And Other Takeaways from HITMC19
If you are in health IT and you haven’t had a chance to attend HITMC (Health IT Marketing and PR conference) then you don’t know what you are missing.
This was my first year and it lived up to everything everyone told me it would be.
While there were many highlights, 3 days packed with incredible learning opportunities, and some pretty great meetups, for brevity’s sake, I summarizing the event into 5 key takeaways I plan to remember for a long time.
By far, the highlight of the conference was Dan Heath’s keynote. As marketers we focus on communicating how a company solves problems. What we aren’t so great at is creating peak experiences that stick with people.
Truly great marketing taps into the power of moments. Think Disneyland – you may experience long lines and cranky kids, but a few peak moments make the experience unforgettable in a good way.
The question for health tech is how to do this, especially in a B2B environment. Because of the complexity of the market as well as marketers seeking to please customers and their boss, health tech marketing can fall into the feature/function trap quickly.
The question I left HITMC with and the question I hope you’re left with is “how am I creating moments, not just selling a product?”
Regular readers/podcast listeners hear me harp on this a lot. Your relationships matter. This isn’t just for the sake of your PR campaigns because while relationships are core to public relations, they are core to everything else you do in your business as well.
For me, that means building relationships with other marketers in healthcare so I can learn from them, collaborate with them, and, let’s be honest, hang out with other weirdos like me (no offense, HITMC people).
For you, that means developing relationships not just with the end goal of selling or raising VC. It means maybe not even having an end goal for every relationship you develop because you never know where those relationships will lead. Be open to connecting, collaborating, and learning from other people – your competitors, industry experts, other startups.
Again, if you tune in to what I say even occasionally, you know this is my mantra. Customers matter. Customers matter. Customers matter. You get it.
But are you practicing it?
Quite possibly my favorite quote of the whole conference…even including Dan Heath’s incredible keynote…came from Shannon Lee of StudioNorth.
You ready for it?
“It’s our responsibility to keep the customer alive as a human being.”
To often we see the customer as a number or a data set. But they are real humans and we are selling products that will affect their lives.
Especially in healthcare where even B2B companies still need to serve the end user (or sometimes the end end end user) – the patient. When their voice isn’t considered, when we leave them out of the equation for both products and marketing, we aren’t fulfilling our responsibility to them.
Alongside my trip to HITMC, I’m also reading the Design of Everyday Things. Even if you never considered a career in design, this book is a powerful read and was the perfect companion reading to HITMC.
Because, you see, design is ultimately about communication. How products are designed, how we design our marketing campaigns, how we craft emails and messages and phone calls – all of it needs to take into account the person who will be consuming the information. If they are left with questions, confusion, or boredom, we need to redesign our communication to serve them.
This is good news for startups who need to market but struggle with bandwidth. While quantity will always be important, even more critical to you getting your message out is the quality of your content.
If you lack resources to do tons of content or multiple campaigns, focus instead on doing what you can well. And then take the resulting content and repurpose it time and time again. For instance, maybe you only have the time and resources for one webinar a year – make it count. You can take that webinar and turn it into several months’ worth of blog content, graphics, lead magnets and more.
The biggest takeaway?
I swear I’m not being paid to say this. If you are in healthcare or health IT and if you need to market your product or service, this is the conference to attend. Don’t attend so you can set up a booth and sell because your customer may not be here, but so you can, as HITMC’s founder John Lynn said on my podcast, “Slow down to speed up.”
Are your marketing strategies failing?
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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