Sunday, March 12, 2017

Provider’s, calculating RMOI on your marketing efforts? No, well here’s how.

With so many changes in the healthcare market and resource constraints in hospitals, it’s a wonder they attempt any marketing at all. As much has healthcare has changed, provider marketing just hasn’t kept up. In hospitals saying your brand awareness is up is essentially a waste of marketing resources.

Big deal.

Your outcomes, patient satisfaction, price, experience and preventable death rate tell another story which negates the undifferentiated all about you feel good marketing. The healthcare consumer and patient isn’t dumb you know. They see the numbers and can figure it out.

What must I do?

To do Return on Marketing Investment analysis, you must market something that is measurable. Surprise!  Brand ads just won’t do it. It won’t tell you what to sell and how, as that is not the focus of the blog post. If you can’t figure it out then maybe it’s time for a different profession.

Moving forward.

Below is an example of an actual ROMI computation for a multi-hospital organization. I am assuming that you can identify and pull down the information that you need across many platforms of the organization to produce such a result.  If you can’t measure, then broaden your technological capability and move towards a higher level of computerization and system integration that you already experience.

The role finance plays.

Work with your finance department. They are a great source of information. With a high degree of collaboration and understanding their viewpoints and perspectives regarding marketing, you can lead and make a difference. By answering questions, concerns and opinions with solid data, you can move the discussion from marketing does “stuff’ to marketing is a financial contributor to the organization.

The formula and method.

The way forward below can be adapted to any campaign and provides you with the data fields, and logical analysis one needs.  This is an actual RMOI calculation on a physician referral campaign and call center.

PRCC ROI

An analysis was undertaken to look at the ROI of the Physician Referral Call Center. The study matched a database of call center name records for the period to financial records which had already been downloaded.  The data produced the following results:

*      9,102 call records were matched with utilization and financial data.
*      9,102 calls led to a total of 9,121 encounters in the ER, Inpatient and Outpatient categories of service.
*      751 contacts were ER
o   177 returning encounters
o   573 first time encounters
*      1,105 contacts were Inpatient
o    530 returning encounters
o    699 first time encounters
*      7,267 were Outpatient
o   2,014 returning encounters
o   5,253 first time encounters
*      Total charges for all encounters equaled $22,522,649
*      Charges for new encounters all services totaled $16,085,198 or 71 percent of the total charges
*      Average charge per ER Encounter  $1,304
*      Average charge per  Inpatient Encounter $13,581
*      Average charge per Outpatient Encounter  $903
*      Gallup measures loyalty at 68 percent (would return for service) which means that for every 100 patients 32 would not return for care- therefore:
o   ED- 57 returning encounters captured that would not have returned
o   Inpatient – 170 returning patients that would not have returned
o   Outpatient- 645 returning visits that would not have returned
*      Incremental charges counted returning consumers not loyal
o   ER - $74,337
o   Inpatient- $2,308,851
o   Outpatient-  $582,505
o   Subtotal charges counted:  $2,965,693
*      Overall market share in primary and secondary service area is 14.53 percent. The number of first-time encounters has utilized us above market presence is, therefore:
o   ER 573 first time visits,  83 not countered, 490 counted –
o   Inpatient – 699 first time admissions, 101 not used,  598 admissions used
o   Outpatient – 5,253 first time encounters, 763 encounters not counted, 4,490 counted
*      Based on an overall market share of  14.5  percent the  incremental charges counted for new  encounters, not because of market presence:
o   ER - $638,960
o   Inpatient – $8,121,438
o   Outpatient –  $4,054,470
*      Total Charges counted: $12,814,868
*      Discount from gross charges for Medicare, Medicaid, Managed Care, Bad Debt and Charity Care @ 65% is $8,326,644
*      Net Revenue:  $4,488,224
*      PRCC program costs:  $233,410
*      Net contribution:  $4,254,814
*      ROI 18.22:1

Much is written and made of the importance of calculating a Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) for healthcare organizations.  Most often regulated to producing brochures and other items, healthcare marketing departments need to exercise a leadership position and talk the financial language of senior management.

Otherwise, marketing is just a cost center and not an organizational asset.

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.


For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dark Social, It's Far More Important for Success than Bright Social.

Bright social, where you can see your handiwork, and revel in the brilliance of your content driving the unsuspecting company or individual to your site,  where you immediately being to inundate them with AdRoll programs, emails and other forms of intrusive marketing, may be on the way to the trash bin.

Oh, I bet that got your attention!

Not entirely mind you, but with the changes in Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other social media platforms becoming content publishing houses without the links, and they don’t want your links. The social platforms crave and are demanding inspiring, relevant, game-changing content for their members. But you know, that is only 25 percent of your audience reach.

Where in the world is this going?

Two-thirds of internet social media activity occur in what has been termed dark social. I am not speaking of the nefarious activities of drug dealers, gun runner’s, blackmailers, etc. using TOR or another program that allows one to search the web anonymously. I am referring to all the social media activity that can’t be traced such as email link sharing, some applications and one-on-one messaging.

Don’t believe me? Then I suggest you read this article, “ The best free privacy software in 2017,”  on techradar.com

Now what?

For example, a healthcare provider is looking for a solution to a problem.  They do the research on the IoT, speak with colleagues and others, possibly read some thought leadership and examine social media.  But in this process, friends and others may send an email or direct message with a link to a source of information or solution that would be of interest. It is the method of sharing information that makes it dark and at this time untraceable.

And what is of interest to me at least, is not the quantity of dark social traffic, but the quality of that sharing traffic that goes on unseen.

Think about this for a moment. How important is the recommendation from someone you know about a service or solution when you receive a link to a website or shares some meaningful information? It’s one-on-one messaging as compared to the mass messaging which has some traits of personalization, but still a mass market message.

That’s what I thought too.

Therein lays the opportunity. Remember all the talk and activity about word-of-mouth marketing that was always the perceived key to success over the years? Well, word-of-mouth marketing hasn’t gone away, it’s just gone dark. 

Pun intended.

So how do you reach the two-thirds of the internet that are currently not visible to you? Most marketers use some form of marketing automation providing us at least the very basic information of  “shared.” Seeing the word “SHARED” can be the equivalent of shouting the word  “squirrel” and having the dog reaction of quickly turning around as in the Disney movie Up.  Does your neck hurt yet?

But by whom and where was it shared?

Was it shared externally or internally in the recipient’s organization?  Was it shared with a  supportive recommendation message,  or, reaching high in the chuckle factor? Important to know as dark sharing impacts and influences the buyer’s journey and sales process.

Changing how we track what’s going on.

We are early in the process of discovering the hidden treasure trove of data in dark social, but there are ways to begin to understand how your information is being shared and used.

One way is to add trackable code to URLs someone may copy and paste in messages. Another way is to add trackable code to your website content for when it is copied and pasted.  When publishers participate with you, a short trackable code added to any text for when it is copied and pasted into a message.

It’s early, and more ways are being developed to track the activity on dark social. But all marketers need to begin to understand and respond to the influence of dark social on their marketing and find ways to leverage what is unseen.

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.


For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dear Vendor Sales Exec, Social Selling is Not Marketing’s Thing. It’s Yours.

There is a fair amount of writing that goes on nowadays about the importance of social selling.  The genesis of which is a dramatic change in the market from the sellers to a buyer’s controlled matrix, and a new customer journey process to purchase. 

Here is where I hear, I don’t have the time or the best one, “that’s marketing’s role.” No, it’s not marketing’s job.  Social media selling is an organizational participatory event.  Marketing does have a role, a critical role, but it’s not their sole responsibility to social sell.

It’s really about a high degree of individual sales executive’s effort.

The sales executive has to know what is going on in the market, who is reading what publication and e-newsletters.

The sales executive has to read to stay current.

So in reading and staying current why aren’t you sharing those articles on Twitter. LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, etc.?

Success in social selling comes when the sales executive builds a following by providing relevant and current thought leadership that creates the perception of being seen as a subject matter expert. It’s not about what you know, which is probably not as much as you think you do from living in a fish bowl.

It’s not about marketing going into the sales executives LinkedIn page to post as a share.

That’s the easy way out for sales and an inefficient use of marketing resources and human capital.

So how is social selling done to gain credibility?

Social selling is every day. And it’s not that hard, especially with all is the sharing buttons available on websites that allow you to share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Goggle+ and a million other platforms. Less than 30 seconds to point, click, share.

Plus, it’s not asking the sales execs to do anything out of the ordinary either.  If a sales exec is not getting industry e-newsletters and not doing research to stay abreast of industry developments, well, then there is a bigger problem.

Marketing can do an awful lot in creating the toolbox of content, shortened links and create the 144 character tweets so sales can copy and paste. It makes it even easier the company uses a social media crowdsource application like Thunderclap. Everyone in the organization having a personal Twitter account signs up on the business’s page. And then, when the company tweets, it goes out automatically to all followers on their Twitter account.  No fuse, no mus. Marketing can also create a training program on how to do. Once you get started with social sharing for social selling, not that hard. Not that hard at all.

In the end, it starts with sales identifying what social media their clients and prospects are using and following. It’s about connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on whatever social media platforms they use.  It’s about reading client and prospects company blogs leaving relevant comments and sharing their blogs.  It’s about sharing your companies blog post and thought leadership. It’s about marketing running an inbound solution oriented marketing program that gives a reason for prospects to call and inquire.

Social selling takes effort, time, and patience. Never said it would be easy or not take any dedicated time or work.  But, it is how the successful competitors are beating you day in and day out.

Back to the headline. Social selling is not just marketing’s thing.

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.


For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

Monday, February 20, 2017

To blog, or not to blog? Today’s provider social media question for consideration.

One of the easiest ways for providers to take advantage of social media is blogging. There are thousands of stories of quality care. There are the stories of dedicated and highly educated and trained professional employees.  There are physicians on the medical staff whose collective knowledge and practice of medicine tallies in the hundreds of years with stories of quality, care, and compassion to tell.  Volunteers are coming in daily who have heartwarming stories of engagement and loyalty and most importantly the first-hand experience with their care or a loved one’s health care. 

No additional resources needed for this effort. The communications talent in your marketing department is already in the building, ready to provide compelling content and context surrounding the hospital or health system.

Best of all you control the message.  The hospital or health system can link to the website. Post to Facebook. Broadcast on Twitter. Engage potential employees and followers on the Hospital page on LinkedIn. And use the blog as a mechanism for establishing an active media relations program to develop a press following.

I don’t understand why, and please don’t site HIPAA.  There is nothing in blogging that requires the release of protected health information.  That is nothing but a smoke screen used to not engage in social media.

Let me pose to you this question.  How many times has the provider marketing team completed a Google search to see who is blogging and writing about the organization? Just because an organization doesn’t engage in an aspect of social media doesn’t mean that it’s not happening in the broader community.  Remember that the healthcare consumer is the new paparazzi.

But beyond that little exercise, blogging should be part of the structure of a strategic and fully integrated organizational marketing plan. It’s a method for communicating. It’s a method for building a brand.  It’s a process of engaging not only the patient but the newly minted health insured and the burgeoning healthcare consumer.  They are all out there searching for information, so why not provide them with meaningful content?

Now that being said, this isn’t about fluff. Oh, look at the new building. See our state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab.  Or the ever popular we have wireless internet and HD TVs!  Blogging is about controlling the message, experience and providing meaningful engagement content by using the blog innovatively.

Since so few providers blog, this is a blue ocean strategy for reaching out and engaging. You establish the tone, tenor, and terms of communication are determined via content that has contextual clarity.   And that ladies and gentleman, makes everyone else in the market-  me too.

 To blog or not to blog the hospital?  I think the question has been answered.

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.


For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.