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Reflecting on the Buzz from WHPRMS

Now that we are back to our routines and into the throes of Fall, we thought it would be a good time to reflect back on the 2014 WHPRMS conference. It was anything but routine, and there was much to soak in. The buzz from the sessions, the exhibit hall and the receptions was around 3 topics: Brand Re-Engagement, Digital Behavior and New Metrics:

Brand Re-Engagement

The old adage about having one shot to introduce yourself and make an impression on consumers has been long gone in the age of social media. “Re-introductions” have become prevalent in the rapidly changing healthcare industry, with a flurry of mergers and acquisitions and changing models of care. But introducing your health care brand for the second time can be daunting.

Smart rebranding starts with why, how and what in that order. It requires a set of circumstances that can include something new to say in a different and more relevant way. Based on why you’re reintroducing your brand, you can determine how to best communicate your new message, which helps you determine what mix of channels and communications best serve your brand re-engagement needs.

These makeovers must start from within the organization. There needs to be succinct, measurable goals for connecting with your patient prospects, meeting their needs and reaching them in the media they are using today. Unsurprisingly, one medium has gained incredible momentum for its ability to meet these goals, which bring us to the second topic:

Digital Behavior

The incredible influence of digital transcends targets. A key challenge is to prioritize which channels and platforms best reach our targets in the most meaningful, relevant way. Don’t fall into the trap of copying what your competitors are doing on social media and not focusing instead on what is optimal for your targets and messages. According to Dean Browell of Feedback, Millennials are more likely to listen to your patients than than to you. You need be aware of the conversation and appropriately, respectfully engage in the dialog on the channels they use. Never forget, however, that relevancy is key. Select the conversations that your brand engages in strategically, because no one wants a brand stalker – that’s a real nuisance!

New Metrics

In this maturing age of digital, we’re over our old data-hungry ways and having conversations about how data alone is not enough–It’s all about how you use it. Rather than try to measure everything, focus on those metrics that are important to your goals and educate your CFO early about how you plan to track and interpret these measures.

Where down-stream patient tracking is not in place, it can be difficult for digital measures to deliver direct ROI metrics. In these cases, establish key performance indicators through dashboards and scoreboards that represent engagement and conversions which help contribute to ROI. If your CFO finds that data insufficient, well then you’ve just made your business case for the CRM system you’ve been trying to sell internally over recent years.

It was good to meet new folks and visit with old friends this past week at WHPRMS. We love hearing about what everyone’s been working on and evolving together as an industry. With that in mind, if anyone has some additional observations from this year’s conference, we’d love to hear them.

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