Can you believe the year is almost through? It’s true, and it’s time to start planning for 2022. Your competitors certainly are. As we look to 2022 and beyond, here are the digital marketing trends we’re keeping an eye on.

Hosted By:

Alex Membrillo, CEO, Cardinal Digital Marketing
Rich Briddock, VP Performance Marketing, Cardinal Digital Marketing
Lauren Leone, SVP Healthcare Marketing, Cardinal Digital Marketing

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Quotes From the Episode:

Lauren: “Think about investing in user-centric research so you can develop assets that speak to your audience in the way they want to be spoken to.”

Rich: “If you’re driving PPC leads to a landing page for a small practice, you can set up your form simply to track which landing page they’re coming from, and send that information back to the agency and say, ‘We drove six patients that I know came from PPC and the revenue was X.'”

 

Related Resources:

10 Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2022

7 Tips for Improving Conversions and Driving More Appointments

How to Build a Thriving Digital Reputation for Your Medical Practice

 

Read the Transcript:

Announcer: Welcome to the Ignite podcast. The only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week Cardinal’s experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.

Alex Membrillo: Everybody, you’ve listened to the first two coffee-chat discussions. Lauren doesn’t even have coffee. It’s just a chat discussion. You’ve heard the first two where we discussed top healthcare org issues and trends coming out of last year. This is the fun one. We’re going to talk about 2022. We need no introduction. I’ll do it anyways, Rich Briddock and Lauren Leone, everybody. Our SVPs of everything here. They are the smartest. They are the best thing. You’re going to learn from them today. Let’s dive right in. Rich, let’s talk about it. What do you see happening in 2022? Anything changing with marketing? Obviously, it is. What’s the top thing?

Richard Briddock: Let me talk to you about what we’re doing from an agency perspective, because I think that it’s not necessarily a massive sea-change in terms of what everybody else is doing. I think it’s something that we believe in strongly, which is adopting a more user-centric marketing approach in 2022. This is something that has come out of actually developed being a stronger creative offering in 2021. It’s a need to understand our clients’ end users and what their end-users are looking for when they are considering our clients and their businesses and their services and their offerings. It sounds really straightforward. If you’re going to do good marketing, if you’re going to connect with people, you have to understand your end-user.

You would be amazed at the number of clients that we have, or the number of prospects that we talk to who have no idea what makes their end-users tick and what their end-users care about. We’re doing this tour of our current clients, where we’re going around and we’re implementing user-centric marketing for them. We’re doing consumer surveys. We’re doing user research and we’re helping them to understand what motivates their end-users so that ad copy can talk to the things that their end-users really care about.

Our landing pages or our core web pages can talk to those things so that we’re conveying the right information at the right time to their users, to their prospects, so that they’re more successful at turning them into leads and then turning them into patients. Because right now, a number of people are really missing the mark there. I’ll give you a little anecdotal example. We work with a number of large DSOs. One of these DSOs was leaning into a couple of promotions and they weren’t very effective. We ran a survey with end consumers and found out A, that of all the promotions that you could run, those two ranked as two of the worst that you could possibly run in terms of a user’s interest and B, that actually in the buying decision, a user really doesn’t care about promotions. It’s the fifth thing down on their list of things that they care about.

If you deconstruct that you’re leading A, with a promo that people don’t care about, but B, you’re leading with a promo that people just don’t care about in general. It’s this double-edged issue here. As soon as we uncovered that and you can start talking to the user in the language that the user cares about, which is things like insurance coverage for online reputation. That helps them be so much more successful when they’re buying against other businesses in the space. Our trend in 2022, to sum that all up is, to start with the user. Understand your user and go from there.

Alex: Now let’s talk practically. How do you do these user surveys and stuff? If they don’t have a fancy guy with a British accent, is there any simple ways people can do these user surveys? I got to pick up the phone and call all my patients? How do you do this easily, simply, quickly?

Rich: The easiest way is you get something like SurveyMonkey and you basically blast out your patient list. SurveyMonkey up to a certain point, just like Mailchimp, it’s free. You send them a quick survey. You’re looking for 400 respondents. 400 respondents is statistical significance. That’s all you need. For some practices, I know if you don’t have a huge patient list that might be difficult. For most practices, you could probably get 400 respondents. If you can’t use your own patient list, if you’re a new practice, or you don’t have enough patients, there are tools out there, Google Surveys, Pollfish, where you can blast out a wider audience especially if it’s low acuity that applies to a bunch of people.

If you have something more specific, you can use screening questions in those surveys where you can ask the screening question, “Have you ever been to an orthopedic surgeon? Yes or no.” Then you can screen those to people who say yes. You can always engage a contractor to do this. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. You’re going to know the things that you want answered. You could work with a contractor to help you set up that survey. They should have expertise in the ways that you have the right survey questions so that you don’t lead people, so you don’t phish. All these things should be taken into account as well.

Alex: Self-confirming bias. I love it. I love it. Really talking to the patient and the journey and creating experiences around that. Lauren, let’s talk about what else you see as a big trend going in 2022. Is it important to understand what leads actually became patients? Is this ever going to happen? We’ve been talking about it for a long time.

Lauren Leone: It’s the North Star. At least it gives us something all to wish for and hope for and talk about. As marketing leaders, we’re working on it. The organizations are working on it and the ways that they’re working on it is they at least understand now that they have to have a tech stack that allows for this transparency and this two-way push of information. In a compliant manner, we’re educating our clients on ways that information can flow in both directions so that we can extract out outcomes without violating the patient’s privacy, but that they can ultimately understand what their marketing dollars are driving because I can make the phone ring 100 times and if your receptionist is only converting one of those, we’re going to report on very different numbers at the end of the month. It’s not going away. It’s an evolution. It’s probably going to be another few years that we’re going to continue to enter our way towards this closed-loop.

Alex: What’s the first step you can take if you’re a mid-size, the small ones are never going to go get Salesforce CRM. I’m holding my breath. I wish they were. What’s the first step to take?

Lauren: If you have a CRM speaking to someone like Cardinal about how does the information go in and then extract back out of your CRM and how can that information be then pushed back into marketing engines. It’s interesting. Maybe a smaller practice would have an easier time with this. Rich, you may have a thought, but if you’re only in taking a dozen clients a week because you’re a very specialized practice, you could potentially record some of this information and find a way to pass it back. It’s once you get at a really massive scale that you have to be doing this through automation. There’s just no way to do it beyond automation.

Rich: I would say the easiest way to start is to try and do at least some directional data sharing. If you’re driving PPC leads to a landing page for a small practice, and you can set up your form simply to just track which one landing page they’re coming from, or capture a single snippet of information that can then be sent back to the agency or to whoever internally is running your advertising and saying, “We drove six patients that I know came from PPC and the revenue was X.” You mightn’t be able to push that information back into the platform, you may not have that sophisticated automation, but you can at least give the person who is optimizing those campaigns some soft signals there, “We’re driving more patients now,” “Our patient value is going up,” “We’re qualifying them at a higher rate,” so that they can think about things that they’ve been doing and try and double-down on those efforts and do more of them.

Alex: Very good practical tips. I like it. We’re getting into the nitty-gritty. Okay, let’s talk more advanced. I’ve been running media for a long time on my bigger group. I’ve got 50-plus locations. I’m really good at PPC. I thought I was good at paid social. What do I do next? What’s really going to take me to the next level? Anybody.

Rich: I think what we’re seeing is conversion rate optimization is the next big thing beyond pre-click. Certainly, our larger provider groups are starting to come on board with that. Some of them we’ve been running since the beginning of this year with CRO. Without just quoting stats, but typically, if you can increase your conversion rate over time by 100% to 200%. Obviously, if you think about the same improvements that would take on the pre-click side, it would be huge. You’re not going to see those.

I think definitely the first– especially if you’re driving a lot of traffic through search and you feel like search is good, you should be making sure that your landing page experience is converting at the highest possible rate. Then beyond that, then you can start looking into things like social prospecting, display prospecting. If you’ve got a big branded campaign, like one of our behavioral health clients, you could look at things like OTT. You could look at some heavy YouTube buys, but none of those things are going to be as effective as you want if your post-click user experience is poor.

It’s like putting all the cargo on the boat when you’ve still got a hole in the hull and all the water is just coming in, and you’re just going to sink. You’ve got to make sure that you’ve tightened up first and then you can start throwing money at it. Otherwise, you’re just going to increase the amount of spend you’re wasting.

Alex: Yes, I guess. Looking at you say, pre-click, post-click, I’m trying to keep up with you, what the hell that means. For everybody, pre-click means what?

Rich: Pre-click is all the optimizations and all the marketing that you’re doing before a user comes to your website. That is going to be stuff like creative testing on Facebook or adding in a new ad group or a new campaign in paid social and paid search. Post-click is all the optimizations that you do once they hit that landing page or the web page.

Alex: Got it.

Rich: That is improving the user experience, improving the mobile design, doing any testing. When I say post-click, that’s what I’m talking about, it’s when the user gets to the website or the landing page.

Alex: Hey, Lauren. If you’re going to go spend more money next year where are you spending it?

Lauren: I think Rich did a good job of explaining the priorities there. I think the money should follow that. Ensuring that you’re capturing existing demands. Ensuring that your digital reputation and your digital user experience is as optimal as it can be. Maybe you’re investing in a reputation management program because you’re spending all this money on ads but you have a 2.5 star on Google so you’re losing a lot of what you’ve gained. If that’s really tightened up then you’re talking about, “How do I improve my conversion rates?” Then, “Where do I start to go to get more reach?” That’s going to be channels like social, video. Before you even think about investing in those, think about investing in some user-centric research so that you can develop assets that really speak to those audiences in the way they want to be spoken to. Then go to your media team and say, “I have these messages. I’ve done this research. I’m ready to put this message out there. What are the right channels to do that?”

Alex: I like it. I like it. What are the biggest marketing things you would duck? It’s total garbage going on next year, you wish you heard less clients doing it.

Lauren: I would say organic social. I just think that– It’s hard when you see Delta out there having– or Taco Bell and they do all these fun things on their Twitter accounts and on Instagram. It’s hard because you see that and you think, “I need to follow suit,” but you reach such a small portion of your audience. The patient isn’t looking to have a funny conversation with their doctor. They’re here to seek care and just not something that medical practices need to be investing heavily in.

Alex: Thank you for saying it. Everybody, nobody cares about the party you threw for your employees at your practice the other day; no one cares. New patients don’t care, your existing, your former patients don’t care.

Lauren: Don’t forget about recruitment. I definitely don’t discourage you having a social channel so that you can speak to your current and prospective employees. I think that’s the best use of it, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be to acquire patients.

Alex: All right. Very good. Rich, any closing words, anything you think of as a big trend for next year that we did not cover?

Rich: I don’t think there’s any massive trends that we didn’t cover. I think I’ll just reiterate the fact that you need to keep your user top of mind. I would also reiterate something that I think Lauren mentioned which is be prepared to have to undergo more of a creative lift in 2022. Especially if you’re going to have a foray into anything other than search, you will need to be prepared to have a good creative team, not only initially engage with your target audience but also to differentiate yourself from your competitive set. Then to push them to take action at the bottom of the funnel. All of this will require some strong creative that very clearly highlights your unique value propositions to the end user and differentiates you.

Alex: How you described it, is do the research upfront to know what your patients actually care about whether it’s offer-based or value-based or proprosition. Do the research upfront to know what they care about and be ready to create lots of variations of those things to see which creative lands the best. The big investments are coming in really next year that CRM tracking. Is that what I heard? We’re good?

Rich: Yes. I think for big groups to think about velocity rate. What we’re starting to do here from a creative point of view but also from a post-click point of view is instead of building for pages or building for videos, we’re building sections of pages and sections of videos so that we can dynamically interchange them and serve up different experiences and tinkered experiences so that we’re giving the user more choice to tell us which is the most effective experience and which is the most effective messaging. Think of, if you are handling the creative on your side think about operationally how best to create those variations and how best to create new user experiences with the bandwidth and the resources that you have in-house.

Alex: I love it. Thank you so much. Rich and Lauren got to talk all about trends, and creative, and CRM, tackling user experience, CRO. Lots of fun acronyms we got to use them all today. Rich and Lauren, thanks for joining us on Ignite. That was the end of the three-part sequence. We hope you learned something.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to this episode of Ignite. Interested in keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare marketing? Subscribe to our podcast and leave a rating and review. For more healthcare marketing tips visit our blog at cardinaldigitalmarketing.com.

[00:14:43] [END OF AUDIO]

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Alex Membrillo

CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi-location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year, and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

Cardinal has experienced exponential growth under Membrillo’s leadership, being consecutively named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held US companies for the last three years. Membrillo’s innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. He has been featured in leading national publications including The Business Journals, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also served as an expert speaker for conferences including the American Marketing Association, SouthWired, and Vistage Executive Leaders, where he spoke on his unique approach to Millennial Management to over 400 CEOs.

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO