Drilling Down with a Digital Strategy

Last week Digital Tonto has a very timely post ‘4 Essential Question to Ask About Your Digital Strategy’ since the #hcsm chat on Sunday’s generally addresses digital issues within social media without speaking directly to strategy issues I thought I would briefly review Greg’s post and bridge to healthcare SM. You can read it here

 The first question Greg presents is ‘What is my Business Problem?’ The question here is how can the needs of consumers be done ‘better, cheaper or made more accessible or more enjoyable.’ Those who know me know that my primary tenant regarding marketing and communications is applying the principles of adult learning to the consumer and understanding what problems they want to solve. If we know the problems the consumer (patient) wants to solve we can better speak to them directly at a higher order of interest. ‘You talking to me?’ Greg also makes a point that I have been hocking; any digital solution needs to work with other factors as in value, convenience, culture, and market constraints. In short the strategy.   

The second question Greg asks is: ‘How Can Digital Technology Help Me Solve That Problem?’  Key to the answer is to look at banking in person as in depositing checks; it’s a pain in the ass. Chase solves that by allowing customers to deposit via Mobile Phone picture. But as Greg rightly states it is not stand alone, it involves the entire organization. I agree SM (digital technology) is not stand-alone it must function within the organization and within an identified strategy.

The third questions asked is: ‘How Can Digital Technology Open Up A New Opportunity?’ Digital technologies are not just used to create efficiencies they need to create value and transform how business is done. Or how health is delivered.

Greg’s final question: ‘Has Your Business Gone Digital Without You?’ Leave us not forget that we are finding it harder and harder ‘to see where analog begins and digital ends’. And all of this is moving from the keyboard and mouse to the phone. Bottom line your business strategy needs a digital strategy and for me the key word here is strategy and I would add that that digital strategy should work with analog, face to face interaction, etc.

What I believe we are seeing is a split screen in healthcare and social media. On one side are SM strategies that are integrated and working with clearly identified strategies as with Mayo Clinic and other large institutions. These institutions are working daily to make SM solve HC problems patients and institutions are having. On the other screen there are individuals and institutions just throwing SM on the wall to see what sticks without a strategy or clearly defined set of goals. In either case there is a growing and deliberate movement toward integrating HC, SM, with marketing strategies that grow the business. And to be clear when I say grow the business I am not only referring to size and revenue but to outcomes and changes in behavior for both patients and HCP.

It is my opinion that larger organizations are integrating SM well with their marketing strategies. What I would add is that we need to move SM from the institutional level to the physician, patient, office, and home level. But each needs to identify a set of goals and simple strategy that can be executed and measured. Plan, execute, and measure.

Think of this as P&G would. P&G has a national and in some cases a regional strategy. That strategy differentiates the brand, establishes a position, and communicates a message. But when you go into the store, shelf facings, packaging, pricing, etc. are all local pointed to tactics within the larger strategy. They promote, expand, extend, execute, and bring brand to life at point of sale with the consumer in a personal way. Healthcare and digital should work toward that face to face personal integration.

In healthcare the need is there to create a value connection between the parties involved and to leverage that value over the entire life of all parties. It should be done at both the macro level and the micro level. One patient one HCP www.MyMD. The strongest long-term value relationship is the patient and the HCP