My life as a healthcare marketer has me wondering about the skill set that will be mandatory for tomorrow’s healthcare marketers (and I mean tomorrow as in the day after today – not in some scifi, futuristic sense):
Over the last several months I’ve dedicated a significant block of time to exploring social platforms like Pinterest, Google+ and apps like instagram. Pinterest and Instagram are very hot and I needed to figure them out. Technology has become such a huge part of my work life. I just spent a good part of the last two days editing physician videos on my MacBook Pro using iMovie. When I’m done I will upload the videos to Google+, Facebook, YouTube and various Facebook pages. I spent an hour today updating events on 10 different Facebook and Google+ pages. Recently I wrote a blog post about a service that allows an individual to do side-by-side comparisons of electronic health records software. And several times a day I am monitoring several Twitter accounts and tweeting or retweeting content. Technology!
Can you be a successful marketing strategist if you don’t understand (i.e., “use”) the tools you have at your disposal (traditional and non-traditional)? I think it’s an important and relevant question. But is it also important to have the skills (and mindset) to use the tools? Here are a few of the questions I have for today’s healthcare marketers and communicators:
- Do you see yourself as an engagement marketer, developing strategies for engaging your target audience(s)? Or, do you simply push content?
- Do you prepare a weekly report analyzing your social media metrics and determining ROI?
- Do you know how to use Facebook Insights (analytics)? And do you review your Facebook Insights weekly?
- Do you know how to use a service like Hootsuite to schedule tweets and Facebook posts throughout the week? Do you use Hootsuite’s analytics to learn about how your followers engage the information you put out there?
- Do you know how to set up a WordPress blog? Blogger? Typepad?
- Do you know how to create a press release that is optimized for social media? Do you use online press release distribution services like PitchEngine and PRLog?
- Do you know how and why to use Twitter hashtags?
- Do you know how to build a marketing dashboard to measure ROI and response to a campaign?
- Do you know how to edit video on your computer and post it to YouTube or Facebook?
- Do you know how to create a vanity URL for a Facebook page?
- Do you know how to pose a polling question on your organization’s Facebook page?
The questions could go on and on. My point is that you need to know how these things work in order to put together a contemporary marketing communications plan. And you need people on your team possessing the skills and know-how to perform these functions. More importantly, you need people looking forward and engaging with your target audiences to determine what’s next on the horizon. Pinterest wasn’t a big deal a year ago, now it is the number two driver of traffic to my blog, just behind Google. How are you using Pinterest to engage your target audience(s)? Instagram?