GreyMatters 2017


MarCom to MarTech: What CMOs Must Do to Succeed in 2017 and Beyond

Kathy_SHSMDAt last month’s SHSMD Connections conference, Kathy Divis and Karen Corrigan presented a session on “MarCom to MarTech: What CMOs Must Do to Succeed in 2017 and Beyond.” Kathy is President of Greystone.Net and Karen is CEO at Corrigan Consulting.

The session was jam-packed with content, but here are some highlights from their talk:

  • Most marketing organizations are “doing digital,” not “being digital.” They are making incremental changes rather than weaving digital in their marketing DNA.
  • According to Scott Brinker, in the past decade, marketing has gone from being one of the least tech-dependent business functions to one of the most.
  • Digital health adoption by consumers continues to increase. In 2016, 46% of consumers were considered active digital health adopters, using three or more categories of digital health tools. Only 12% of Americans are non-adopters.
  • The “marketer scientist” is a combination of art and science who is a:
    • Storyteller
    • Data analyst
    • Brand champion
    • Experimentalist
    • Experience designer
    • Technologist
    • Change agent
    • Systems thinker
  • Marketers should concentrate on the most common tech trends with the closest short-term impact. However, they must keep an eye on the emerging technologies that are just around the corner in order to not be caught off guard when those new technologies burst onto the scene.
  • Marketing trends to watch include:
    • The transition from advertising to brand experience
    • The continued rise of the empowered customer
    • The emergence of mixed reality—virtual and augmented
    • The impact of machine learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT)
    • The inevitability of mobile-only customers
    • Merging the art and science of marketing, including CRM, marketing automation and personalization.
  • In light of consumerism – “a movement that advocates patients’ involvement in their own healthcare decisions” – previously passive patients are now empowered consumers with unlimited access to information, more choices and greater responsibility for the cost of care.
  • Healthcare competition no longer consists of just “the colleague down the road,” but also includes the retail store across the street and virtual providers.
  • Self-scheduling is ground zero for health systems.
    • 80% of healthcare consumers prefer providers with online scheduling.
    • 67% choose online scheduling over location.
    • 33% say online scheduling will increase the likelihood of making an appointment.
  • The primary point of differentiation between retail and healthcare is retail’s catering to consumer convenience. According to Rob Klein at Klein & Partners, the retail world is learning healthcare faster than healthcare is learning retail.
  • WebMD is now a “skill” for Amazon Echo’s Alexa. How much longer will it be before you can ask Alexa for an internal medicine physician recommendation within 5 miles, with a new patient opening today or tomorrow?
  • Other real-life examples of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) include:
    • Lenovo has expanded virtual care by enabling Amazon Echo’s Alexa to contact a patient’s care coordinator to send a driver to pick the patient up or take the patient’s blood pressure and send the result to the patient’s provider.
    • HealthTap’s Alexa skill called Doctor AI provides real-time feedback on basic symptoms and if the situation is deemed serious per the platform’s algorithm, the patient is connected to one of 100,000 online doctors.
    • KidsMD is a voice-driven skill created by Boston Children’s Hospital that answers questions about symptoms, medication dosing and whether to call a provider.
  • Mobile is the new gateway to your brand. Therefore, your mobile presence is your organization’s new virtual front door.
  • You must make it a priority to integrate technologies, processes and teams, so actions customers take on mobile devices are tied to your CRM and marketing automation systems.
  • Dramatic change is revolutionizing healthcare marketing and much of that change is interconnected. Every marketer at every level needs to become digitally savvy and data intelligent.
  • Today’s contemporary marketing department demands staff with new skillsets, fresh thinking, different priorities and new approaches to organizational structure.
  • It’s time to begin walking away from the siloes of “traditional” and “digital” marketing and realize it is all just MARKETING.

If you would like a copy of the complete slide deck from this presentation, please contact Greystone.Net at

Telemedicine Presence is Growing. Is Your Organization Keeping Up?

telemedicineWhat does Amazon have to do with healthcare? What Amazon has done to the retail sales industry with its digital presence is very similar to what telemedicine is doing to traditional healthcare providers via digital. Is your organization ready for the change?

As consumers increasingly demand virtual healthcare services—virtual provider visits, digital communications with providers via email, texting and video—the competition with brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities will increase. Virtual healthcare will never overtake physical locations completely, but the balance between the two is definitely changing, as more employers are making telehealth services available and more consumers prefer telehealth to traditional office visits.

Healthcare executives are reacting to this change. As reported in GreyMatters earlier this year, a survey of healthcare executives found that 83% of respondents are planning to invest in some sort of telehealth services or are very likely to do so. Some large health systems are bolstering their physical location services with telehealth efforts to improve emergency care access, target chronic diseases in certain complex patient populations and provide new services to a broader range of patients.

Is your organization embracing telehealth efforts? If so, how?


Reaching Older Demographics With Social Media

social-mediaYounger demographic groups are important to all marketing strategies, but don’t forget the older generations. Seniors are using social media, just not in the same way as millennials and Gen X. Marketers have used data from Pew Research Foundation to learn how to engage with seniors on social media.

  • Facebook. According to Pew, 62% of internet users 65 years and older are Facebook users, and 72% of those users age 50-64 are on Facebook. Seniors tend to prefer sharing media from other sources rather than posting their own. In other words, they like to share articles, photos and videos they find interesting instead of posting selfies or information they consider to be personal. Marketers should consider posting news stories and other content that will bring seniors in to engage.
  • LinkedIn. Data from Pew reveals that while one-third of internet users age 30-49 are on LinkedIn, the numbers drop with age. Just under one-quarter (24%) of internet users age 50-64 are on LinkedIn, and just 20% of users age 65 and over are on it. This makes sense, as LinkedIn is more focused on professional and business-related content, and people at age 65 and older are often looking towards retirement.
  • Twitter. Some marketers have found success engaging with seniors on Twitter, especially using Twitter chats. According to Sprout Social, only 10% of Twitter users are age 65 or older. If you’re considering targeting seniors with Twitter, you may need to do some more research into the demographics of your area and what works with different demographic groups.
  • Pinterest. This social media platform draws more women users than men. It’s more of a visual platform, so a marketing strategy utilizing Pinterest will be different than one using Facebook, for example. Sixteen percent of Pinterest users are age 65 or older, and 45% of users are women.

If you are looking to engage with seniors on social media, Facebook is most likely your best bet. However, other platforms may be viable depending on your strategy.


Improve The Bottom Line With mHealth Messaging

mhealthHealthcare organizations are using mHealth strategies more and more as they seek to improve engagement with their patients. However, most of their mHealth efforts have focused on more clinical-related messaging, such as reminders for preventive care services, appointment reminders or providing health information. But mHealth messaging efforts can also be used to improve the bottom line.

Using messaging for preventive care reminders not only improves patient outcomes by getting them in for services such as mammograms and colorectal cancer screenings, it also provides an opportunity for increased revenue. One provider boosted revenues by $250,000 after launching a messaging effort for mammogram screenings and another saw a revenue increase of $685,000 with an automated messaging campaign to remind men about colorectal cancer screenings.

A recent survey from West found that only 15% of healthcare providers are using some type of mHealth messaging (phone, text or email) to communicate financial information to their patients. The survey report says, “Sharing cost information prior to sending out bills makes patients more aware of self-pay responsibilities, improves transparency and helps patients plan for medical expenses. Yet less than one-quarter (24 percent) of providers plan to implement a price transparency program within the next 12 months. This data shows there are opportunities for providers to do more to improve transparency and remove payment hurdles.”

In an environment where 75% of patients are not aware of the cost of their healthcare services until they receive a bill and where 30% of patients are confused by the bills they do receive, it is difficult to make a timely payment strategy. With improved financial communications with patiets using mHealth and other methods, healthcare organizations can improve their bottom line.

What is your healthcare organization doing to improve financial communications with your patients?


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