GreyMatters 2018

Less Than Half of Marketers Are Budgeting for MarTech

budgetIn the 2018 “State of the CIO Survey,” CIO magazine found that only 42% of survey respondents had budget earmarks specifically for marketing technology product and service investments. While 42% seems high, it also means that over half of the respondents were not budgeting for technology.

So, what are types of tech are marketing departments spending their money on? A broad range of marketing professionals were asked for their input on this question. Here’s what they said:

  • Marketing automation. Who doesn’t want to work faster and have an easier time doing it? Today’s technology offers tools that can perform many tasks for humans, leading to leaner, more efficient marketing operations. However, you don’t want to swap managing people for managing tools. An organization should choose only the tools that are really needed and that are a good fit for the organization from the perspectives of complexity, budget, organization size and expertise. One tool mentioned by several marketing pros was Hubspot – categorized as both an “inbound marketing tool” and a general marketing automation tool.
  • Chatbots. Chatbots are being used more and more in various digital settings. They can be valuable in low-level customer interaction and can even be used to automate that process altogether. As voice recognition technology improves, chatbots will become more valuable for customer interaction.
  • CRM and more. CRM is used almost universally by marketers. Extended technologies that expand on the basic CRM functions are being invested in by B2B organizations. These extended technologies work to link, measure and optimize all stages of the customer journey, and allow more availability for marketing to serve and upsell existing clients.
  • SEO. Because the goal of SEO strategy is to boost an organization’s presence in organic web searches, this function has typically fallen to marketers. However, SEO can be complicated, from a tech perspective, so SEO software can be helpful to marketers by simplifying the task.
  • Online advertising. Regardless of how an organization chooses to advertise online, technology is involved to some degree.
  • Social media monitoring. Not only should an organization monitor its own social media performance, it should also see what the competition is doing. There are many options for social media monitoring technology, including reputation management tools.
  • Business intelligence. Every marketer knows there are tons of data available, but the question is how to use it. Tools for data mining, data warehousing and business intelligence are very important for helping to make sense of all that data, and marketers are willing to pay for it.

What does your organization’s MarTech budget look like? How has it changed over recent years?


How Valuable Is Video Content? Here’s a List of Statistics

videoThe demand for video content has increased over the past several years. If your organization’s digital strategy doesn’t include an emphasis on video content, you are missing out on a large segment of internet users.

Check out these statistics on the value of video content:

  • By 2020, over 80% of consumer internet traffic will be attributed to online videos.
  • Before visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see a product or service, almost half of internet users will look for videos related to that product/service.
  • Facebook and YouTube videos are seen by 45% of people for an hour or more each week.
  • Over half of smartphone users (53%) have more favorable opinions of companies that provide instructional videos.
  • In 2016, 60% of marketers used video content in social media marketing.
  • Live video was used by 14% of marketers in 2016.
  • Over half (52%) of marketing professionals around the world agree that video content provides the best ROI.
  • YOY revenue grows almost 50% faster for brands that use video marketing.
  • Organic search traffic from search engines increases 157% with video.
  • 43% of internet users want more video content from marketers in the future.
  • On Twitter, videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3 times more likely to be retweeted than GIFs.
  • Video gets 135% more organic reach than photos on Facebook, on average.
  • Three-quarters of executives watch videos related to their work on business websites one or more times per week.
  • Video content is shared far more on social media than other types of types of content – 40% more likely to be shared than other content types.
  • Marketing videos show a 27% higher CTR and 34% higher web conversion rate for companies that use videos in their marketing versus companies that don’t use them.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of visitors to retail sites who watch a video stay an average of 2 minutes longer and are 64% more likely to make a purchase as opposed to visitors who do not watch a video.
  • Marketing emails with videos can see an increased CTR of more than 90%.
  • When an internet user likes a video ad, his/her likelihood of purchasing increases by 97% and brand association increases by 139%.


Slow, Steady Progress in Healthcare Consumerism

consumerismConsumers have become accustomed to convenience, quality and finding good deals when making purchases, whether in person or online. They can even shop for and buy a car online and have it delivered to their door. While this level of consumer experience is becoming the standard in most industries, healthcare is lagging behind in its investment in consumer-focused programs.

In its 2018 State of Consumerism in Healthcare: Activity in Search of Strategy report, Kaufman Hall shared results from its annual survey of over 200 hospitals and health systems in the US. In general, the survey found that while hospitals and health systems are working more on meeting the demands of healthcare consumers, there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area.

Results from the survey and report include:

  • Investments in consumer-focused strategies have increased, but remain slow, as traditional approaches are often favored over newer innovations.
  • 90% of survey respondents said that improving CX is a high priority, which is a significant increase from 30% in 2017.
  • 64% say that digital tools are vital for consumer engagement, up from 14% in 2017.
  • Less than one-tenth of respondents are considered tier 1 performers for their pursuit of consumer-focused strategies, and less than one-fourth are considered to be tier 2 – piloting consumer initiatives and assessing where those needs fit into their overall strategy.
  • While healthcare organizations see the value in increasing consumer access to their services, they are still lagging in providing services such as telemedicine, retail clinics, video visits and e-visits.
  • Only 28% of respondents have customer-friendly billing statements and only 18% allow for patient feedback in real time.
  • Price strategy is one of healthcare’s worst-performing areas, with only 5% of organizations ranked as tier 1 for aggressive pricing and price transparency.

Consumers have become accustomed to better experiences in most other settings. Healthcare must acquire a new way of thinking beyond its traditional approaches.

Are you interested in consumerism in healthcare? If you said yes and you are planning to attend the 22nd Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in November, be sure to sign up for the Consumerism pre-conference session on Monday morning, November 5th


4 Steps to Meeting Patients Where They Are on Their Digital Journey

Note: This sponsored article was written by Lindsay Neese Burton, Healthcare Marketing Director at Lindsay spent more than a decade as a healthcare marketer at large Academic Medical Centers in the Southeast, focused on developing marketing strategies for consumers and referring physicians. Now as part of the team, Lindsay helps healthcare organizations create digital marketing strategies and leverage online feedback to meet their goals.

Healthcare consumers are doing their research — online.

online-reviewsYes, personal referrals still count, but in their absence, Google is your patient’s next trusted resource. Nearly 80% of consumers report using online reviews as a first step to seeking a provider. And even if they sign on to the search engine with a recommendation or referral in-hand, they’re still reading reviews — 16% use them to validate their choice of a doctor.  

If your patients aren’t advocating for you online — that is, writing positive reviews and saying good things about you on social media channels — you are likely losing business to your competitors.

Online ratings and reviews stand between your marketing spend and your ability to acquire new patients. Monitoring and requesting authentic reviews and enlisting patients to share their experiences with the community pays huge dividends for leading healthcare organizations.

Guide their Journey, Win their Business

What consumers read about you online heavily influences their decision-making. In fact, the reputation of your doctors, locations and organization as a whole is defined at every touchpoint a potential patient has with you online — from the doctor or location listing on Google, to patient ratings and reviews, to reading doctor profiles on your website and scheduling appointments. At any point on the journey to find or book an appointment, a consumer’s perception of you can change — for better or worse.

That’s why it’s so important to manage all the details of your online presence continuously and at a granular level. For large healthcare organizations with hundreds or thousands of doctors and locations, technology makes this scalable. Online reputation management (ORM) platforms do the heavy lifting, enabling organizations to manage the four essential steps to meeting patients along their digital journey:

  1. Ensure you have accurate location listings on all major search engines.
  2. Maintain high ratings and rankings, and a large volume of recent, high-quality reviews.
  3. Make finding a doctor or location easy with an intuitive find-a-doctor tool.
  4. Merchandise your doctors effectively with rich physician profiles and directly-integrated scheduling.

Let’s take a look at each of these steps in greater detail.

  1. Keep location listings accurate and complete.

    When a potential patient looks for your doctors or locations online, they usually begin with Google. The information they find had better be correct. Imagine someone with an urgent care need discovering the hours of operation on your listing were wrong once they arrive and find it closed. Worse yet, what if they can’t find your address or phone number because you haven’t claimed your listing? This is the beginning of a bad experience and could result in a negative rating or review. Plus, you will have lost their business. To attract and acquire patients, the first step is to ensure they can find and contact you, and that the first impression patients have of you is professional and accurate. Here’s an article that describes what goes into a complete location listing.

  2. Ensure a high volume of recent reviews.

    When healthcare consumers start their search for a local provider, Google presents them with a few top choices. Google’s ranking algorithm relies heavily not only on the completeness and accuracy of your location’s listing, but on star ratings and patient reviews. The more recent reviews you have, the higher your ratings will be, and the higher Google will rank you among the top results.

    Plus, recent research has shown that 79% of healthcare consumers want to read six or more online reviews as they evaluate doctors, but 77% of providers have zero Google reviews, and those who do have an average of just one review. Systematically requesting reviews from every patient will help increase review volume and recency.

  3. Make finding a doctor or location easy.

    Many healthcare consumers look for doctors on providers’ websites using find-a-doctor tools. Make sure you have a search interface that enables them to search for and compare physicians based on various parameters, such as location, specialty, insurance, CAHPS survey data and third-party reviews.

  4. “Sell” your doctors online and help them get appointments.

    Your doctors’ profiles are an important marketing and patient acquisition tool. Make sure they are complete and filled with information consumers use to choose a provider. Star ratings and reviews must be part of the mix, along with complete information about the doctor’s experience, expertise, staff, office environment and any other details that might convince a patient to choose them over a competitor. Finally, integrated scheduling encourages the prospective patient to convert — make it seamless for them to transition from evaluating your doctor to making an appointment.

Take Control of Your Online Presence

Leading healthcare marketers are finding that integrating online reputation management (ORM) into their overall digital strategy is essential to continued business growth and success. Online reputation is defining prospective patients’ first impressions when they have a healthcare need. Healthcare organizations must develop a comprehensive strategy to guide consumers — from discovery to selection to scheduling.

To learn more, check out our CMO whitepaper, “How to Compete for Patients in the Digital Age.” delivers the category-leading Online Reputation Management platform for large, multi-location enterprises. We help healthcare organizations monitor and improve online ratings and reviews, improve customer experience and drive traffic, visits and revenue. For more information or personalized walk-through of the data, visit us at

DYK? What Brands Post on Social Media Is Not What Consumers Want to See

dislikeA recent report from Sprout Social shows a divergence of opinion in what marketers choose to post on social media and what consumers want to see.

Consumers want to see (in descending order of preference):

  • Discounts or sales
  • Information on new products or services
  • Posts that teach something
  • Entertaining posts
  • Inspiring posts
  • Updates on company/organization happenings
  • Posts that tell a story
  • Posts that reveal a company’s personality
  • Highlights about company/organization employees
  • Posts that are partnerships with influencers

Marketers post these types of posts (in descending order of volume):

  • Educational posts
  • Story-telling posts
  • Inspiring posts
  • News about company happenings
  • Entertaining posts
  • Information on new products or services
  • Posts that reveal a company’s personality
  • Highlights about company/organization employees
  • Discounts or sales
  • Posts that are partnerships with influencers.

Does your organization take consumer preferences into account when posting on social media?


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