Top 7 Marketing Trends of 2021 – Our Industry Partners Weigh In

We can’t predict the future; however, we can rely on experience, expertise and, leaders in the industry to help guide us with our biggest questions about marketing in 2021.

The pandemic has impacted many components of our lives, including how we stay connected and communicate. Muffled sounds from masks, isolation, and Zoom calls have compelled individuals with hearing loss to be more receptive to seeking or improving treatment. This provides a unique opportunity for hearing healthcare professionals to build greater trust with current and new patients, requiring a plan for consistent communication and marketing.

 As you plan and execute your marketing strategy, we turned to our valued partners for their expertise and insights on the top trends to keep an eye on in 2021.

Trend #1: Ensure your website is mobile-responsive

Mandy Mroz, Au.D. | President | Healthy Hearing

If you haven’t done so already, 2021 is the year to make your practice website as functional and impressive on mobile as it is on desktop. According to Google, 94 percent of people with smartphones search for local information (“hearing clinics near me”) on their phones.

You can test the mobile experience of your practice’s website in three easy steps:

  1. Search for your practice using different web browsers (e.g., Safari, Chrome) on your smartphone. Is your main website one of the top results? If not, there may be an issue with your mobile site.
  2. Using your smartphone, view your website in different browsers. Is your phone number easy to find and clickable for consumers ready to call?
  3. From your desktop computer, visit this website for a quick, objective test of your mobile site performance.

If you’re concerned about your mobile website, contact your web developer right away. Google will start ranking sites based on mobile performance in March 2021. Review your other web assets too, like your Healthy Hearing profile. We’ve been prioritizing mobile for years, but we’re always open to feedback on your experience.

Trend #2: Boost your credibility to rank higher on Google

Kevin St. Clergy | MedPB Partner, Chief Business Development Officer | MedPB

Medical marketing has become much stricter because of the pandemic. Some older marketing practices are now even getting banned. In addition to a push towards greater transparency in marketing, Google and other major marketing platforms are looking for cues that you are a reliable source of medical information. Some of the trust factors they look for are very technical and should be baked into the structure of your website. Others come from social media, online reviews, and other external factors. What a lot of business owners don’t realize, is that there were significant changes last year and more coming in 2021. These changes ultimately affect your cost per lead and the number and quality of your new patient leads. They also open the door for the competition to steal your patients.

Trend #3: Prioritize database marketing

Tom Flage | Sales and Marketing Manager | Blueprint Solutions

Did you know that 47 percent of patients will purchase their next set of hearing aids from a different clinic? Maintaining communication with your patients is essential to avoid becoming part of this statistic. Effectively marketing to your existing patients will help you consistently grow your business, drive revenue, and establish a presence in your local community. One of the most cost-effective ways of doing this is through email marketing. While it may not be as flashy as social media or TV ads, it’s significantly less expensive and allows for a more careful, targeted approach in delivering the right message to the right patients at the right time.

Automating email marketing through your office management system can turn a time-consuming process of collecting emails, drafting content, and identifying the right patients into just a few clicks. Some office management systems will allow for sending custom marketing emails automatically to help you capture missed opportunities. Track your email campaign’s read/open rate via reporting in your OMS to help you identify the most effective messaging.

Trend #4: Enhance your clinic’s online reputation

Meghan Pendley | Business Development Director | Audiology Design

Online reviews are the new word of mouth. In fact, more than 80 percent of consumers read reviews before visiting a business or using a service, and 48 percent only pay attention to reviews left in the past two weeks. In today’s culture, positive online reviews equal trust. Patients look to them as a snapshot view of your practice.

Adding patient reviews to your Google Business listing (aka. Google My Business profile) can also help with your overall search ranking on Google. The more robust your online presence, the easier it is for people to find you! It’s also important to give patients multiple platforms on which to leave their feedback, especially Google, Facebook, and Healthy Hearing. This will ensure you cover the sites that provide an easily accessible log-in or simply one they prefer. Utilizing a review generation service that helps your practice obtain more patient reviews and also automates with your Practice Management Software (PMS) should also be a key component of your digital marketing strategy in 2021.

Trend #5: Find creative ways to engage new and existing patients

Brian Urban, Au.D. | President | CounselEAR

As the last 12 months have clearly shown, maintaining a consistent connection with your current patients and finding creative ways to engage with new ones is not only beneficial but essential. In times when new patients may be reluctant to seek care and existing patients may neglect routine follow-ups, we need to be creative, flexible, and consistent in our approaches to engagement. For me, this brings two main areas to mind:

Telehealth: Telehealth is a fantastic tool for connecting with new and existing patients, establishing/maintaining rapport, and ensuring that they’re receiving high-quality care. For new patients that simply have questions and would like to speak face-to-face before an in-person visit, telehealth consultations can help ensure they move forward with an evaluation when they’re comfortable. For existing patients, routine follow-ups can often be managed via telehealth, thereby reducing exposure and improving convenience for them as well as your team.

Email Marketing Automation: Utilizing an email marketing automation system enables you to take a “set and forget” approach to reaching out to patients based on specific criteria. For example, patient birthdays, upgrade notices, and more. 

Emails are automatically sent to patients based on your specific criteria and contain your preferred images/text. They can also contain a link to your online scheduling tool. In this way, you’re able to reach out to patients at the right time with the right message and provide them with a seamless experience. As we work our way through the COVID world into what’s hopefully a post-COVID world very soon, telehealth and marketing automation can help you conveniently deliver a new and engaging level of care to current and prospective patients.

Trend #6: Embrace technology to stay connected to patients

Bryce Colacurcio | Chief Strategy Officer | ROC Advertising

For many of us, the list of things we thought were vital in life is much shorter today than it was pre-pandemic. At the very top of that list is our relationships with our friends and family. Whether it’s hearing the conversation going on around us, the laughter in the other room, or the grandkids over a FaceTime call, people want (and need!) to connect with loved ones, now more than ever. The ability to hear in loud or noisy environments affects one’s health, well-being, and family memories, and we should be mindful of this. As business owners continue to navigate these challenging times, reducing expenses has become a necessity. That means prioritizing how marketing dollars are spent is just as essential. By focusing marketing efforts on a tried-and-true approach that brings a strong response, we can reach those who feel isolated and bring them to the conversation, both virtually and in-person.

The meteoric rise in telehealth and video chat/conferencing platforms like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype shows that your patients are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and adopting digital technology. You need to meet them where they are, which means embracing tools like online scheduling, text message appointment reminders, and chatbots. And, creating short, engaging videos to post on your website and social media. Lastly, don’t shy away from explaining the benefits and advanced features of today’s high-end hearing aids to older patients—while they may not have understood Bluetooth before, there’s a good chance they do now.

Trend #7: Differentiate your practice in a competitive market

Robert M. Traynor, Ed.D., MBA | Clinical & Forensic Audiologist | Robert Traynor Audiology

If you’ve never heard of recreational audiology, it’s been defined by the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) as “the practice of hearing conservation and consumer education regarding products and services used to enhance and preserve hearing occupations and environments that may not be regulated by governmental agencies.”

Although virtually ignored by most practitioners, there are some, including Garry G. Gordon, owner of EAR, Inc., who concur that the market for hearing protection in industrial and recreational markets such as, manufacturing, aviation, musicians, law enforcement, auto racing, motorcycles, hunting and shooting sports, is more than 60 million individuals.

Approximately, 47 percent of consumers seeking hearing protection admit to a noticeable hearing loss. While some of these patients will eventually present themselves for hearing care on their own, specializing in industrial and recreational hearing impairment could have incredibly positive results that could revitalize even the most struggling practice. This might be just the method to differentiate a practice in competitive markets, where competitors are all marketing to the same population.

Altogether, some great advice and to summarize: continue to use the most cost-effective channels to stay connected to patients—email, snail mail, phone calls, and social media. Develop and follow a marketing plan, monitor it regularly, track results and adjust it as needed. Boost your search engine ranking by maintaining a strong online presence and reputation. Continue to emphasize your safety precautions in all of your communications. Ensure you’re using the features of your PMS that simplify and support your marketing efforts. Take advantage of our team of marketing experts at Consult and our partners.

Last but not least, remember the profound impact you have on the lives of your patients – and ensure your passion comes through in your marketing.

 

What 2021 trend are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below! I’ll get the ball rolling: sweatpants remaining acceptable work attire.

Learn how Consult Marketing can help you drive more leads and sales in 2021!

About the Author

Nicole Finkbiner joined Consult YHN as the Marketing Communications Specialist in 2018 with nearly a decade of communications experience. Over the course of her career, Nicole has created a wide array of different content for various mediums and outlets—news articles, press releases, arts features, product descriptions, small business websites, e-blasts, social media posts, promotional materials, and more. In her free time, the Philadelphia native enjoys soaking up the city’s culture and binge-watching TV shows.

Facebook Ads: Top 5 Benefits & Tips for Getting Started

Over the last several years, businesses have seen a steep decline in the reach of their organic content on Facebook. This is because Facebook made changes to its algorithm to prioritize content shared by friends and family over marketers and businesses. Not surprisingly, the amount of paid advertisements on the platform has skyrocketed as a result.

So, why should your practice join them?

#1. Your target audience is on Facebook.

Facebook has billions of users around the world, most of whom check their Facebook page multiple times a day. Your patients are no exception. In fact, 75 percent of Baby Boomers use the platform.

#2. Facebook ads are inconspicuous, yet effective.

There’s a reason native advertising has become so popular—it works! Facebook ads look almost like any other post in a person’s News Feed except that they have small, discreet “sponsored” or “suggested” labels.

#3. Targeting on Facebook is precise.

The level of granularity you can achieve with Facebook’s targeting is exceptional. Facebook allows you to decide exactly who will see your ad, when they see it, and how they see it. You can target audiences by several customizable characteristics—behaviors, interests, age, location, language, and more.

#4. It’s affordable!

Facebook ads can cost a fraction of what other online marketing channels cost. In fact, you could spend $100 on a campaign and still reach over 20,000 people, depending on location. If you take advantage of Facebook’s audience targeting features, a small budget can go a long way and deliver results.

#5. You can achieve immediate, real-time results.

Unlike print ads or commercials, Facebook allows you to monitor your campaign performance in real-time, so if an ad is underperforming, you can adjust it at any time.

Before you start advertising on Facebook, there are two components you should understand first.

1. Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads

Facebook offers two types of advertising: boosted posts and ads. Deciding which ad is best for your practice is directly tied to your business goals. If your goal is to build brand awareness and increase your audience on Facebook, then you’ll want to boost a post. Boosting a post on Facebook places your post in the Newsfeed of relevant users outside of your current Facebook audience. This option helps promote your Facebook page and increase page likes and followers.

boosts vs  facebook ads

2. Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

In general, marketing experts would recommend a practice have a solid Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign in place and then add Facebook advertising. It’s important to remember that individuals using Google and other search engines are actively searching for local services online via keywords whereas Facebook users are passive observers who are scanning posts and looking for photos of their grandchildren—not you. So, while Facebook ads might be less expensive, Google users are more likely to take action after clicking an ad.

So now that you know why your practice should advertise on Facebook and the key things to consider, let’s talk about how to create your first ad campaign.

How To Run a Facebook Ad

Step 1: Create a Facebook Business Manager account.
Facebook Business Manager is the central hub where businesses and marketers manage their Facebook pages, ad campaigns, and accounts. Through Business Manager you have access to Facebook Ads Manager, which is the platform you use to create, manage, and track your Facebook marketing campaigns.

INSIDER TIP: Facebook Business Manager is a complex labyrinth that wasn’t designed for the average small business owner. So, before you run your first campaign, be sure to explore the tabs in Business Manager and Ads Manager. Be prepared to do a little homework. Facebook Blueprint offers free mini courses to help you get started. Or, a better alternative: sign up for the Consult Digital Program and leave the heavy lifting to our experienced pros.
Step 2: Choose the objective of your campaign.
In Facebook Ads Manager, there are 11 marketing objectives, but let’s focus on the most relevant:

  • Traffic: Send ad-viewers to another destination, like your website. This is a good option if you utilize online appointment scheduling.
  •  Brand awareness: Reach potential patients who would be interested in your brand, service, or product. This is a good option if you’re new to Facebook and looking to attract more page followers.
  • Engagement: Increase engagement on your Facebook page by encouraging current followers to like, share, and comment on your content while also attracting new followers.
  • Lead Generation: Drive leads by requesting users’ email addresses in exchange for more information, like downloading a guide or signing up for an event. Ideal for building your database!
INSIDER TIP: If you run ads that send users to your website, make sure the Facebook pixel is installed on your website first. What could that be? The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that can be easily added to your website to track lead conversions from Facebook and gain more insight into user behavior to help optimize future ad campaigns. Talk to your website provider and/or social media manager—they’ll know what to do.
Step 3: Target your ad.

In this section, there are three key areas of focus:

  • Location: Simply enter your practice’s zip code or drop a pin on the map. Then, decide within what radius you want to target users. For example, a 2-mile radius or 10-mile radius.
  • Placement: We suggest choosing: Automatic Ad Placement. This way, Facebook places your ad where it will be seen most by your target audience and perform best according to its algorithm.
  • Demographics/Audience: Use filters to create a custom audience and/or upload a list of emails from your database to target Facebook profiles that may be associated with those emails. Once you’ve created an audience that performs well, you can clone it (this is a dream come true in the advertising world!). The feature, “lookalike audiences,” allows you to take a custom audience and find similar users.

The “Detailed Targeting” section narrows down your audience to the individuals most likely to be interested in your services. If you’re specifically looking to reach private pay patients, choose a “Household Income” in the higher percentage of your selected zip code(s). To target current hearing aid wearers, select the filter for individuals who are interested in hearing aid manufacturers. Other interests/demographics to consider: Baby Boomers, grandparents/grandparenting, technology/tech, health/fitness/exercise, retired/retirement, and the list goes on.

INSIDER TIP: Depending on your location, the max radiuses we’d recommend targeting include: Metro: 10 miles | Suburb: 15 miles | Rural: 20 miles.
Step 4: Set your budget and schedule.

You have two budget options: daily or lifetime. By selecting daily, you dictate the budget spend for each day. By selecting lifetime budget, you select a price cap for the duration of your ad campaign, a date range, and the time of day you’d like your campaign to run, for example, 9am to 5pm.

How much should you spend?
That’s a great conversation for you and your Consult YHN Marketing Account Executive. Facebook ads have an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $1.86 and cost-per-thousand-views (CPM) of $11.20 across all industries. In other words, for every $10 you spend, you can expect 17 clicks. The average small business advertising spend on Facebook is between $1,000–$2,000 per month.

How long should you run your ad?
Another great question! There isn’t one specific strategy —it depends on the budget and goal of the campaign, for example brand awareness versus signing up for an event. In general, it takes 3-7 days to know if an ad is working.  

INSIDER TIP: Facebook user engagement increases by 18 percent on Thursdays and Fridays as well as on weekdays between 1- 4pm.
Step 5: Create your ad.

Format:
Facebook gives you three different format options: multiple images (carousel), a single image or video, or a collection of photos that will create a full-screen experience for viewers. For most practices, the single image or video option will be the most useful.

Media:
The media section is where you choose the media asset for the post, including images or videos. You can choose previously posted photos/videos or upload new ones directly from your computer. Remember: your ad needs to stand out from the other posts and if you decide to include text on your image, keep it to a minimum.

Facebook ads that contain images are 75-90 percent more effective.

Text and Links:
This section is for ad copy, including headline, call to action, and website link. Your headline should be short and sweet, for example: “Hear better today!” and your call to action should match your goal, for example “book now,” or “learn more.”

On the right side of the page is a live preview, including an option to “View More Versions” and check the format of your ad from a mobile device or desktop view.

Finally, your ad is ready for Facebook approval or you can choose to “Save As Draft” and come back to it later. Once your ad is running, you can review campaign performance in your Ads Manager dashboard.

INSIDER TIP: Our Associates see the most success boosting a post and/or running an ad tied to a Facebook event, for example, educational seminars, Lunch & Learns, etc. Once you create an event on Facebook, a “Boost Event” button appears at the top of the page. Follow the steps to set up. For the best results, boost and/or advertise the event for at least two weeks leading up to the event.

About the Author

Genevieve Amabile joined Consult YHN in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Account Coordinator. Prior to Consult YHN, she worked as a Social Media Coordinator for a staffing agency and interned with Seven Mile Publishing & Creative in Avalon, NJ. Genevieve graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and listening to her favorite true crime podcasts.

Marketing New Technology: How to Ensure Your Patients Purchase from You & Not Your Competitor

As we all know, hearing technology is rapidly advancing, and new products are hitting the market every few months. From a marketing perspective, it’s important for providers to understand their patients’ relationship with technology adoption.

Remember, everyone’s relationship with technology is different. Take the iPhone for example: some people will camp outside of an Apple Store just to be the first to own the latest model, some wait for their techie friends to try it first, and others refuse to upgrade their phone until they absolutely have to do it. 

But what about hearing devices?

Interestingly enough, there’s a very similar application of how patients adopt new hearing technologies. Below is Consult YHN’s take on the technology adoption curve applied to the hearing industry.

Based on nearly seven years of data and a sample size of over 70,000 patients, this curve points to insights on the different segments of your database, their relationship to new technologies, and the marketing touchpoints to drive conversions.

As a practice owner, how often do you think patients upgrade their hearing devices? Every 5 or 10 years? Our data shows that on average, patients upgrade their hearing devices every 3.6 years. If you want to ensure patients don’t go somewhere else to purchase their next set of hearing aids (which 40 percent of patients do), the below graph illustrates the number of times you need to contact your patient to ensure your patients remain loyal to your practice and purchase their next set of hearing aids from you.

 

FIRST ADAPTERS – Innovators

Also referred to as techies and visionaries, these are the patients who are eagerly awaiting the next hot device to hit the market. There are no sensitivities to price or technology for these folks. They are current users with a hearing aid that may even be less than a year old. Because of their readiness to purchase new technology, they only require a couple of touchpoints or marketing interactions to drive conversion.

Focus on the bells and whistles of the technology – what are the latest and greatest features that are really going to wow this audience? Remember, the first adapters may be the first to kick off sales of a new product, but they only represent five percent of current hearing aid users.

EARLY ADAPTERS – Enthusiasts

Although very similar, there are some key differentiators between first and early adapters. This group of customers value new technology but have purposely waited to make a purchase. They’re more hesitant to test drive new products and will most likely look to resources and reviews to consult first before purchasing. Gathering testimonials from your innovators (first adapters) will help move the early adapters along in their purchase decision.

1st MAJORITY – Pragmatists & 2nd MAJORITY – Conservatives

This is where a new device really gains momentum – it has now been road-tested and has built some credibility in the marketplace. The first and second mainstream customers are the peak of our contact curve, representing the majority of untapped opportunities. So, you want to make sure you are hitting this audience with the necessary touchpoints and the right messaging to convert them.

At this point in their hearing health journey, they are hovering around that 3.6-year mark of average device replacement. It’s important to tout the proven applications of your technology – not just the bells and whistles – how these new applications will impact real-life users in everyday situations.

This segment requires more nurturing – between 3-5 touchpoints for first mainstreamers and 5-7 for second mainstreamers. But making up 50 percent of hearing aid users, they’re worth it!

 

LATE ADAPTER – Skeptics

By this point, the newest technology has been on the market for some time. Anyone making a purchase after a product’s introduction is considered a late adapter or a skeptic. They are risk-averse and price-sensitive, so these individuals need the benefits of upgrading their hearing aid devices to significantly outweigh the cost.

If you can afford to offer discounts, value-added services, and/or accessories with a hearing aid purchase, this may be the only thing to entice this group. Be mindful though of the number of touchpoints required to convert skeptics: between 7-9 interactions.

RESISTANT ADAPTER – Resisters

Finally, the resisters. This is a group who are, yep, you guessed it: resistant to change! More often than not, this group of customers will only upgrade when they absolutely have to. Because they represent a small percentage of hearing aid users and require constant nurturing to convert, they are too costly (of your time, money, and energy) to build a separate marketing strategy around.

Of course, these patients are no less deserving of better hearing and can still benefit from your care – we just recommend focusing on other motivations outside of tech, like wellness, when marketing to this group.

If you want to learn about more ways to engage with your database, reach out to your Account Manager and schedule an appointment with the Consult YHN Marketing Team.

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

Market Your Practice on Facebook Like a Pro

The digital marketing landscape can be an intimidating space for some. New ways to advertise products, connect with customers, and promote your brand online seem to be cropping up every day. So where should hearing healthcare practices be focusing their time and effort when it comes to social media platforms?

A recent study from Clutch found that 86% of small businesses are utilizing Facebook as their preferred channel to connect with customers. Although Facebook started as a place for college students to connect with peers, it has since expanded from a social network to a marketplace, connecting customers with businesses every day.

Totaling at 2.13 billion users (and growing!) by the end of 2017, there are a lot of potential customers waiting to be connected to brands. With Baby Boomers coming in as the fastest growing segment of digital users, it should be no surprise that they are among the most active group of Facebook users too.

This is great news for the hearing industry: you have a swarm of potential customers age 65+ right at your fingertips – 62% of them in fact – and they are now using Facebook to make purchase decisions. So, are you doing everything it takes to connect with these potential patients on Facebook?

What can you do to put the right foot forward in your social media presence? Here are some tips for making the most of the social media giant that is Facebook:

Get set up! Follow these instructions for setting up your Facebook Business page.

  • Include a profile picture of your practice’s logo and some sort of relevant image as the cover photo (i.e. photo of the staff, office building, etc.)
  • Provide as much information as possible. Don’t forget to set up your office location, contact info, and hours of operation!
  • Link to your website and vice versa! Now that your Facebook page is set up, put a link on your website to drive traffic to your social media page.
  • Encourage current patients to ‘Like’ your page. Mention your Facebook page in the office using a handout and send invites to patients to ‘like’ your business page online!

Know your audience.

  • Keep in mind who you are talking to and where you are talking to them. Facebook is more social by nature, so use this space to connect on a more personal level. Remember your page will be visible to your entire community, so make a great first impression; lend a voice to your individual brand and share your story.
  • Keep it personal. Provide relevant, educational content on hearing loss and solutions, but don’t get too clinical – remember your viewers are consumers.

Get the content flowing.

  • Serve up content with a purpose – share what’s going on in the office that month, extend offers, invite patients to events, or announce what latest technology is available at your practice.
  • Recycle relevant content. Follow other thought leaders in the industry and repost their articles – you don’t have the reinvent the wheel.
  • Know your limit! The sweet spot for post length is between 40-80 characters. Any longer and your readers will get tired and move on to the next post in their feed.
  • A picture says a thousand words. Images and infographics are the top form of content for interaction at 54%. Give your readers a break from all the text and provide some visual relief.

Delegate!

  • We know your time is valuable, but someone’s got to do it! Assign someone in your office to manage your social media presence and make a habit of it.
  • Aim for posts once a week (twice, if you can manage!) – stats show that the most popular times for post activity are weekdays between 12 pm and 3 pm.
  • If you aren’t a wordsmith, consider hiring a third-party vendor to manage your social media accounts and/or blog page. Blog posts help boost your SEO rankings and sharing blog posts on your Facebook will drive more traffic to your website.
  • Check with your manufacturer reps on any available social media programs you can use.

This might seem like a daunting task, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. You’ll soon get the hang of what types of posts are most popular among your patients and lend a voice to your brand.

 

If you want to learn more about Facebook and other digital marketing activities, contact marketing@ConsultYHN.com, or download our Digital Marketing & Social Media Guidelines.

 

Additional References:

Social Media and Blogging: What to post and what to write about

How About LinkedIn?

Boost Your Brand with Social Media

Social Media 101

 

Sources:

https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/resources/small-business-social-media-survey-2018

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/#facebook

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-character-counter/

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

The FitBit is Now HIPAA Compliant!

fitbit-forceConsumer device manufacturer Fitbit announced that it now supports HIPAA compliance. The changes they made ensure they are aligned with federal compliance standards. What it means though, is that covered entities and business associates can continue to use their devices without compromising personal health information.

This announcement highlights the importance of meeting personal privacy regulations, across all segments of the healthcare industry.  Yet, surprisingly, many organizations are still not in compliance with the more stringent 2013 Omnibus Rule and face an increased business risk if a data breach occurs. Failing to keep protected health information secure and private can lead to serious consequences and significant fines.

Putting robust security and privacy policies in place can decrease the chances of having a breach, not eliminate it completely.  Organizations that do so will be less likely to face significant enforcement action by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with a compliance program in place.  At minimum, all Consult YHN Associates should perform and document a risk assessment, implement technical, administrative and physical safeguards and provide training and guidelines for all employees!

Fitbit is in HIPAA compliance, are you?

List Generation: Buying vs. Building

With any marketing strategy, it’s imperative to make sure you are targeting the right audience.  Development of target names and addresses, known as list generation, should be a priority in your planning and implementation strategy.  After all, if you don’t reach your intended audience, how will you generate sales?   But when attempting to reach this audience, is it better to buy a list or build your own?

Let’s look at the facts

When marketing, it's important to reach the right audience. Concentrate on your most qualified leads first and your target prospects second.

When marketing, it’s important to reach the correct target audience.

  • Buying a list is quick and easy.
  • Building a list takes time and resources.

So, what’s the best strategy?  The answer is: it depends.  Meaning, it depends   on who you are trying to target and what type of message you are communicating.

Buying a List

When your objective is to reach a new pool of prospects within your area, buying a list is necessary.  Whether that’s for direct mail or telemarketing, you’ll need to reach out to those prospects within the community who don’t yet know about your services.  Be sure that you are reaching the appropriate audience – in this case, the 65+ active senior and Baby Boomers.

While buying a list for the traditional outreach like direct mail and telemarketing will help feed the pipeline with new opportunities, we recommend steering clear of purchasing lists for digital marketing [i.e. email marketing].

Building a List

We all know that retaining a current customer is more cost-effective than bringing in a new customer.  That’s why developing your customer database for future marketing [out of warranty, tested not sold, etc.] is so important.  Your customer database [read more here] includes your most qualified leads – those that are not as price sensitive – and nurturing these relationships will reap continuous rewards.

Reaching out to your current database with targeted messaging across the traditional mediums – direct mail and telemarketing – will result in a higher response rate and more positive return on investment [ROI].  And as mentioned earlier, it’s best to take the time to build an email contact list by collecting email addresses from you customers – let them ‘opt in’ to receiving email communication from your practice.

What’s Next?

Once you have your targets identified [compiled from both your customer database and prospect lists], remember to develop a marketing plan to reach these consumers on a frequent and consistent basis.  Also, think about the communication strategy [i.e. “what you want to say”] in order to convey relevant messages to each segment of your list.  Your target audience will appreciate the time and effort you put into speaking to them based on their needs via the mediums they prefer and you will reap the rewards.

Questions?  Consult YHN Marketing is here to help!  Contact marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com