The 2017 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference, which took place in Las Vegas in April, left attendees in the healthcare marketing community with quite a bit to chew on. From panels on content strategy to sessions highlighting SEO best practices, the gathering teemed with tips on how to make the most of your healthcare marketing initiatives. Here are some of the key points Agency Ten22 walked away with that may help bolster your next marketing move.

Emphasize the Positive

The conference’s kick-off session touched on our tendency as marketers to home in on the negative feedback we get from prospects and clients. Our natural inclination is to want to fix these problems. Keynote speaker Gary Rhodes instead encourages marketers to focus on feedback from product “believers.” By shifting our focus to what it is that clients love about us, we honor the appeal of our products and services—and benefit internal employee morale in the process.

This sentiment dovetailed passion and trust themes that cropped up in many of the conference sessions. One of the recurring messages at the show centered on providers’ search for vendor partners they can trust. Many presenters pointed to the intersection of subject matter expertise and passion as a great avenue for demonstrating value. By highlighting passion in our work, we can spur personal connection and build trust with the providers we serve.

Provider Preferences: What Works and What Doesn’t

One of the most well-attended sessions at HITMC gave attendees an opportunity to hear directly from physicians on their preferences when it comes to healthcare marketing and content consumption. From personalized emails and proposals to specialty-specific knowledge, personal relevance was touted as the biggest differentiator when it comes to getting the attention of busy providers. Communication points that are educational in nature were unanimously preferred.  The panel offered candid feedback on a variety of topics, including:

How providers discover and evaluate products and services:

  1. Peer referrals/word-of-mouth above all
  2. Medical conference booths

Honorable mention: While it’s rare that emails convince providers to buy something, memorable emails do influence who providers circle back around to when the time is right down the road.

Provider purchase influencers:

  1. Return-on-investment
  2. Product adoption/on-boarding ease (preferably a product/process that grows with you)
  3. Ability to see your product in action
  4. Vendor flexibility/ability to rapidly evolve based on provider feedback
  5. Familiarity with the MD’s specific market or specialty

 Honorable mentions: “Cross-industry insight” and “anything that helps streamline data gathering”

Provider content preferences:

  1. High-quality, low-quantity touch points
  2. Attention-grabbing headlines
  3. Case-in-point content (user stories)
  4. Unique perspectives that add something fresh to the subject
  5. More emphasis on solving a business problem as opposed to technical detail

Honorable mentions: While providers didn’t profess dedication to any specific healthcare publications, they did attest to reading publications both inside and outside of the healthcare vertical with equal measure. LinkedIn was cited as the social media network of choice.

What providers wish marketers would STOP doing:

  1. Showing up at the office unannounced
  2. Attempting to sell to providers without getting to know them first
  3. Selling around the MD/approaching multiple parties within the organization

Are you a provider with additional insights to offer on what does and doesn’t appeal to you in healthcare marketing? Are you a healthcare marketer interested in swapping tips? Contact us! We’d love to hear from you!

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