number to be able to call to be able to ask questions. Phone number is a terrible example for pediatric urgent care. So instead, perhaps it’s a form to be able to get in line virtually, testing the location of that form, or perhaps it’s a click to be able to get directions.

There’s a variety of different things that you can do from a user experience perspective that can help the user. Achieve their end goal faster, which is getting the care or whatever that they need. Number three is social proof. This is building trust by showing other people’s experiences. This is testimonials.

This could even be photos of people, real people. So it doesn’t look like stock imagery in your organization. If of course you have all the appropriate disclosures. But social proof is really helpful. Number four is value proposition. This is overall messaging and the value. So perhaps pricing like a flat

$150 fee for all urgent care visits, including imaging, or here’s the insurance plans [00:06:00] that we provide, or we are open these hours 24/7, whatever it may be, that’s a good value proposition message to test. And then five is risk reversal. So this is any sort of warranty guarantees or assurances of safety.

So perhaps this could be something along the lines of talking about a larger system that you’re associated with. It could there’s lots of different things that you could do from a healthcare organization. You just brainstorm something that’s relevant for you. So what we recommend is using these five types of tests.

And brainstorm all of the different kinds of things that you could test within each of these five categories. Rank them according to what’s most likely to drive a change. And then again, slowly begin testing and working through them. Some you will find actually do not have an impact on conversion at all.

Some you find may actually bump conversions up by a point or two. We find that by continuously having conversion rate optimization tests [00:07:00] running while campaigns are live, it allows you to fine tune and really understand what messaging is working, what user interface is working, and you can take those learnings from that service line.

You can begin testing them throughout your other marketing campaigns to see if the same lift appears. So again, just to kind of summarize, If you’re seeing stagnation in the performance of your paid media campaign, you’ve already looked at the campaign itself and everything looks fine. Take a minute and look at your landing page or the destination where you’re sending users.

Consider setting up a conversion rate optimization test. There’s lots of platforms out there that you can choose or not. I’m not even going to go into that because there’s just so many of them that are available to choose, but brainstorm and create different types of tests you can run that are based off of number one, credibility, authority to user experience.

Three social proof for value proposition and five risk reversal and begin testing. I’ve seen some really huge jumps for some things that we did not think would have that big of an impact. So it’s always [00:08:00] fun. But set your expectations where some tests were really met, not much of an improvement.

Some may actually have a negative improvement or like a negative impact on the results of your campaign. So monitor them quickly, set rules for how long those tests are going to be run within your organization, within your campaigns, and then you know, just keep on live at all times so you can continuously optimize the performance of those programs.

As always, thank you for tuning in today. I hope this gave you some food for thought. And hopefully you’ll go back and start revisiting your campaigns through the lens of continuous improvement. Please like, favorite, star, download, follow this podcast. And if you have any ideas for future episodes, give me a shout at Jenny@hedyandhopp.com.

Until next time, have a great rest of your day and keep marketing happy. Take care.

With updated HHS guidance rocking the healthcare marketing landscape, our analytics operations team conducted an audit to see what marketing tools folks are still using in 2024.

Our team analyzed 118 websites from payers and providers nationwide to see how people have responded to HIPAA guidelines. In this week’s podcast, Jenny provides a snapshot of the current state of healthcare marketing tools:

Overall

Google Analytics

Media Tracking and Tags

Forms

Privacy-Forward Solutions

While these numbers illustrate that many providers and payers have taken the first steps toward privacy-forward, compliant analytics and tracking solutions, there is still so much room for improvement. As we begin to see more enforcements related to HIPAA compliance, 

HHS’s restructuring to focus on enforcement: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/02/27/hhs-announces-new-divisions-within-office-civil-rights-better-address-growing-need-enforcement-recent-years.html

Connect with Jenny:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

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 and Hopp. We are a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency that works with payers and providers across the country. I am very excited to join you today to be able to share some interesting audit findings.

So we have really robust marketing analytics and operations in-house here at Hedy and Hopp. And occasionally I’d like to just ask my team to run some industry audits, to be able to understand what’s going on, who’s using what tools, how have people shifted as far as platform utilization and loyalties, etc.

And so over the last couple of weeks, I’ve asked our analytics operations team to dig in. So they did an audit of about 120 [00:01:00] websites, it was 118 websites. And it was folks that went to SHSMD and HCIC last year. So we went in, we looked at all of the different provider and payer groups that attended. It was a really nice sampling of folks across the country.

So we had everything from really small, single location children’s hospital, critical access hospital systems, all the way up to large regional providers that are very well funded. So it’s a really nice cross segment snapshot, we believe. And I had our operations team go in. Our analytics operations team go in and really conduct an audit to understand what marketing tools are folks still using?

How have people responded to all of this updated guidance from health and human services related to the new HIPAA guidelines saying we no longer can collect IP address or device ID, et cetera. I’ve spoken [00:02:00] about this so, so many times. There’s tons of podcasts. If you don’t really know what I’m talking about, go back and look at the HIPAA and FTC 101 recorded in March of last year.

It’s a really great foundation of like why folks have to change the platforms they’re using. So we’ve seen people shifting platforms over the last year. We have helped a lot of folks shift over. The solution that Hedy and Hopp offers is a server side Google Tag Manager implementation. You can still use Google Analytics, but that server side implementation on a server with Google where they will sign a business associates agreement, it strips out. We set it to identify all of the variables that are flagged as no longer secure.

Or. You know, potentially a problem because of the new guidance strip all of it out. So once it gets to Google Analytics 4 it’s safe. So that’s the tool stack that we recommend, but let’s dig into the numbers. Let’s see what folks have done. So the first really [00:03:00] fun number is that 11.86, almost 12 percent, of these organizations have removed every single marketing analytics tracking tag from their website and they still have nothing on there.

So almost 12 percent of people in the industry and healthcare marketing are flying blind. They have not been able to choose a new solution. They have not implemented changes to their analytics stack, they are simply flying blind and they do not know why people are converting, what campaigns are working, et cetera, 12%.

That number was shocking to me. 70% still have Google Analytics 4 on their website. So 70 percent of folks in the healthcare marketing world provider and payer are still going with the old standby Google Analytics 4 again, here at Hedy & Hopp, we’re okay with that. We put in a nice little filter to make sure no bad data gets to Google Analytics 4, but that’s a pretty high number.

In my opinion, of folks that are still using it because only, 2.5 [00:04:00] percent are using server side Google Tag Manager. So there’s a huge gap there of folks that are still using the old standby Google Analytics, but have not implemented any sort of changes to make sure it’s no longer collecting information that it shouldn’t be accessing.

Out of that 70%, about 45 percent still had Universal Analytics tags on their website. We saw this a lot whenever folks are rolling out GA4, they wanted to put UA tags on there so they could compare the data side by side, the way that Google Analytics 4 measures sessions is foundationally different from Universal Analytics.

So a lot of folks wanted a while to like run them simultaneously. It’s stopped tracking for a lot of folks. So I’m surprised we’re still up at 45%. It’s going to begin stopping for everybody. I believe in July, they keep pushing it back. But most people it’s already stopped gathering and collecting information.

So that tells me that a lot of people just aren’t staying up with the tags that are put on their website and aren’t [00:05:00] regularly cleaning them. 0.85 percent about 1%. There’s one poor soul, one poor soul that only has universal analytics tags on their website. Nothing else. It is unclear if that website is still getting any data pulled in, or if they are one of the websites that UA has shut down for. I will be sending that person a one on one email after this, letting them know that they have a problem.

Because I do not know if they know that they have a problem, so I will be reaching out to them. Again, 1 percent has that. And then 55 percent still have media or ad tracking tags on their website. 55%. That is mind boggling to me with all of the conversations that have been happening in the industry that 55 percent still have conversion tracking tags from media platforms on their sites.

It’s crazy. 6.78 percent are using a form that is not HIPAA compliant. So almost 7%. Are collecting information on a form that’s not HIPAA compliant, [00:06:00] another 6.78%, so another almost 7 percent are using Gravity Form and Gravity Form has a version that can be compliant. They’ll sign a BAA with you. It’s an additional small fee you have to pay.

We can’t tell if they’re using the HIPAA-compliant version one or not from the outset. But again, another, almost 7 percent are using Gravity Forms. 1. 69 percent have Freshpaint. On their website. We love fresh paint. We love the guys over at Freshpaint. The guys and gals are doing a phenomenal job.

They have a really cool healthcare privacy tool that they’ve implemented. It’s pretty sophisticated. It’s more for organizations that have a CRM are really wanting to leverage additional deeper data about their users, but we love what they’re doing over there. So it looks like 1.7 percent of folks have transitioned over to Freshpaint out of out of this cross segment we reviewed.

2.54% so about 2.5 percent are using Piwik Pro. So again, Piwik Pro is another great [00:07:00] option. It kind of has an interface similar to Universal Analytics, what we all were used to with the old Google Analytics interface. They also will sign a BAA with their Pro version. So that’s a really easy way to foundationally move over implementations pretty smooth.

You’ll lose a lot of the dashboards you’ve built. If you run Google Analytics 4 before, so you have to kind of make that business decision at the, if it makes sense to do that or server side implementation like we offer here at Hedy and Hopp. But again, really interesting. So with this, I think the biggest takeaway is that if you as your organization have done something to become HIPAA- compliant, you’re way ahead of the curve. 

Between 50 and you know, 70, 66 percent of people haven’t done anything yet. You know, they still have non compliant forms on their website. 50 percent have Or 55 have media tracking and conversion pixels on their website. So a lot of folks haven’t moved yet. And I know that for a lot of folks, it’s because of the [00:08:00] time it takes to be able to wrangle legal and it within their organizations and align on what the best platform is moving forward, but if you are one of those people in that group, I strongly recommend you begin moving forward. We’re continuing to see more and more enforcements related to using media-based conversion pixels and collection of these new variables that are not PHI compliant or that are HIPAA compliant.

If you have any questions, contact us. Even if we aren’t the right solution for you, we’re happy to point you in the direction of other ones that are industry leading and really doing right when it comes to healthcare marketers. So again, I hope this was insightful. I’m going to share all of these statistics and percentages in the show notes.

So if you want to go back and kind of see how it all breaks down please do so. And if you have any questions about this or want to dig in deeper to our methodology or the cross section we evaluated, just give me a holler. Until next time, have a great rest of your day. Please give us a review, give us some stars and we’ll continue [00:09:00] producing this podcast content for you.

Have a great rest of your day. We will see you soon.

Picture this:

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

Year 1 – Build the Foundation

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

Year 2 – Get a Bit More Sophisticated

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

Year 3 – Fine-Tune with More Data!

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

Connect with Jenny:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When it comes to payor marketing, or marketing for insurance companies, planning for the year falls into two primary periods of the year: your open enrollment/AEP period and the off-season.

In this week’s podcast, our CEO Jenny Bristow breaks down how to plan your marketing efforts for these two stages of the year to maximize marketing success:

Always On

During your slow time of year

  1. Focus on brand awareness efforts for paid media, some acquisition (don’t go dark!)
  2. Now is a great time to do website updates/redo
  3. Ensure measurement plans and dashboards are in a good place (including patient privacy clean-up work)
  4. Integrate new tools, like CRM, email marketing, etc.
  5. Put some time toward persona development and user journey optimization
  6. Roll out and test content marketing strategies

Open Enrollment & AEP

During your busiest season

  1. Ramp up your conversion-oriented media programs
  2. Limit website changes, testing and tracking programs only
  3. Test persona-based messaging and optimize, optimize, optimize!

Implement the right marketing tactics at the appropriate time of year to leverage both stages of the payor marketing year.

Connect with Jenny:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

https://calendly.com/jennybristow

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 CEO and founder at Hedy and Hopp, a full service and fully healthcare marketing agency. I’m very excited to chat with y’all today about payor marketing. So often, we talk about marketing for patient acquisition for providers, but a lot of the work we do here at Hedy and Hopp is actually on the payor sides of health insurance companies.

It’s something we’re equally as passionate about, and we’re doing a lot of strategic planning and some great conversations right now with clients. And there are some baseline fundamental best practices that we do here at Hedy and Hopp in the way that we think about payor marketing that I thought I’d share today.

So today let’s dive in and talk about the two stages of payor marketing. So as anybody who is on the health insurance side of the health care marketing [00:01:00] world knows there is an open enrollment period in the fall, whether you are doing Individual and Family or Medicare plans, there is a flurry of activity in the fall when folks have an opportunity to change the plans they are enrolled in.

And then there’s typically a more dormant time, which we are in right now. So, open enrollment for both Individual and Family or Medicare is in the fall, bleeds a little bit into January. But then it really closes up. And some folks still, of course, still apply if they have a change of circumstance, or if they turn 65 and newly qualify for Medicare, but in general, it’s a much slower period of time in the spring, leading into the fall. 

And so we at Hedy and Hopp really start thinking about two different stages of the yearly cycle. And I wanted to talk about those two stages and the activities that we like to think about and approach in each of those stages. Because too often we see folks kind of tackling projects at a weird point [00:02:00] of time throughout the year, where we would actually recommend doing it at a different time of year for a variety of reasons.

So let’s dig into it. The two stages are open enrollment, which is in the fall, like I just talked about, and the rest of the year we like to call “always on.” So let’s talk first about always on. So the dormant or slower time of year where you are having some people sign up, but in general, it’s relatively quiet because you don’t have most people in your area looking to switch plans.

A couple of things, there are six core things we recommend doing during this time of year. The first is continuing a media program for brand awareness and for that chunk of the population that still is able to enroll in your programs. The biggest problem we see folks doing is actually going dark with their media planning.

It’s much more difficult to turn a campaign on for open enrollment when you don’t have some you know, wind in your [00:03:00] sales as far as Google’s algorithm and all of your other media placements, it’s much more difficult to turn something on and then turn it back off again than it is to have something on at a lower level and then ramp it up, you know, in time for open enrollment.

So, again, always have a media program going that’s focused on brand awareness, keeping your brand top of mind and building that consumer affinity leading into open enrollment. Number two, now is the time to do website updates or redo your website. The traffic to your website is going to be massively lower this time of year.

So if you’re wanting to build a completely new website, build a new user journey, new landing pages for your plans, whatever it may be, now is the time to do it. Number three, investing time and resources in the measurement planning and dashboards. This is a great time to do it. So looking back at what worked and didn’t work for your last enrollment period, and really understanding, you know, through the lens of reporting on my campaigns, what were the gaps?

What were some things that my leadership team asked for that maybe I wasn’t able to get to the level of granularity that they wanted? [00:04:00] Or perhaps there’s things that I would like to just proactively report on about campaign efficacy that I wasn’t able to do last year. So stepping back and really making sure you’re measuring your campaign success.

Your dashboard or whatever reporting functionality you’re using is technically set up accurately. Something I would do here is a little sub bullet is any patient privacy work you need to do. So any cleanup to make sure that your analytics tools are not collecting IP addresses, device IDs, et cetera, that’s part of that measurement planning and dashboarding.

Number four, any new tool integration. So if your company is wanting to roll out a CRM, for example, or a new email marketing tool, now is the time to do it. You do not want to roll out Salesforce during open enrollment, your busiest time of year, you’re going to have way too many priorities. Do it during your slower period where you really can have time to invest in the infrastructure and the rollout in an appropriate way.

Number five, persona development and user journey optimization. Coming [00:05:00] out of your busiest time of year, you’re going to have a lot of data, fresh data at your fingertips. Now is the time to really dig in, look at it and try to fine tune your personas. Better understand who your customer is, who are people, who’s the average buyer?

Who is the person that, you know, is going through and perhaps getting close to enrollment, but not actually completing that action. And what can you do as far as your user journeys on your website to improve it next year? It’s a great time to invest in those sort of research programs. And then number six, roll out and test content marketing strategies.

So if your persona, uh, marketing work that you did, and you develop some new personas and some content strategies rolling up to it, begin rolling it out. Now, roll it out during the slower period, begin putting a little bit of media budget behind it to increase invisibility and see what kind of engagement numbers you can get.

Again, you want to do it earlier in the year. So you have time to fine tune it leading in. To when it’s time for open enrollment, but testing new content marketing strategies [00:06:00] during this time of year is really great. So you have these six priorities, things that you want to tackle kind of during your slower time of year, and then it’s going to get chaotic for open enrollment.

So everybody now is thinking about actually going and switching their health insurance plan. You have, you know, ACA actually like running, uh, nationwide broadcast campaigns around it, raising visibility and awareness that now is the time to do it. What should you be doing as an organization to really look at the volume of new users and customers that you can get into your plans.

We limit this to three. Core areas. The first is conversion oriented media programs. Now is the time to kind of dump those awareness campaigns and get into conversion oriented campaigns. I have an entire episode on media strategies and talking about awareness campaigns versus conversion campaigns and what that means.

Now is the time that if your budget is limited, you’re going to dump that [00:07:00] awareness and you’re going to dive directly into conversion. If you have the budget to support both, that’s fabulous. They really can feed off of each other to really keep people in that conversion consideration. If they perhaps come to your website and then don’t make a decision immediately, you can perhaps pull them back in again.

Uh, not with retargeting though. Remember friends, retargeting is dead to us. So if your agency is doing retargeting or in house, stop it right away. Message me to learn more about why, but don’t do that anymore. Number two, we’re going to limit website changes testing. and tracking right now. Like we’re not going to make any changes to any of that, right?

We had like a whole part of the year at the beginning of the year to do that, and now is the time to just kind of sit. We can collect data, right? We can have a conversion rate optimization tool on the site, begin collecting a lot of user data. Perhaps we’re going to begin doing a little bit of A/B testing on landing pages as far as headlines and call to actions.

That’s all great, but we’re not doing any widespread website changes right now. We’re not launching a new website in November, for example, [00:08:00] I’m not going to do that. And then the third is to really begin testing that persona based work that you did. So any you know, reasons to believe or core messages that you landed on now is the time to test that and market.

So think about your media, creative, uh, landing page, creative, and ways that you can test that to be able to understand with real world data, what can improve conversion rates on your website. So again, we find it really helps if you think about your year as two separate phases. If you’re a healthcare marketer in the payor space, you’re going to have a more dormant time of year, which we think about as always on.

And then you’re going to have a busy time of year, which we like to think of an open enrollment. You’re going to do all of your research, big changes, structural changes, et cetera, during your dormant always on period. Then we’re going to buckle down and focus on conversions. For that always on or for sorry for that open enrollment.

So if you have any questions about any of this, feel free to reach out. We’re really passionate about pair [00:09:00] marketing here at heading and hop. We think that our work with providers is only good if people have health insurance to actually be able to afford that care. So we really see it going hands and hands.

And please do not forget to rate. And, uh, review. We are marketing happy. We have received lots of feedback recently from folks that have tuned in and found the content helpful. So if there’s a specific topic you want us to cover, shoot me a note, uh, Jenny at heady and hop. com. We’d love to hear from you.

So until next time stay, we are marketing happy, stay joyful in the work that you do, and we’ll see you for a future episode.

In this week’s episode, Jenny compares the two primary types of marketing agencies: brand agencies and performance agencies. Brand agencies are focused on big-picture, brand awareness efforts to make sure your brand is well known. Performance agencies, like Hedy & Hopp, focus on the finer details to make sure campaigns are driving strong results.

There are three aspects to consider when considering working with a brand or performance agency:

  1. Campaign Strategy

A brand agency will focus on awareness tactics, like TV and programmatic, to make sure your brand is well known. On the other hand, campaigns from a brand agency will be specific and conversion-focused. Performance agencies may work to develop specific personas to make sure your brand’s message is effectively reaching the right audience.
 

  1. Reporting Specificity

With a brand agency, don’t expect a lot of detail when it comes to reporting. Brand agencies aren’t necessarily results-focused, whereas performance agencies are. Performance agencies produce robust reporting, measured all the way to conversion, with a heavy focus on ROI. Performance agency reporting can get very granular to let you know what’s working and how campaign performance can be optimized for even better results.

  1. Technical Ability

Simply put, brand agencies may have gaps when it comes to technical knowledge. Since brand agency campaigns emphasize brand awareness, they aren’t built to know everything about website conversion tracking or how a website tool works, whereas a performance agency is.

Both brand and performance agencies have specific strengths to consider before working with them. While H&H primarily operates as a performance agency, we do have team members from brand agency backgrounds to fulfill your organization’s brand awareness needs, too.

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, and I’m also the CEO and founder of Hedy and Hopp. We are a full service healthcare marketing agency. We work with providers, payers, and those driving innovation in healthcare all across the country.

I am joining you today; I just felt inspired. I had a really interesting conversation with a prospect that’s really unhappy with their current agency. So we hopped on a call. This is, I think our third conversation, had a really great chat and they kept just comparing us to their current agency. And there were such broad gaps.

I began poking a little bit and it became very clear their current agency is a different kind of agency. There’s really two different kinds of marketing agencies. And so I thought it would be helpful for those of you that aren’t super familiar with the two different kinds of agencies to get a 101 [00:01:00], you know, what are the different kinds of agencies there’s more than two, but we’ll focus on the two primary today.

And how do you tell the difference between number one, what you have right now? And if you’re going shopping to find the new agency partner, how do you confirm the new agency partner is the kind that you’re looking for? So let’s jump in. And first for anybody who was watching the video, I have to just say yay for female empowerment.

I just got back from getting a facial. I am fresh faced. I don’t even have mascara on. So yay for female empowerment. If you ever wanted to know what Jenny looks like without makeup, Today’s the day, but I was too inspired to wait. So I had to record today. So let’s jump in. So, the two different kinds of marketing agencies, or two primary kinds, 

There’s some secondary and tertiary, but if you’re really shopping as a healthcare, in house healthcare marketer, and you’re trying to find an agency partner, you’re going to come across two different kinds. You’re going to come across a brand agency and a performance agency. So Hedy and Hopp, we are [00:02:00] performance agency.

And lots of folks that come to us frustrated with their marketing agency are actually working with a brand agency. So their goals really aren’t aligned. So let’s kind of break down the differences between how they work. So first, if you’re working on a campaign strategy. Let’s say you’re developing an annual strategy.

You’re breaking out your different business units, service lines, et cetera, really figuring out prioritization campaigns, tactics, et cetera. A brand agency is really going to be focusing on awareness. So top of funnel strategies, think like traditional TV, out of home, think programmatic or broad digital buys.

They aren’t really going to be focusing on super specific search engine marketing, conversion-related terms. They’re not going to be spending as much time developing personas and understanding the consumer or [00:03:00] patient journey to actually book that appointment. It’s more about making sure your brand is well known in your area. So again, it’s not that either approach is bad.

It’s just that some companies. Like I’m a Jeep lover, for example, Jeep is not doing ads specifically to try to get somebody who’s interested in a Wrangler 4XC to the landing page, to be able to buy one online, right? They always do broad awareness campaigns. Cause they want you to be aware of their brand and be top of mind, but then they also want to make sure that you’re high level aware of either, either any financial specials they have going on, like financing deals or any new vehicles that they’re launching for that year.

But that’s very high level. You know what I’m saying? So if you’re really thinking, you know, what kind of agency do I want to work with? Think about your goals. Are you trying to become really well known in your area? Or are you trying to drive specific campaign [00:04:00] outcomes, specific signups, conversions, etc.

The next difference is going to be the level of reporting specificity you receive. So one of the huge complaints this prospect today said, but also we hear this all the time is their reporting sucks. They just said like, this much spent on a programmatic. We have no details. We have nothing. We don’t know even what service lines or whatever we’re promoted.

It’s just like a bucket. This is programmatic. If they even get that, sometimes it just says “digital.” There’s no reporting down to the number of phone calls or form fills or scheduled appointments. None of that fun stuff. Because again, that’s not what the agency is structured to produce. Whereas a performance agency, you’ll typically see much more robust reporting.

You usually will see the ability to measure all the way to the conversion and really much have a better understand and focus on overall ROI with your campaigns, and they’ll talk more on the language of, you know, what’s the average cost per conversion [00:05:00] per service line per campaign. So you’ll get much more into that level of granularity with a performance marketing agency.

The third one is technical ability. This is something that I can speak to personally. We have been brought in to actually partner with some brand agencies. Sometimes folks are wanting to actually bring in a new, say, paid media agency or digital agency and they’ll call Hedy and Hopp and bring us on but perhaps they have an existing relationship with a brand agency that’s going to do their big picture campaign creative for the year.

We love partnering with other agencies, always happy to do that. In those situations there’s always a tremendous gap in technical knowledge because again, that’s not what that brand agency is built to do. They’re not built to understand, you know, when a pixel fires on a page or you know, exactly how your Find a Doctor tool works and, you know, how to maximize or reduce the number of steps on the UX.

So they’re going to come up with perhaps some really beautiful campaign creative, but perhaps not be able to [00:06:00] execute it in a way that’s friendly, maybe on a mobile device or something, you know, super technical specifications. So those are the three differences again, campaign strategy, you know, broad or specific reporting specificity, and technical ability.

I will say, there are outliers in every situation. You’re going to find brand agencies that have a couple of really technical folks they’ve brought on and they’ve really made that part of their organization really robust. And you’ll find performance agencies like Hedy and Hub that actually have a variety of senior leadership that came from a brand agency.

So we’re able to do that big picture creative in addition to the performance execution. So there’s always going to be outliers, but in general, vast majority of agencies are going to fall into one of those two buckets. So if you are currently on the hunt for a new agency, I really suggest you pause for a second, think about your own organizational goals, what you want to be able to do and accomplish, figure out what direction you want to do, and then create some questions around those three [00:07:00] sections for those prospective agency partners to make sure you’re truly getting what you think you’re getting.

A good way to do that is ask for examples of reporting. You know, ask for project timelines and how quickly you’re going to be able to get into market. Ask for examples of campaign strategies. They result for people like you in the past. Just ask for some examples to be able to see if it’s at that level of granularity you’re looking for. 

Because again you know, agency relationships. It takes a while to stand one up sometimes. And it, you know, usually the goal is for it to be a longer term commitment. So you certainly want to make sure you’re making that right decision. So hopefully for those of you that are actively thinking about new partnerships, this information was helpful. 

As always, please give us a rate, some good ratings. Follow our podcast and subscribe. And if you have any future topic ideas, I’d love to hear them. Hit me up at jenny@hedyandhopp.com.  Have a fabulous day. Thanks for tuning in.

Do you want your marketing talents to make a difference in the world? Join Hedy & Hopp, where we are focused on improving patients’ experiences finding and accessing healthcare.

We’re excited to be hiring for THREE positions!

Who is Hedy & Hopp?

Rated one of the fastest-growing companies in St. Louis for two years in a row, Hedy & Hopp is a full-service, fully healthcare marketing agency.

At Hedy & Hopp, we believe that a healthcare brand’s first opportunity to have a positive impact on a patient’s experience starts just as soon as the patient begins a search for a provider or healthcare information. This is the key moment a brand can begin to make a connection with a patient. And we do this with clients and employees who share our passion to improve access to healthcare in an environment of joy and positivity.

Hedy & Hopp offers a competitive base salary plus profit-sharing plan, as well as an employer-paid benefits package and a 401(k). We also offer a generous PTO allowance plus half-day Fridays year-round (we close at 1pm CT).

Our Core Values:

Our organization provides a unique environment where work life balance is not one size fits all and where people can show up as their true self, each and every day.

In today’s episode, Jenny shares her top four tips for marketing on a budget. The vast majority of folks in the healthcare space operate on a smaller budget, and Jenny shares the following tips for maximizing marketing performance when budgets are tight:

  1. Know your audience. Who are you marketing to? Develop and understand personas around your target audience, so that you know you’re effectively reaching them.
  1. Create an annual plan. Rather than playing catch up or trying to squeeze a lot of results into a smaller time frame, create an annual plan that maximizes your budget throughout the year to drive consistent results and growth.
  1. You are a bottom funnel marketer! Be sure to target people who are actively looking for the services you offer and are actively seeking a solution to their problem. Be sure to leverage Google Grants if you are a nonprofit.
  1. Build a measurement plan and dashboard. Make sure you understand your marketing performance and results. Track all key actions on your website, so that you can effectively optimize performance for prospective customers.

This episode is worth the listen, as Jenny shares all the details marketers need to know when marketing on a budget.

Book Time With Jenny:

https://calendly.com/jennybristow

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennybristow/

Learn More about Google Ads Grants:

https://www.google.com/grants/

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi, friends. Welcome to today’s episode of “We Are Marketing Happy.” I am your host, Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and owner at Hedy and Hopp, a healthcare marketing agency. I am so excited to be here today to talk to you about marketing on a budget. So, often, we talk about regional systems, national payers, all of these organizations that really have a higher level of marketing budget.And along with that comes marketing sophistication. 

But, the vast majority of providers and payers and folks in the healthcare space have a way smaller budget. So today’s episode is going to be dedicated to y’all. So if you have a marketing budget of $30,000 a month or less, this is for you. Some folks we talk to have marketing budgets of $15,000 or less.

Again, this episode is for you. So let’s dive in immediately. I’m going to give you four tips to be able to make sure that you’re really being as strategic and smart as [00:01:00] possible with your marketing budget. So the first thing we want to talk about is again something that people often overlook when they have smaller budgets. Whenever people have smaller budgets when they approach us and talk about how we might be able to lean in, a common trend we see is that they have overlooked what we believe to be the most important step and that is knowing your audience.

Persona development and developing your messaging against those personas is really important. It can be very easy to step over this step and immediately start developing a go-to-market strategy or marketing campaigns. But if you have a smaller budget than every single dollar you spend really has to resonate.

So we strongly suggest if you are a smaller budget marketer, definitely pause, and spend some time really refining who you are marketing to. Who is the patient or the decision maker that needs either your care or your health insurance plan? And definitely make sure [00:02:00] you understand what are the emotions that are the key drivers?

What are barriers for them to make a decision? What’s their age? What is their typical web browsing behavior and decision making process for care that you provide? Once you document that you will then be able to really refine your entire marketing program. And, every single ad you deliver will be massively more effective. So number one, know your audience. 

Number two, pause and create an annual plan. So often folks with smaller budgets, we see that they’re always playing catch up. They feel as though this is what they’ve shared with us. They are more of an order taker. Where they have the CEO or somebody who runs a service line really more dictating what they need to do from a month to month basis, and there’s no big picture strategic plan.

Again, pause. A great time to do this is ahead of a fiscal or a calendar year, but really pausing and saying what are we doing for the [00:03:00] year, two key questions you need to answer in that annual plan are, what are the service lines? or the business lines we’re going to be focusing on? and what are the goals? How are we going to measure and understand success? 

You then can, of course, build out campaigns and tactical execution underneath that. But mapping it out on the annual plan really helps you look at it big picture. Avoid pivoting quickly without strategy. So kind of being told top down what you need to be doing, you will have already created a plan, shopped it, had it approved by senior leadership.

And you have then aligned on the service line or business line prioritization throughout the year, taking into account seasonality, et cetera. But then you’ll have a much stronger foundation to operate against versus going on a month by month or quarter by quarter basis. 

Number three, friends, if you have a limited budget, you’re a bottom funnel marketer. And I mean that with so much [00:04:00] love. Quickly let me verbally for those of you watching the video visually define what I mean by bottom funnel. If you imagine a funnel on the bottom funnel are people who are actively trying to find you. So people who are going to Google or Bing and typing in “healthcare provider near me” or “health insurance plan,” “Medicare plan available to me.”

They’re actively trying to find you and solve a problem that they have. Those are your customers. Those are your immediate buyers. That is bottom funnel. One step up is people that are like your typical buyer. So they match that persona, but they aren’t necessarily trying to solve a problem immediately.

So they aren’t in that decision making pivot at that time. They’re not actively researching solutions. They just happen to be in your right Demographic and psychographic for your typical buyer. And then upper funnel is much more brand awareness. So think even things like out of home, broad [00:05:00] programmatic, if you’re thinking about digital, et cetera.

Not a whole bunch of targeting goes into it. Some does, of course, geographical, but you aren’t really usually going down to a demographic or psychographic level as much. So if you have a limited budget. Friends, bottom funnel, you want to maximize people that are actively trying to find your services. And that means Google ads, Bing ads, and really making sure from a Google local listings perspective that you’re optimized and really maximizing reviews.

Here’s a good call out. If your organization is a nonprofit, make sure you’re leveraging Google Grants. So Google Grants is additional media spend, $10,000 a month, available for nonprofits. A lot of healthcare organizations are nonprofit entities. And if you are, if you’re a 501(c)(3), go to Google Grants, we’ll link to it in the comments, and apply.

And that can secure an additional $10,000 a month to your media budget. Now you have to have somebody manage it for you [00:06:00] that knows how to manage Google Grants because you have to have certain performance metrics to really maximize that budget or else they take it away from you, but it’s free money. So definitely go and apply.

And the last thing I want to say is, my friends, have a measurement plan and a dashboard in place you can understand performance. You need to make sure all of your key actions on your website, whether it’s a form fill, a phone number, whatever, are actively tracked. You need to understand how many new or how many prospective customers.

And then hopefully if your data is clean enough, how many actual customers you drove in the door with your marketing campaigns. That is the way to be able to effectively optimize. And make sure you’re marketing in the right places and then be able to ask for more budget if they want to market more, because again, you’ll have a case that you’re doing a really clean and efficient job and they will be able to delegate more dollars, perhaps to additional business units or service lines to expand [00:07:00] marketing’s overall scope for the organization.

Do realize that there’s lots of technology you can integrate to improve tracking. For example, there’s a lot of call tracking software, CallRail, Invoca. All of these organizations have HIPAA compliant call tracking, basically changes the number on your website. When the person calls, uh, it’s marked according to how they found your website.

So you could accurately track that, say, a Google ad drove a phone call. So it’s very easy to implement. You can do form tracking for conversions through a web analytics event. All of these things are easy to do, but it takes a strategy to sit down and pause and figure out what are those key actions on our site that show marketing is working and then an action plan to actually implement it.

So again, friends, if you are a small budget marketer, these are the four things you should be actively doing. Number one, know your audience. Slow down, figure out if you need to prioritize specific service [00:08:00] lines, what the goals are for each of the different audiences. Slow down and get aligned. Then develop an annual plan and take into consideration any service line focus, any seasonality, actually document any tactical or campaign pivots you need to do according to seasonality, get that approved, and get aligned throughout your organization.

Number three, be a bottom funnel marketer, you got to focus on those tactics where folks are actively trying to solve a problem. It’ll be the least expensive conversion that you’ll pay for with your marketing budget. And number four, develop a measurement plan and a dashboard. So each month you can report on the number of new conversations and new customers you actively drove through the door.[00:09:00] 

So again, Hedy and Hopp, we are a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We work with organizations of all sizes. We love working with large regional and national players, but we also are really passionate about helping smaller organizations. So if you are, you know, a marketer with a smaller budget, reach out, grab some time to do a one on one with me.

We’ll put a link in the show notes for you to schedule an appointment. I’d love to chat about your strategies and any questions you have about being more effective with your marketing spend. As always, be sure to give us some love on whatever streaming platform you’re listening to. We’d love some stars and some comments.

And let us know if there’s a topic you’d like for us to cover in the future. Have a great day. And thanks for tuning into today’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.”

On this week’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” our CEO & Founder, Jenny Bristow, speaks on a topic that’s been brought to light on a lot of our calls with clients and prospects recently – competitive insights. With the new fiscal year creeping around the corner for many, it’s crunch time to deep dive into competitive intelligence. We’re talking about more than just keeping pace; understanding your competitors’ approach to marketing helps you fine-tune yours. Tune in for actionable insights on how to tackle this item on your to-do list!

Highlights from Today’s Episode:

[00:45] – The Critical Need for Competitive Insights – We discuss why understanding the market through competitive insights is not just beneficial but essential for healthcare organizations looking to fine-tune their strategies effectively.

[02:00] – Choosing Your Competitors Wisely – Jenny guides us through the strategic process of selecting competitors for analysis, emphasizing the importance of including local and leading digital-first players to ensure a well-rounded perspective.

[03:15] – Decoding Competitors’ Marketing Tactics – Explore the various tools and methodologies to analyze the marketing efforts of your competitors, from ad placements to content strategies, using platforms like Wappalyzer and SEMrush.

[05:00] – Understanding Digital Priorities – Learn how to dissect and understand the digital focus areas of your competitors, which can reveal a lot about their strategic priorities and budget allocations.

[06:30] – Navigating Access to Care and User Experience – Jenny sheds light on evaluating competitors’ tools and user experiences, emphasizing how these components can significantly impact patient access and care journey.

[07:45] – Unpacking the Marketing Tech Stack – Discover the importance of understanding the technological tools and platforms your competitors are using, which can offer insights into their marketing prowess and capabilities.

[09:00] – Assessing Reputation Management and Industry Promotion – We conclude with a look at the value of understanding how competitors manage their reputations and promote themselves within the industry, which can provide clues to their focus areas and strategic initiatives.

Links & Resources

Tools for competitive analysis mentioned: Wappalyzer, SEMrush, BuiltWith

Learn More about Hedy & Hopp’s Competitive Intel Program

Book Time With Jenny

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn

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 of Hedy & Hopp, a full-service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We work with providers and payers all across the country to help improve patient’s access to care.

Today, we are going to talk about a topic that we have received multiple calls about over the last few weeks. Some people are just starting to begin thinking about this. Others are wondering what’s even possible. We’re going to be talking about competitive insights. So, this is one of those marketing projects and processes, depending on where you are in your organizational sophistication, that sometimes is put on the back burner for a year or more.

The best organizations are doing competitive insight regularly, whether that’s a monthly cadence, quarterly cadence, whatever. It’s important to understand what’s happening in the market so you can [00:01:00] pivot your marketing correctly, whether it’s tactics, messaging, budget, et cetera. But a lot of organizations that are reaching out to us right now have not really prioritized on this since COVID.

And I get it. Like a lot of stuff has happened since then, friends. And a lot of these marketing teams are just now kind of realigning and getting back to, a comfortable place so they can start thinking about growth. But, a lot of people are asking about this because they’re going into the new fiscal planning.

A lot of folks have a new fiscal starting July 1st. Many people are having to start turning in budgets. And a lot of people are really saying, you know, “Maybe we want to do some competitive insights before the new fiscal to help guide that, or maybe just incorporate it into our new fiscal as a thing that we begin doing on a regular cadence.”

And so, today I wanted to talk about if you’re thinking about competitive Intel, or if you’re not, maybe you should be so, you’re, you’re welcome. I appreciate you. We’re going to talk about five key areas that you want to begin [00:02:00] thinking about. 

So, first of all, before we get into the five areas, let’s talk a little bit about selecting which competitors you’re paying attention to because one of the top things that I see people doing wrong is only looking at people in their own back door and looking at people who geographically, a patient or a customer could choose from, but at this point, and with this market, and the way health care is today, you have to also start thinking about who else is truly in your market mix as far as somebody that a customer could choose to go with.

So, for example, if you are a provider group maybe One Medical, Amazon’s offering, is a competitor to you now, maybe you need to start looking at them and understanding how they compete with you and specifically in what areas they compete with you. So, the one thing I’d recommend is picking out at minimum three competitors.

More is better, but each one takes a lot of time. So, starting with a minimum of three, one to two in your own backyard. And then at least one [00:03:00] nationwide digital first. Competitor, if that is something that your particular sub-segment of the industry has to think about or compete with. So let’s get into the five.

There are five key questions that are really helpful to be able to answer about your competitors. The first one is: “What tactics are being leveraged by their marketing team?” So, the really neat thing about marketing online the way that we are in 2024, is there are a lot of tools that allow you to scrape the web and understand where your competitors are placing ads. What kind of content they’re creating? Where they’re placing it paid media insights. How much are they spending? What platforms are they spending money on? Are they using video? If so, how are they utilizing video, and what’s their video strategy? 

So understanding what tactics are being leveraged by their marketing team is really helpful because it can point out areas where they may be reaching those patients or customers where you aren’t. So for example, often we see people really excited to think about patient [00:04:00] acquisition campaigns using Google, maybe they’re not thinking so much about Bing, right?

Like this is a really basic example. But, a lot of older people use Bing. So depending on your demographic of your typical customer or decision maker for the care or healthcare purchasing decision being may end up being just as valuable to you as a Google ad placement and maybe that’s something that you see a competitor is doing that you’re not. So, the bottom line is really spending time using online tools that are available to you. Some of them have really small monthly subscriptions. Some of them are free. There are tools like Wappalyzer or Builtwith that allow you to see what tags are placed on people’s websites and that often give you clues about the kinds of campaigns that they’re running.

Highly recommend you do that as a first step for any competitors you’re looking into. And then you can use tools like SEMRush. There’s tons of them out there to help you understand from a paid media and organic perspective where they’re focusing their energy. So again, understanding [00:05:00] what tactics their marketing team is leveraging is the first question you want to ask and understand.

Number two is what are the digital priorities they’re focusing on? So, the two ways we like to break this up are service lines or business units. Like where are they spending their money? If they are, let’s say a children’s hospital and they’re only promoting three service lines that really tells you a lot about their budget, perhaps, but also the prioritization is an organization.

So it’s really helpful as you’re doing that first analysis of tactics to weave in the purview of understanding messaging targeting around service lines. Things that you want to understand are their focus areas for service lines through, uh, activity, budget, and content frequency. Again, maybe they’re geographically in your back door, but if they’re not even promoting the things that are your priority service lines, then it’s important to know that they’re there, but maybe you keep an eye on them, but kind of look at another competitor that maybe is pushing harder to gain market share.

The second one under [00:06:00] is organic content trends. So what kind of content are they creating for their service lines? Sometimes perhaps they don’t have the budget or they’re choosing this as a tactic. Maybe they aren’t doing a lot of paid media to push a service line forward, but maybe they have a content strategy like a podcast or a video series around a service line and that may be driving lots of engagements and organic growth within that service line and the traffic that they’re bringing in. So, again, understanding the big picture number two is what digital priorities are they focusing on with service lines and organic content trends underneath.

Number three. access to care or user journey experience. What’s in their tool set? Let’s say I again, one that I’m going to keep using that same example. Let’s say I need to go to a children’s hospital and I need to find out a doctor and or schedule an appointment. What tools are they using? How easy is it? How integrated is it into the service line pages of the website? Do a little work researching a specific condition treatment or provider and see how [00:07:00] easy it is to get where you need to go.

They may have a user flow or some UX that they’ve integrated that’s really making it amazing for the person finding and scheduling care to be able to find what they need quickly. So, it’s really important that could absolutely shift market share if you’re not aware that they’re implementing and testing something like that.

Number four is their marketing tech stack. So. Again, I mentioned Wappalyzer, but there’s also lots of tools that allow you for free to be able to look at the code of your competitors’ websites. Why does that matter? Well, it matters because you can see what marketing tools they’re using. Are they a Salesforce Marketing Cloud organization?

What website analytics tools are they using? Do they have their own app that they’ve built that allows scheduling functionality that perhaps can make it easier for somebody to find or schedule care? Do they have some other CRM or marketing automation that they’ve implemented to be able to guide people through the process?

[00:08:00] Marketing budgets, strategies, and executions are not just in driving traffic, but it’s also optimizing the journey once they get there. So, understanding that access to care patient journey experience, as well as what tools they’re using. Super important, and really helpful to give you that North Star of where you may be falling behind.

And then the fifth one, this one’s my favorite because what people say about themselves publicly is where they’re focused. They’re not going to be promoting or going and talking about a service line or a campaign or something that isn’t an organizational priority. So, the fifth and last one is reputation management and industry promotion. 

So, the first one is external looking in. What are patients or customers saying about this organization? What does it look like they’re doing from a review solicitation perspective? Does it seem like they’re using like a Press Ganey or reputation.com to be able to solicit reviews? And if so, like, what volume and velocity are they doing for those reviews? 

But the second component of that is, are they [00:09:00] going and speaking at industry conferences? If so, what topics are they speaking about? Are they doing it with a co-presenter? If so, who is that co-presenter? Maybe a technology they’re partnering with or an agency that’s driving a lot of success for them.

So that’s, again, just helpful to understand where they’re thinking and prioritizing things as a marketing organization. To help you make better guesses and understand what may be coming next for them. 

So again, the five things you should be thinking about if you’re running a competitive Intel program is what tactics are being leveraged by their marketing team, number one.

Number two, what digital priorities are they focusing on? Number three, their access to care, their user journey experience, what’s it look like? Number four, their marketing tech stack, and number five reputation management industry promotion. These are all things that can help you really understand where your competitors are.

And again, it’s not that you want to copy them. We’re not out here copying people, but you want to understand and not be surprised if somebody suddenly gains market [00:10:00] share or jumps ahead of you or, you know, Whatever, you know, they continue succeeding. If you’re falling behind, you need to be able to better plan and prepare in order to go into the upcoming fiscal.

I am very excited to say that Hedy & Hopp’s actually launching some one-time programs around competitive Intel. So, if you are interested in learning more about what it looks like, we’re actually going to be linking to it in the show notes. So, if you want to learn more about what it would cost to have an agency like mine lean in and do this competitive intel for you with all of our technical expertise and subscriptions to back-end programs and tools, uh, give us a shout. We will put a link in the show notes that will allow you to schedule a Zoom with me and we can chat more about what you are interested in learning your budget and your timeline. We’d love to work with you.

So again, thank you for tuning in today to this week’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.” Please, please, please [00:11:00] subscribe. Please give us a rating on whatever platform you are listening in on. And if you have any content suggestions, shoot them to us. We’d love to create content based off of your feedback.

That’s it for today. See you on a future episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.”

In this week’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” the podcast that brings joy to healthcare marketing, our host, CEO, and founder Jenny Bristow, dissects a topic that’s stirring up the digital marketing world alongside Mark Brandes, Hedy & Hopp’s head of all things analytics and decision science. 

This episode sheds light on the mixed feelings surrounding GA4, digging into its challenges and revealing how to harness its full potential. Jenny and Mark go beyond critique, offering practical advice for organizations deeply invested in GA4. Whether you’re grappling with catch-all tracking, seeking clarity on website performance, or looking to beautify your data analysis with Looker Studio dashboards, this episode is packed with actionable solutions. Join us as we transform technical hurdles into opportunities for joy and insight, ensuring your marketing efforts are both happy and effective.

Episode Highlights:

[0:45] – Introduction to GA4’s Mixed Reception: Insights into the digital marketing community’s varied reactions to Google Analytics 4.

[1:20] – The Challenge with GA4: Mark and Jenny discuss the steep learning curve and common frustrations with the new platform.

[2:55] – Embracing Measurement Planning: Highlighting the importance of a well-crafted measurement plan for accurate data analysis in healthcare marketing.

[4:10] – Implementing Dashboards for Better Analytics: How custom dashboards can make data from GA4 more accessible and actionable.

[6:00] – The Future of Healthcare Marketing with GA4: Optimizing Google Analytics 4 for enhanced decision-making in healthcare marketing.

[7:30] – Practical Tips for GA4 Transition: Jenny and Mark offer advice for organizations adapting to Google Analytics 4, focusing on setup and tracking strategies.

Links & Resources

Connect with Jenny

Connect with Mark

Check out more about how Hedy & Hopp can help you do more with your data!

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, but I am also the CEO and founder of Hedy and Hopp. We’re a full-service fully healthcare marketing agency. We work with healthcare providers, payers, and innovation groups all across the country.

And I am so excited today to have our very own Mark Brandes join us. Mark is the head of all things analytics and decision science here at Hedy & Hopp. So, welcome. 

Mark: Yeah, thanks for having me on Jenny. 

Jenny: So we’re going to talk about a really fun topic today. And that is that a lot of people basically are feeling like Google Analytics 4 sucks.

So what are your thoughts about that?

Mark: They are, and I can’t say I fully disagree. But I do think there are some things that are great about Google Analytics 4, but I also understand where people’s frustrations come from, because I have the same frustration, especially working at an agency [00:01:00] where we have to move around from different clients, and I need quick information out of those tools. And GA4 is not something you can get quick information out of. You have to really put some effort into it, build some things to have the reporting be the same to access some of the data. And so I, I agree.

And I think what we’ve seen is that you can actually, um, create measurement plans that help you really understand what you can measure. And I think that helps really identify what you’re pulling out of the platform that can help. You can also then extend with things like dashboards. So we can talk a little bit about how that would work.

Jenny: Oh, I love it. I love it. And I know we give a little levity to the topic, right? But like, I think the reason why it’s important to address it is there’s a lot of organizations that for one reason or another are tied to using Google Analytics, even with all of the HIPAA and. The patient privacy stuff with a lot of the workarounds, for example, the one that we implement with server-side Google tag manager.

We developed that [00:02:00] program because a lot of people wanted to stick with Google Analytics simply because of the sunk cost of time and energy they’ve already put into setting up the tool and or integrations or dashboards they’ve already set up. So I think on today’s topic. I think we’re going to set aside the fact that yes, there are other tools you can use, right?

The Piwik Pros, the Mixed Panel, like there’s lots of other analytics tools that you could use, but today let’s focus on if you are using Google Analytics for whatever reason, organizationally, if your team has decided you’re sticking with it, then how can you make the most of it? So I’d love for you to start, if an organization is sticking with Google Analytics 4, and they’re just generally frustrated, what’s the first thing that they should do?

Mark: Yeah. And there’s a comfortable nest there, right? Like they’re kind of comfortable. You’ve been using GA and I think that’s one of the things that makes GA more tough is because the interface makes people uncomfortable and you kind of lose that comfort that you had. Right. And so that’s, I think pretty jarring for people.

But yeah, what [00:03:00] we can start to do is for one, when we work with clients, we see a lot of implementations where either their team or an agency or somebody else has come in and they’ve set up what I call just kind of, catch-all tracking. Right? So they’ve gone in and said, we want to track all these links.

Okay, well, let’s track that the link happened and we’ll grab what page it happened on and what page is going to and that’s great until it comes to analytics time, until it comes to the time to the analysis and then things become more difficult. You have to start piecing through all that. You have to pull stuff out.

You have to see was that this link? Was that link? You also have times where it’s not as easy as that. Sometimes it has a JavaScript that comes through. Right? Because you opened up a window instead of opening up a new page. So there’s different things that can break when you do that kind of tracking and that doesn’t really get caught when you kind of just do a throw it all catch it all type of tracking.

So, from our position, it really helps to understand, okay. what are the things that are really important to us on our [00:04:00] website? What’s our website there for? And I think that is a place that we help with having those conversations with really getting down to the heart of, What is this website doing for our business?

And then how can we tie things on the website back to the success of our business? And we do that through a process called measurement planning. So it’s really detailed out and we  define, okay, we want to track when this thing happens on the site. Well, we can help define what does that mean in terms of Google Analytics is this event with this parameter on it.

So we can help define all that. And not only that, but it also helps. Catalog everything and really put it into place. I’ve had so many clients tell us, this is amazing. We’ve never seen this information. We’ve, we know all this, but we’ve never seen it in this format and it helps them understand like, okay, I get what we’re doing now.

I get what we’re tracking. I get where this is coming from. 

Jenny: Yep, absolutely. And I think whenever people think about measurement planning. That sounds like a step that’s a “nice to have”. So I think reframing that conversation internally [00:05:00] where it’s not a nice to have it’s a “must have” if you’re spending money online and need to understand what the ROI is, etc.

So, when you start with the foundation of a strong measurement plan, let’s talk a little bit about how that enables you to make really accurate and detailed, reporting or dashboards. 

Mark: For sure. So a good example is when we moved to GA4 well, in UA, you used to have events that had event category, event action, and event label.

Everybody was so comfortable with that. It made sense, right? You could categorize all this. You could drill down inside your reports. All that’s gone now because everything is an event inside of GA4 and you only have one field for the name. And so you have to either shove all those category, action, and label into that name, which we’ve seen some people do.

We’ve also seen them do, the label as the event and then put category and action as their other parameters to get added onto it. But those are difficult to pull out of the actual interface itself. Trying to drill down into those isn’t the same. When you click on an event, it doesn’t take you to those [00:06:00] next levels.

It takes you to another screen where, yeah, you can look at those levels, but it’s difficult. And you can go into, say, the Explorer reports inside of GA. For you can set up a table there. You can set up a pivot table to help you look at all those different things. But that takes time and effort understanding how the tool works a sense of what pivot tables are, which isn’t the easiest topic for everyone.

And so getting to some of that information, and that’s what I mean by a GA4 feels like it’s terrible, right? Because I can’t get anything out of this. I can’t find the information I’m looking for anymore. And from my perspective. Usually, the information is there. We just haven’t identified what it is, and we haven’t made it easy to bring it out.

And so, yeah, once we have that measurement plan in place, what we can do is really set up a dashboard. And I know sometimes in some circles, dashboards get a bad rap, but I think the way that we approach them is to really have them be an extension of GA4, to bring back some of that reporting field that you had inside of UA, right?

You can drill down into here. You can look at this specific [00:07:00] topic. You can look at your, your month or your date range breakdown. You can see a time chart over that for those specific things. And so that’s something that’s missing at a GA4 currently is your ability to do that. And we can bring that back.

And then you can add it back with adding on something like a Looker Studio dashboard. The great benefit is that Looker Studio is free. So, it’s something you can add on. It’s really the time and effort that takes to set it up and that’s again where we can help with our expertise. We can help you once you have that measurement plan in place, we can help you set up the dashboards. We’ve got somebody on our team who makes beautiful dashboards. Their works of art, in my opinion, but even better. The reason I love that is because it helps you want to come back to the dashboard. It’s not just a spreadsheet looking thing that you come and you just kind of get through.

It looks nice. It’s appealing. And so you want to come back to that dashboard. It’s like, yeah, I do want to go check my dashboard. It’s nice to look at. It’s got my. Yeah. Brand colors. It’s got a good feel to it. And so that’s something that I [00:08:00] find is great because it doesn’t make going through the data at shore.

It makes it kind of a little more happy, a little more fun. 

Jenny: I love it. Our whole focus of our brand is infusing joy. And I think our dashboards definitely do that one thing. Whenever I’m talking to prospective clients and I’m sharing some examples of our dashboards, we see their jaws drop because some examples you can literally drill down by business type.

Or by location. So let’s say you’re a 60-location specialty provider. You can see how one particular location is performing as far as traffic spend campaigns, et cetera. And that’s all because the measurement plan that was done up front made sure all of the tracking and implementation was set up correctly.

So definitely a step not to be missed. 

Mark: Exactly. 

Jenny: Yep. Well, thank you, Mark, for being on always appreciate your perspective and ability to turn something super technical into something that’s easy to digest. So thank you again for being on this week. I love it. And for listeners, thank you so much for tuning in this week.

Be sure to tune in for a future episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.” Have a great day.