There might not be a better place in the fall than the Northeast corner of the US. The cool weather, long and storied history, fresh seafood and amazing foliage make it a sought-after destination. The color of the trees alone drives millions of visitors to the area this time of year and adds billions to New England’s economy. Trees and billions in one sentence. Mind blowing.
I headed to Boston in early October for a different reason. Yes, maybe I was secretly swayed by the promise of lobster and cod (I do live in the middle of the country, after all) but my primary reason was to attend the Connect to Convert conference presented by LeadsCon. It’s billed as a lead generation conference, but I learned a lot more than lead gen strategies and tactics. As a first-time attendee, I came away with some good knowledge that can apply to a variety of industries, including healthcare. Here are a few takeaways that have stuck with me:
- “A confused consumer will always say no.” As I listened to Gordon Brott, Senior Director of Marketing for OnDeck, say that during his keynote, I was reminded that simple is always better. Healthcare in particular can be confusing and overwhelming for consumers. Medical jargon and a host of specialties and diseases to communicate make for complex messaging. As any kind of marketers, healthcare or otherwise, it’s imperative to keep the consumer at the focus, lean into the benefits to the end user and keep it simple.
- Carmen Simon, Cognitive Neuroscientist and Founder of Memzy, gave a fascinating talk on The Neuroscience of Creating Memorable Content. Understanding how the brain really works when we’re crafting marketing content and messaging feels like a “no duh” moment to me. It’s a pretty simple process: Attention (engaging content engages the brain) leads to Memory, which leads to Decision. In today’s world, we’re always chasing engagement and attention, and rightfully so, it seems. Our brains are wired to need variety in order to avoid boredom. As marketers, switch the stimulus in your content – graphics, texts, videos, pictures – and invest in the asset library to be able to do so.
- Search provides assisted value to all channels, so it’s important to understand what search is worth to your brand. How can you leverage multi-channel attribution to understand this assisted channel? How do you balance organic, which has declining volume with paid search? Are you incorporating YouTube into your SEO strategy? YouTube text can be SEO optimized and many brands leave that channel out of their organic strategy. In healthcare, search is traditionally the most direct point of contact for consumers researching conditions, hospital rankings, physician expertise and eventually taking online assessments and making appointments. Make sure impactful search strategies are in place to lead them straight to your brand.
- There is power and magic in User Generated Content (UGC). In a world where we’re striving for authenticity and for ads to not look like ads, UGC feels very native. Consumers who use your product or interact with your brand are your original influencers. Leverage them and the genuine influence they carry.
- There are 1.3 billion people using Facebook Messenger, and very few brands leveraging messenger apps in general. There are opportunities with the platform as well as natural language processing (NLP) technology, like chatbots, to drive consumer interaction, provide customer service support and create a more human, personal experience in general. Does it make sense for your brand to tap into this platform?
- Take risks. Rethink the norm. Test the crazy. But find a way to measure everything. Healthcare tends to be a conservative space, but there are ways to stray from the norm without executing a stunt in Times Square. Perhaps it is testing emerging channels that are primarily thought of for other industries. Or rethinking your analytics to understand audience behaviors through digital body language studies that help with personalization. You either win or learn when you take a risk, but either way, you’re moving your brand forward.
All in all, I left Boston smarter than when I arrived. Despite what my Instagram feed shows (I’m still dreaming of the lobster rolls and clam chowda’), my trip wasn’t only about food, history and foliage. I learned some new things that I am excited to put to use.