GreyMatters 2015


5 Healthcare Trends Driven by Millennials

millennialsMillennials, Millennials, Millennials … everybody’s talking about Millennials. And with good reason. This group is having an increasingly greater effect on general marketing strategies and healthcare marketing, in particular.

According to an October 2014 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers:

  • Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation of the US population, representing about one-third of the country’s total population in 2013. Since the largest one-year age cohort of this group is 23 years old, Millennials will continue to comprise a large part of the population for many years to come.
  • Millennials have been shaped by technology. The rapid development of technology and computing since the ‘70s has coincided with the childhoods of this group, affecting their expectations for creativity and innovation in their own work lives.
  • Millennials value community, family and creativity in their work.
  • More Millennials have a college degree than any other generation of young adults.

Thus, it’s easy to see the potential and actual marketing influence of this group now and into the future. For healthcare marketers, these trends are pertinent to Millennials:

  • Word-of-mouth marketing. Online reviews of healthcare providers are important to both Millennials and Gen-Xers (ages 33-49). Almost half of people in these two groups factor in online reviews when looking for providers.
  • Using online insurance information prior to making a decision. About 50% of Millennials – and 52% of Gen-Xers – checked information about their insurance online during the last enrollment period.
  • Delivery of care. About one-third of Millennials prefer to receive care at retail clinics and 25% prefer acute care clinics for their care. This group is much less likely (61%) to visit a primary care physician than baby boomers or seniors.
  • Delayed care. The high cost of healthcare is of concern to all groups, and over half of both Millennials and boomers have put off treatment or gone without treatment because of financial concerns.
  • Getting cost estimates upfront. Millennials are more likely than seniors or boomers to request cost information prior to service (41% vs. 18% and 21%, respectively).

With their large, steady numbers, Millennials are primed to become the nation’s largest consumer buying group. Healthcare providers and insurers will have to adapt to this group’s preferences in order to survive and thrive.

Has your organization made any changes in its marketing strategy in order to attract Millennials?

Content Curation Tips

content“Content is king.” Where have we heard that before? The paradox is that while consumers crave more and more relevant, meaningful content, they are also deluged in digital information. How are marketers to engage content-seeking consumers when there’s so much information out there? And where are they to get such content for their consumers?

The answer for your organization might very well be content curation – finding and presenting the most relevant content for your consumers in a meaningful and organized manner. Using third-party content can save you time and money.

First, you must figure out key topics for your organization and establish a content strategy prior to looking for content. When evaluating content, you should consider:

  • Is the content reliable and trustworthy? Accuracy and timeliness are key concepts, along with a high level of content quality. If you’re looking for health information, the content provider should include periodic review and updates of the content by clinicians.
  • Does the content elevate your brand? By using content that is credible and thought-provoking, you can better establish your organization as an authority.
  • Is the content relevant? What is interesting or relevant to your audience? What topics would cause them to pause and read your article or watch your video?
  • What different formats are available? People have different preferences for consuming content. Some people are visual learners, so they prefer videos and images. Others like details and want to read a step-by-step article about procedures or processes. In order to engage a diverse audience, different content formats are necessary.
  • Active versus passive curation. Passive curation is sharing content as it comes along through regular news and information channels or content that is shared internally and deemed to be relevant for consumers. Active curation involves a specific plan of actively seeking out content to share with your audience on a regular basis. Passive curation is an inconsistent method of providing content, while active curation can be cost effective, yet also inconsistent. For consistently relevant content, using a third-party provider might be the best choice, depending on your organization’s resources.

Now that you’ve found the content source you want, the next step is curating your content. Curating is different from aggregation, which is simply choosing and pushing out selected content. Consider adding your organization’s educated perspective, comments or commentary to your posts, but don’t forget to credit the sources of the content.

How will you share your content? There are so many formats and channels available for content sharing. It’s important to consider the requirements for each channel:  type of content, format, length of added insight, etc. And don’t forget to utilize best practice strategies for each channel.

Once you have activated your content strategy and initiated your content curation, it’s time to measure your success. Use the appropriate metrics for each channel and format, paying close attention to factors such as:

  • Performance
  • Feedback
  • Evolving marketplace
  • Customer needs
  • Seasonality

Now that you’re well on your way to content curation, keep in mind that the approach is a long-term process that you’ve put into place to build relationships with your consumers. It takes patience and time.

How is your organization doing with its content strategy?

Does a Hospital’s Facebook Ratings Correlate With Quality of Care?

facebook_starChalk up another use for social media to influence hospital perceptions of patients: A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that the ratings given to hospitals via Facebook’s 5-star scale closely match their 30-day readmission rates reported by the Hospital Compare Website.

The study found that hospitals with lower average readmission rates had higher Facebook ratings than hospitals with higher readmission rates.

While the study’s lead author says that it is not conclusive that “social media ratings are fully representative of the actual quality of care,” this report does tend to add support to the idea that social media can offer quantitative value in assessing patient satisfaction. When developing quality improvement initiatives, hospitals and healthcare leaders should be mindful of the value of social media.

The importance of engaging patients via social media to influence patient perceptions of the hospital and their healthcare choices cannot be understated, particularly as the Millennials become more influential in the marketplace. Hospitals and healthcare organizations that do not engage on social media send a message to potential patients.

Journalists’ Advice to Content Marketers

writerMost journalists did not start their careers with the intent of becoming a content marketer. But technology advances, content delivery changes and downsizing have led many journalists to become content marketers. Their background and skills bring a new perspective to the content creation process.

Having a perspective on content creation honed by a journalism education, experience in writing for print and online publications, first-rate skills in research and interviewing, a strong code of ethics and the aptitude for finding stories almost wherever he or she looks gives journalists a strong background to provide advice on content creation.

Advice to content creators from journalists includes:

  • Keep your eyes open to find content. Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, recommends training yourself to always be on the lookout for stories. You’d be surprised at where you might find one. Honigman says that the fundamentals of structuring and fleshing out a story learned as a journalist can be applied to any situation.
  • When preparing content, be careful who you trust for information. As we learned from a State Farm TV ad a couple of years ago, “They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.” Um, yes, they can. In particular, when researching a topic with which you’re not familiar, be careful when choosing sources. While you can find some good, reliable information from a Google search or on social media, your information should have solid backup, especially with hard data such as statistics and other factual information.
  • Go straight to the source when possible or necessary. While first-hand sources aren’t always required, they do provide value, says freelance journalist and content marketer Stephanie Stephens. For example, if there is a clinician in your organization who is known as a leading expert on a particular topic that you’re writing about, interview him or her. This first-hand information provides the authenticity your readers expect.
  • Try the inverted pyramid approach. A journalist constructs a story by leading it with the most important information and putting the less important information at the bottom. In order to cater to short attention spans online, this is a good suggestion for creating content that helps you grab the reader’s attention at the beginning.
  • Speed and accuracy count. While you may often have the luxury of time in creating content for a particular marketing campaign, there are times when content must be created quickly. Paul Conley, a content marketing consultant who trained as a journalist, says that while there are many good content creators in the content-marketing world who can craft a sentence or create great video and graphics, there aren’t many who can do it on the fly quickly and error-free.
  • Be ethical and objective. The purpose of marketing is to present a product, service or brand in a positive light. But being truthful and transparent is important. People need to know they can trust your organization or brand.

And finally, according to former reporter and editor Josh Zywien, now a content marketer, you should pay heed to the concept that “no business wins by over-promising and under-delivering” and use it as a guide to creating content. Put yourself into the shoes of your audience as much as possible to understand their perspective, which will make creating helpful, authentic content as easy as possible.

Backstage Pass: 2 New Web Clinics Offered in July

backstage_passAs part of our expanded Web Clinic schedule for 2015, two new Backstage Pass Web Clinics will be offered in July.

On Wednesday, July 15th, from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT, join us to hear Brian Bierbaum, Vice President of Strategy and Growth, BlueSpire Strategic Marketing, and Amanda Hobbs, Web and Publications Manager, CHI Franciscan Health, present "SEM/SEO and Mapping ROI Across Channels – Six Months Later." The rapid convergence of marketing and IT has increased pressures of accountability on health system marketing departments across the U.S. In this session, we will learn how CHI Franciscan Health evolved their go to market strategy using an omni-channel approach, revamped their Web content strategy, and gained visibility into their marketing KPIs. We'll also give a status update on the project presented at HCIC14, including practical lessons learned six months later.

On Wednesday, July 29th, from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT, Shawn Gross, Chief Digital Strategist, Healthcare Practice Lead at White Rhino, and Sarah Mackey from Baylor, Scott & White, will present "What’s Next in Healthcare Digital Marketing?" This session encourages a new generation of provider digital marketing that makes emotional connections with patients. It’s “advertising without the ads” and works best when weaved into the organization’s operational fabric.

Learn how creating valuable digital services can build engaging, lifelong patient relationships. Examples include geo-fencing and location-based marketing, in-building wayfinding, re-imagining the lab result and patient portal, virtual reality with the inexpensive Google Cardboard and using “invisible” mobile apps to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.

Backstage Pass is a Webinar series that extends the education from the annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) by providing a monthly health check throughout the year for those who may have missed a topic of interest or who weren't able to attend HCIC at all. The Webinars are case studies from the top presenters at HCIC. The best part is you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or home to attend. No luggage, no airplanes, no TSA, no hassle – it’s a win-win!

Visit the Backstage Pass registration page to sign up for these 2 Web Clinics or any of the remaining 2015 Clinics.

Make Your Plans To Attend HCIC! You Don't Want To Be Left Out!

HCIC_LogoRegistration opened on June 1 for the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference to be held November 9-11, 2015 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando. This year’s conference promises to be the best one yet! The conference brochure is now available online and will be arriving at your desk later this month.

Since registration opened last month, we already have a great response. If you’re planning to attend, be sure to register for the conference and book a hotel room soon, as the early-bird conference registration fee ends on September 11th and the discounted group rate for the hotel ends on October 16th.

The full list of speakers and events is now available online and the brochure should be hitting your desks in July. Check the HCIC Website frequently as additional details will be available over the next few weeks. 
We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

Planning to Exhibit or Sponsor at HCIC? Time is Running Out!

exhibitIf you are planning to be an exhibitor and/or sponsor at this year’s Healthcare Internet Conference but have not yet signed up, you may miss your opportunity if you don’t sign up soon.

Only a few sponsorships are left, and about a dozen Exhibit Hall booths (out of 80) remain. If you want to promote your cutting-edge Web, digital and Internet products, solutions and services to an engaged audience, the time to act is now.

View the Exhibitor/Sponsor Prospectus and sign up soon. You don’t want to miss out!

Arrive Early to Attend: Let’s Talk Digital and the Pre-Conference Workshops

Now that registration has opened for the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, you’ll want to be sure to sign up for the additional available events!

Let's Talk Digital

If you are a client of Greystone.Net or Healthgrades, plan to arrive in Orlando a day early to participate in our exclusive Let’s Talk Digital Client Event. Join us on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 8th for Let’s Talk Digital - an afternoon featuring speakers from both inside and outside the industry, sharing knowledge and experiences on how to transform healthcare by integrating digital strategy with CMS and CRM.

If you’d like to attend Let’s Talk Digital, be sure to indicate that you are attending when you register for HCIC. There’s no added cost if you are attending HCIC. The event starts at 2PM Sunday and will conclude with a “fireside-type” chat with Chris Crayner, Senior Vice President, Integrated Media & Digital, Universal Orlando, NBCUniversal and a networking reception. Make plans to be there. You won’t want to miss it.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Prior to the official kick-off of HCIC on Monday, November 9, you will have your choice of 4 Pre-Conference Workshops, beginning at 9:00 AM. The workshops are:
  • The Healthcare Consumer’s Digital Journey from Symptom to Search to Brand Loyal Customers
  • Optimizing Your CRM Strategy in the Evolving Digital World
  • Redesign Like an Imagineer: Making Your Hospital’s Website More Like a Walk in the Theme Park
  • The Digital Trends Reshaping the Next Generation Marketing Department

The fee to attend one of the Pre-Conference Workshops is $95 if you register by September 11, and $125 afterwards.

HCIC Keynoters Announced

keynotesThose who attend the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference November 9-11, 2015 in Orlando will treated to 5 great keynote sessions.

  • Kicking off the HCIC at 1:15 PM on Monday, November 9 will be The Digital Transformation of Healthcare:  What's Your Vision? presented by Warner Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.
  • Tuesday morning will start off with Hug Your Haters, presented by Jay Baer, Marketing consultant, speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Youtility.
  • On Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 PM, Larry Bailin, Best Selling Author and CEO, Single Throw, will present NOMAM (aka No More Average Marketing!).
  • At 7:45 AM on Wednesday morning, Spencer Gerrol, Founder & CEO, Spark Experience, will present Website Health Check: The User Experience.
  • To conclude the conference on Wednesday at 12:15 PM, the 2015 eHealthcare Leadership Awards will be announced by Mark Gothberg, Chairman, eHealthcare Leadership Awards; Susan Emerson, VP Strategic Planning & Business Development, Private Health News; and Sherilee Coffey, Director of Creative Operations, Coffey Communications.

You won’t want to miss these educational and entertaining keynote sessions.

July 31 Last Day to Submit Nominees for the 2015 Class of the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame 

hihofNominations for the 2015 Class of Inductees into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame are now open and will be accepted through July 31, 2015. Potential candidates are exceptional individuals and organizations whose work and accomplishments have brought innovation and honor to the healthcare Internet industry. If you know of an outstanding individual or organization whom you think deserves to be nominated, view the candidate criteria at

You can find additional details regarding the nomination form, the panel of judges and more at

Don’t Miss Early-Bird Registration for the CRM (MarTech) Workshop!

crmIf you are planning to attend Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Making the Most of the Your CRM Investment, which will be held September 29-30, 2015 in Chicago, you have until July 15th to receive $100 off the registration fee. Space is limited to 30 healthcare (non-vendor) participants, so you’ll want to register soon!

This healthcare MarTech Workshop, co-sponsored by Corrigan Partners and Greystone.Net, is intended to be a deep dive and open dialogue on the challenges of selecting, implementing and optimizing a CRM solution for your health system. Over 1½ days, you’ll participate in educational sessions, facilitated discussions and open dialogue on several topics related to selecting a CRM for your organization.

The CRM conference will be held in Chicago at The Catalyst Ranch, with the nearby Crowne Plaza as the hotel partner. The registration fee is $795 if paid prior to July 15 and $895 if paid after July 15. For more information, visit

New! White Paper: Not All Website Visitors Are Created Equal

gsight_whitepaperGreystone.Net is pleased to announce the release of a new white paper: Not All Website Visitors Are Created Equal, which is Part 1 of the White Paper Series Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue. This white paper, produced in collaboration with Klein & Partners, discusses how the reason for a person’s Website visit can affect the person’s state of mind, which in turn can affect the person’s impression of the site, and even the brand.

CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, CTOs and Web and marketing leaders will want to read the white paper to learn more about how dealing with the “pain points” of a Website can help with managing the brand experience.

To obtain your copy of this white paper, visit For more information, you may call us at 770-407-7670 or email us at

Did You Know?

As a result of a new collaboration between Twitter and Google, tweets now appear in mobile search results. An update to regular Web searches on non-mobile devices will follow soon.

With this new feature, you can look up specific Twitter accounts, hashtags or tweets without having to go directly to Twitter. When you tap on a Tweet that surfaces in a Google search, you will be taken directly to Twitter to view the tweet and "discover additional content."

According to Google, this is a great way to get real-time information when a major event is underway. It also helps organizations and people on Twitter reach a global audience at times that are more relevant for them.

Greystone Product Spotlight – Intranet Planning

planningOrganizations are finding that a fully-functioning, up-to-date and relevant intranet is key to maintaining communication, access to tools and improved productivity within the organization. Yet, developing and maintaining an intranet often falls low on the organization’s priority list and may even be delegated to IT. And, a poorly planned and implemented intranet often fails to engage employees.

Among the Strategic Planning Services offered by Greystone.Net is Intranet Planning. We can help your organization assess, plan, design/redesign and implement an intranet. A typical strategic intranet plan might include:

  • Confirming the strategic direction for the intranet
  • Conducting a current state review
  • Identifying and prioritizing strategies
  • Defining tactics and a timetable
  • Finalizing the plan and the budget.

The planning process is always customized to meet your organization's needs.

If your organization is thinking of redesigning its intranet – or even building a new intranet from scratch – Greystone can help. For more information, you may:

App Review - Bumpin

bumpinBumpin, where "social media meets geofence marketing," is a social media marketing platform designed specifically to monitor, track and analyze all social activity within your geofence and respond to certain activities automatically. With Bumpin, you can follow and reach out to socially-active users with location-specific updates, event details and discount offers.

Bumpin’s features include:

  • Auto follow: You can automatically start following users that fall within your geofence.
  • Auto reply: Automatically reply to activity that is targeted through your campaigns.
  • Activity monitoring: All activity taking place within your geofence is accessible through a unified timeline.