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Healthcare Marketers: Learn How This Healthcare Marketing Professional Is Staying Ahead of the Times

Headshot 2016.jpgLast week for our podcast I had the opportunity to speak with one of our main clients about how they tackle healthcare marketing in 2017 effectively. Jake Behnke is the Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for Surgical Information Systems, a healthcare IT company serving mid-sized surgical centers from the city of Atlanta.

You can listen to the entire conversation below, but to hear what Jake has to say specifically about how he approaches marketing SIS products today, keep reading.

Shari: "To start I wanted to ask how technology trends impact the way you market. We’ve come from traditional marketing with print, radio, and TV. And now instead of radio and TV we do video webinars and podcasts. Instead of paper mail, email marketing is used extensively, but now many businesses are wondering if email marketing is going to become obsolete.

And instead of paper advertising, we’ve shifted to using social media as the primary medium for advertising. What are some of the ways SIS has shifted its approach to marketing in the time that you’ve been with them?"

Jake: "Yeah so when I started, and this is still true to some extent just because the surgery center market I’d say is not as innovative as other markets. They’re kind of slow to adapt to change and they still rely on a lot of those traditional mediums, especially trade shows. So we still have a pretty strong trade show segment of our marketing strategy.

Over the past four years and one of the things that I’ve been responsible for and responsible for building is our digital presence. When I started we had a four year old -- I’m not exactly sure but it was old (laughs). It wasn’t mobile optimized and it wasn’t very user-friendly. It was basically what a lot of websites were for a very long time, which is just a kind of print brochure on a screen. Very little interaction and very feature-function oriented and it didn’t really communicate some of our core value propositions. Since then, we’ve developed a new website, and actually with Spot On’s help we’re developing another website mainly because we’re merging our three brands into one and we want to have one cohesive brand which means one website. Currently we’re managing three and it’s a challenge not only managing three brands, but three sets of infrastructure. So that’s one of the big projects we’re working on right now with Spot On.

One of the biggest trends that has impacted the way SIS has changed our marketing strategy and developed our marketing strategy is just the explosion of consumer engagement empowerment. You usually don’t think of those things in a B2B sense, you usually think of those things as business-to-consumer, but everything and everyone is online now and our clients are adamantly researching products and services and also just information about how to do their jobs better and what’s going to make their lives easier. I would say, research is even more important in a product and solution like ours because it is such large investment in both money and resources. People aren’t making these decisions lightly.

One of our big shifts is I could say like a third of the time I’m focusing on customer satisfaction and marketing to keep our current customers happy because the industry blogs in the surgery center space, and reviews and customer satisfaction just drives a lot of opinion. I mean if you think about it, regardless of how advanced it’s gotten, word-of-mouth is still the most effective marketing. The internet just makes it so much easier to hear the opinions of your peers and colleagues.

We’re developing content and marketing materials that are geared towards helping our current customers with our products, or helping our current customers and prospects or potential customers with finding ways to do business better. We really focus on thought leadership and we really focus on leveraging positive referrals across our different platforms both traditional and digital so that we can attract people and build a reputation that we know what we’re doing, we’re very experienced in this, and our customers have exceptional experiences with us."

Jake reminds us that as healthcare marketers, sometimes we have to bring in the old with the new for the sake of our customers and the unique niche they occupy. Jake pointed out that many healthcare facilities are slower to adopt some of the technological advances taking other industries by storm. His solution? Leverage the new tech at your disposal but make sure you're still able to meet your customers where they're at.

To listen to the rest of our conversation click on the link to the latest episode of our Perpetual Growth podcast, Healthcare Marketing for the Future.

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