Chris Kimbrell

Vice President, Account Management

Laying the Groundwork to Build a Digital Marketing Strategy at HCIC 2017

I recently joined Houston Methodist’s director of digital marketing, Anaye Milligan, at the 22nd Annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC 2017) to demonstrate how marketers can build the foundation for a successful digital strategy.

Especially in the healthcare industry, digital marketers are often challenged with setting goals and determining a marketing campaign’s success while simultaneously aligning stakeholders. In our presentation, we shared a number of best practices for overcoming these and other common hurdles. While we shared these best practices with a healthcare audience, they apply to all industries.

Don’t Get Hung Up On Setting Perfect Goals
Setting clearly-defined goals is necessary for any marketing plan; however, aligning all stakeholders throughout an organization adds a layer of complexity. Achieving alignment through your organization can seem daunting and may lead to decision paralysis; but without clearly defined goals, you risk wasteful media spend, not being able to prove success, and missed optimization opportunities. So how can you set clear goals in a timely manner?

Whether you aim to increase brand awareness or drive conversions, it’s important to approach goal setting as a journey rather than a destination. By setting a baseline and striving to continuously improve the alignment of key performance indicators (KPIs) with business objectives throughout your journey, you will better align stakeholders to drive the business outcomes needed to win in a competitive market.

Align Budgets And Business Goals
According to Forrester, organizations that tie marketing metrics directly to business objectives are three times more likely to hit their goals. These business goals may vary from awareness to conversions, and each goal should have its own budget in order to streamline the decision-making process.

Within each business goal, there are a number of different media channels, targeting methods, and tactics that will be used to meet those goals. For example, your organization’s key goals could be driving appointments, but its strategy will vary depending on a customer’s stage on the path to conversion. It’s important to invest in all stages of the customer journey to ensure your customers experience your brand in a way that addresses their needs at each specific point in their paths.

Get Tactical with Channel Strategy
After aligning business goals and budgets, you should decide which marketing channels can achieve specific goals, what to measure within those channels, and how to optimize spend. For example, if you have direct response goals, such as appointment requests, paid search might be an appropriate channel to use. Or, if you are seeking to generate awareness and drive brand preference, native ads might work well to engage consumers in the earlier stages of their paths to purchase. The ideal channel will vary for each goal, but defining this framework will help to align strategy within your organization.

Measure and Adjust According to Lead Quality
Collecting campaign data, comparing it to goals, and then using those insights to improve on the results can lead to enhanced lead quality. For example, a medical provider tracking calls can identify which call were patients seeking services and use that information to capture more quality leads. Understanding insights from campaign results in comparison to your initial baseline KPIs will inform next steps to improve overall lead quality.

By starting with clear, adjustable goals, aligning those goals with KPIs, getting tactical with channel strategy, and measuring according to lead quality, digital marketers have the framework for a successful marketing campaign. Reach out to Rise to learn more about our approach digital marketing strategy.

12/08/2017 at 05:31

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