Top of mind for hospital marketers: Website design, the consumer journey and community partnerships

By Ashlea Cartee on November 29th, 2017

A few of our team members attended the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS) Fall Conference in November. Paired with the lush beauty of Asheville, the conference provided educational speaking sessions, offering insightful best practices and case studies that point to the ever-changing, dynamic healthcare marketing industry. There were a number of key takeaways from the conference – here are a few that stuck out the most.

Staying ahead of competition with a captivating website
During the conference, Whitney Capraro, director of user experience at our sister agency, AVID Design, shared her expertise on the website lifecycle and site management. In terms of website management, we all experience the same things - the hard work, sleepless nights, ongoing pressure, internal opinions, staying calm and keeping your cool. All that considered, Whitney advises planning for the right mindset when it comes to website management. This means, emotionally detaching from your site, taking a step back to make sure business and site goals align, allowing analytics to lead the way and acknowledging that progress doesn’t mean perfection. 

Moreover, the process of launching and upkeeping your website is ongoing. To stay on track, keep organized by defining where you in the website lifecycle, allowing you to focus on the things that matter.

Keep these five steps of the website lifecycle in mind when managing a website:

Stage 1: Site stability. Confirm baseline analytics, define traffic strategies and expand diagnostics
Stage 2: Establishment. Expand traffic strategies, prove and improve and test user analytics. 
Stage 3: Enhancement. Enhance engagement, define SEO/SEM and grow the service line. 
Stage 4: Evolution. Improve functionality, refresh design and revise calls to actions.
Stage 5: Revolution. Redesign the site, assess content and UX/UI information architecture.

What stage is your organization in? For more information on the website lifecycle, send us an email at info@dodgecommunications.com and we’d be happy to discuss this more with you.

Mapping the consumer journey to create the ideal customer experience
According to Salesforce, 86% of senior-level marketers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey. “Customer journey mapping is the process of recording the customer’s decision points and experiences at each step of their interaction with a service or brand,” said Carla Bryant, EVP of Corrigan Consulting.

Journey mapping can tell us a lot, including the decision-making process consumers undertake in evaluating and selecting healthcare services, the touch points or “moments of truth” that most influence consumer choice and what the ideal customer activation, engagement and acquisition experience looks like. 

Before digging into mapping, discover and understand your audience’s actions, motivations, questions, obstacles and endorsements. From there, Bryant touched on five main stages of the consumer decision cycle including awareness, consideration, selection, trial and advocacy. Once you’ve gained the utmost understanding of how to reach your audience, build a strategy to engage, educate, encourage and provide a clear path for users to act. 

Overall, journey mapping ties directly to marketing ROI as it helps inform strategy and marketing investments, drives conversion at the right time and creates repeat customers and brand advocates that drive share of market, share of spend and brand equity.

Leveraging partnerships to improve population health
As healthcare marketers, population health is a term that is discussed constantly. Hearing about those organizations that are actually stepping out to make a difference is confirmation that we’re moving in the right direction.

“Like a river, healthcare is changing direction and evolving,” said Jennifer Z. Snow, director of accountable communities at Greenville Health System (GHS). “Like concrete structures, inflexible business models and processes are failing to connect communities to the services they need.” The solution she pointed to was building a bridge of authentic prevention, starting with assessing the foundation and analyzing the health needs of the communities they serve.

Snow emphasized that hospitals should expand access to care beyond the traditional provider platforms such as hospitals and physician practices, moving into the neighborhoods where our patients need it the most. This leads to the importance of collaborating and partnering with community resource providers to develop programs and resources that enable communities to become healthier themselves. 

Greenville Health System’s approach to improving the health of populations is to work towards identifying healthcare needs throughout the community and then develop and implement programs and services to meet those needs. According to Snow, GHS is working to lead the charge to develop a new model of population health management that encompasses clinical care management, access to care in at-risk communities and enabling communities to improve their health.

We look forward to attending next year’s conference in Charleston!

If you have any questions about your website, reach out to info@dodgecommunications.com to receive a free 30 min. digital assessment with our team. During this time, based on your needs, we’ll discuss your current digital efforts, website design, user experience, etc. and determine how we can be a suitable partner.

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