Sunday, 22 September 2013

Can patient experience and satisfaction drive healthcare marketing?

Patient experience and satisfaction is no longer a nice too have, but a got to have in the evolving consumer-centric healthcare market place.  Consumers are paying more out of pocket and when consumers pay more they expect more.  A better healthcare consumer and patient experience in the end means a more compliant patient pre and post treatment.  Higher level of service and medical process satisfaction brings the healthcare consumer back in a sea of providers who all offer the sameness. 

It is one of the primary drivers for a reason to return. And when all things are equal and undifferentiated, experience and satisfaction become a major determination of return and for their recommendations of you.

Difficult to achieve and tough to competitively beat once you have it, experience and satisfaction with your medical products, clinical services and processes regardless of the vertical, be it specialty pharmacy, medical device,  pharma, hospitals, doctors etc., will drive revenue.  Revenue from the standpoint of Pay-for-Performance (P4P) programs and volume from healthcare consumers aka patients, selecting you in a very commoditized and provider undifferentiated healthcare market place is at stake.

Not everyone will be in an ACO or risk-sharing agreements.  Some will choose narrow networks to save a buck on premium. Fee-for-service will still be around for awhile.  The opening of public insurance exchanges in October, 2013, Medicaid expansion in some states and the now becoming ever more popular the private insurance exchange where companies are moving to defined contribution (see Walgreens, Sears and others in recent times), means that you have a direct to consumer opportunity along very different dimensions then in the past.

The healthcare consumer of today will view your services as: value= f(cost, quality, satisfaction) as compared to the near past where value= f(cost, quality). Value as described by the healthcare consumer here is the result of the function of cost, quality and satisfaction with you.

Why is it important:
  • High levels of experience and satisfaction are a powerful differentiator in your market.
  • Done correctly, your experience improvement and satisfaction program becomes the ongoing Voice of the Customer (VoC) program to drive real organizational change.
  •  It is a strategic and tactical edge for your brand and your marketing communication efforts. 
  • Think customer evangelization.
  • Think of the power of a high-quality experience and exemplary satisfaction and what that can do for your organization. Think of what it can do in your effort to differentiate.
The choice is yours.  Make it before others make it for you.

Michael J. Krivich, MHA, FACHE, PCM, is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views read in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. These views are my own. He is founder of the michael J group, a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executivesand a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.  Like us on  facebook at the michael J group, and connect with me on LinkedIn and  Twitter.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Steve Jobs On How Content Is Truly King [video]

Content Truly Is King

In the middle of this amazing "lost" Steve Jobs interview is some of the best thinking on content and product development I've ever discovered. Jobs discusses the very important distinction between process and the masterful craftsmanship required to develop great products.

Listening to this extraordinary segment I thought Jobs was contradicting Dov Seidman's book How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything. On repeated listening not so much. Jobs is warning against process police taking over and attempting to substitute hollow business process where passion, commitment and genius should rule.

Seidman is suggesting that creating the kinds of teams Jobs was famous for leading is the only business process anyone owns. There are no secrets and intellectual property is a poor substitute for fast moving new market creating genius (iPad, iPhone for example).

"People get very confused that the process is the content."

Content Greatness Under Attack

Content fights a two front war. The "process police" are easy to spot. They use words like, "can't", "never before" and "better check with legal". Process police live for the obstruction. Their victory is delay, derail or obfuscation. This is not to say we should all shoot first and figure everything else out second.

While it is hard to define professional obstructionist process police we all know them when we interact with them. In many places these "police" have a kind of institutional tenure. Process police can leach their way into any company or institutions they can be all but impossible to remove or go around.

Steve Jobs was asked to leave the company he started. Perfect example of a company taken over by process police. Why would any company give up a Steve Jobs? Jobs's tells you why in the video when he discusses how difficult it can be to employ and interact with brilliant content creators.

The way of the creative warrior is mercurial, unsure, tempestuous and difficult. In contrast the Process Police hold up a picture of calm seas and quiet hearts and promise unwavering fealty. We do the things the way we've always done them because to do so creates security and assurance that life is orderly, predictable and calm.

In my thirties working for a large consumer packaged goods company I wondered about the nature of risk and time. On the surface our lives seemed ideal. Making large salaries and doing work I loved was great, but each battle was changing me.

The illusion I sold was "intra-preneurship" - approaching my job within a billion dollar company as if I was an entrepreneur. I found out what a total fiction such self deception is when, at 35, we started Found Objects (twenty years ago).

Immediately the fiction of "intra-preneuring" was exposed. All that process strength meant next to nothing in the big bad world of product and content. The fallacy of process as content was clear, striking and immediate.

Content doesn't START magical. Kings of Content, those mercurial people Jobs laments are impossible to manage, craft clay, steel and wood into the art of great content. Would your company hire the next Steve Jobs? If they did would your process police hector him or her right out of the company?

Hope for your company and career's sake the answer to both of those questions is YES and NO.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Trust Is A CATCH-22

Pebbles and CATCH-22's

What does it mean when a cool idea for a watch earns $11M on Kickstarter? Certainly one clear and loud implication is crowdfunding is ready for prime time, but there are more sweeping and profound implications. Why would anyone make anything without testing and creating a digital market long before materials are purchased to make something material.

Pebble's brilliant Kickstarter campaign proves the man, machine, mountain parable. Match the right man (or product) to the right mountain and supply him (or her) with the right tools and the mountain will be climbed. Make the Pebble pitch to Walmart and it is a nonstarter.

Pebble Smartwatch 2013 video from Pebble Technology on Vimeo.

This "match the hatch" of product to market and marketplace has never been more important. You have one chance to make a first impression so matching your idea to favorable audience is critical. There is a CATCH-22 hidden in our new distribution model. You can't know what is right until you test and testing steals "first impression".

Our Story of Cancer Foundation just DIDN'T sell its first product on eBay. We probably did ten things wrong listing my Specialized SL2 since we didn't make our first sale. Ebay is a trust system. The more you sell the more trust you develop. We started with a BIG and expensive thing when we should have learned and built our reputation on smaller, less expensive things. Worth another go, but not with the Specialized.

Kickstarter turned the eBay model on is head. They said, "We have an exclusive number of things like distributorships, celebrity endorsements and watches, get them if you can". The right question is how can we sell on eBay in the Pebble watch way? How can we create the perceived exclusivity that creates a competitive market in our favor?

Exclusivity is an important currency online. Important and often overlooked since the web seems to have everything in abundance. What makes a digital good exclusive? The story you tell. takes commodity rumbas and makes them special with the stories they tell, the voice they tell those stories in and the perceived exclusivity of great deals with deadlines.

Stories are important, but so are other e-commerce tools such as deadline, exclusivity, legitimacy (realized via testimonials) and TRUST as distilled from many interactions with your online brand. What do you do if you don't have any of those things? Find something you can give away FREE and then over deliver on that promise.

Pebble Watch is both exception and new ecommerce rule. Chances of your hitting an idea so dead solid perfect are about that of being hit by lightening, but you can and should emulate basic "new ecommerce" lessons such as:

* Stories Matter.
* Deadlines Matter.
* Exclusivity (real or perceived) matters.
* TRUST matters most.

Trust Is A CATCH-22

Trust is one of those strange things. The more you chase after it the less you get. Your EARN trust you don't get it instantly or for FREE. Trust can come from a scaled network like Kickstarter or from your LinkedIn profile, a video or "like me" friends who comment, share impressions on social media or write about your efforts (as my amazing friend Phil Buckley did recently).

The Story of Cancer Foundation isn't trusted on eBay yet, so my bad for starting with a BIG EXPENSIVE THING. Trust requires TIME, TESTING and some TROUBLE. People want to know what you do when something doesn't go your way. When you blew that shipment or forgot to do something are you concerned fixing your systems?

Will you trust me because my friend Phil said nice things? Maybe, but you are likely to want more validation. The best validation we provide is what we do online every day. Phil pointed out in the comments that I'm known for creating a lot of content (not so much this week sine I'm sick as a dog lol).

Presence creates trust. Presence is also a chit, a promise. When I can't keep my normal schedule that can be the equivalent of a broken promise. Once a social identity is established be careful with how you change it. Over communicate why change is happening and where you are going or trust can be lost.

Social presence creates trust. Social presence over time creates expectations and trust. Be careful with both and if you know how to sell on ebay please let us know :). Thanks, Marty

Learn From Googlers At These Upcoming Analytics Events

Fall is a busy time for the Google Analytics team. Conference season is in full swing, the Google Analytics summit is fast approaching and our product team is heads-down, focused on iterating and improving the product to create the future of Analytics. Things are likely moving fast for you as well, so we wanted to make sure you were updated on some of the key industry events our team members would be participating in this fall. Following is a brief list:

Justin Cutroni, Analytics Evangelist at Google, presenting on GA Premium in NY


9/26: ACCELERATE Conference, Columbus 

Accelerate is a “Ten Tips in Twenty Minutes” format conference on a wide range of digital analytics and marketing optimization topics.  Google’s own Krista Seiden will be speaking on “Ten Tips for Getting the Most out of Google’s Analytics Platforms.” Tips will include Krista’s practitioner viewpoint on best uses of Google Analytics dashboards, advanced segments, Content Experiments and Google Tag Manager. Learn more.


9/30-10/3: eMetrics Boston

eMetrics Summit is a comprehensive and forward thinking digital analytics forum sharing best practices, tools and techniques to optimize successful digital marketing programs. Krista Seiden will be there presenting on ‘The art of being a digital analyst and the road to management.’ Learn more.

10/16: 4A’s Data Summit, New York

This summit will feature data thought leaders and practitioners from agencies and key data and analytics companies who are data providers to agencies. Google’s Analytics Evangelist Justin Cutroni will participate on a mobile panel discussing how mobile data is changing the ad target landscape as well as customizing mobile experiences for users. Learn more.

10/24: eMetrics London

eMetrics Summit is a comprehensive and forward thinking digital analytics forum sharing best practices, tools and techniques to optimize successful digital marketing programs. Googler Daniel Waisberg will be there answering questions from attendants in a Google Analytics Q&A. Learn more.

10/24: Restaurant Innovation Summit, New York

Rapid change in how consumers want to pay for products and services is significantly affecting the restaurant industry. Restaurants of every size and in every segment plan to invest more in customer-facing and point-of-sale technology to enhance the customer experience. Justin Cutroni will be speaking on Universal Analytics and how it can be an entry into the big data world. Learn more.

10/25: Hawaii Social Media Summit

The Hawaii Social Media Summit is a chance to learn from the top social media leaders in this highly competitive, and ever-evolving field. Googler Adam Singer will be presenting on social media measurement best practices and how you can better value the entire customer journey - across social and your other digital channels. Learn more.

10/25: Online Marketing, Mobile & Social Media Travel Summit

Europe's premier event for social media, mobile and online marketing professionals from across the travel industry is back for another successful year. Daniel Waisberg will be in Attendance presenting on how to place Analytics at the heart of your Marketing Strategy Learn more.

10/27: PRSA National Conference in Philadelphia

Designed by communicators for communicators to increase ROI, the International Conference offers practical insight and networking for public relations professionals of all career levels, sectors, work environments and industries. Adam Singer will be sharing how to use data for real-time, smart and actionable insights to improve PR programs. Learn more.


11/8: SMX Milan

On the 7th and 8th November 2013 Milan will host for the first time ever in Italy the SMX – Search and Social Media Marketing Expo, a unique opportunity for both managers and experts to analyze and discuss the most innovative themes on digital marketing. Justin Cutroni will deliver a session on Universal Analytics and how this will change the future of measurement. Learn more.

11/12: Digital Analytics Association (DAA) Symposium, San Francisco

Join the San Francisco chapter of the Digital Analytics Association for a concentrated and fast-moving survey of the people, platforms and practices organizations are using today to play and win in the age of big data.  Justin Cutroni will share training and best practices for thinking holistically about your digital analytics across channels and platforms, with a focus on mobile. Learn more.

11/13: Smarter Travel Analytics Europe

The Smart Travel Analytics Europe Show: explores data, analytics and performance strategy for the European travel industry. Daniel Waisberg will be delivering a Google Analytics Travel Masterclass Learn more.

11/14: BEST Practices Conference, Seattle

Seattle’s weather may be notoriously dreary, but those of us who call it home know that the weather (and coffee) make it a great place for new ideas. BEST Seattle will again be held at the Seattle Art Museum and will feature a mix of strategic discussion, helpful instruction and room for creative thinking. Justin Cutroni will be presenting on the state of Google Analytics. Learn more.


12/4: REMIX Summit London

REMIX Global Summits tackle the big ideas shaping the future of the cultural sector. It is a forum where creative leaders from different sectors can exchange insights, ideas and work together towards common goals. Daniel Waisberg will deliver a workshop on the basics of measurement and optimization using Google Analytics. Learn more.

We hope to see you out at some of these conferences, but if you can’t make it be sure and follow Google Analytics on Google+ and Twitter where we always share inspirational and actionable bits from events.

Posted by the Google Analytics Team

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Monitoring & Analyzing Error Pages (404s) Using Analytics

I recently wrote a post on the Google Analytics + page about monitoring error pages on websites. The post was well received and generated a healthy discussion on Google+, so I decided to write a more detailed article on the subject here.

First of all, what exactly is an error or 404 page? According to WikipediaThe 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find what was requested.” Or, in more general terms, the 404 is the error you get when the page you are looking for does not exist, usually because the link you clicked was broken.

Another important question is: why should I care? Often times the 404 is forgotten and no one cares to prioritize its optimization. I believe the answer to prioritization lies on section 2 of this post: by monitoring the percentage of users that arrive at this page you will be in a better position to know if (and how quickly) you should optimize your 404 page. In any case, even if the number of people viewing this page is low, you should at least have a page in the lines of your brand and try to add the elements described in section 1 below; after all, you don’t want to disappoint your customers!

In this post I propose a few techniques to help improve error pages, engage visitors and improve the website experience. The questions I will try to answer are the following:

  1. How to build your 404 page?

  2. How to monitor your 404 page traffic efficiently?

  3. How to analyze & optimize 404 page success?

1. Error Pages Best Practices

Before we dive into Google Analytics, let’s take a look into some ways to create a great 404 page from the beginning. Following are some good usability insights proposed in a book called Defensive Design for the Web. The authors advise us to offer customized "Page Not Found" error pages; and they provide an interesting insight into how to create error pages:

Instead of merely saying a page is not found, your site needs to explain why a page can't be located and offer suggestions for getting to the right screen. Your site should lend a hand, not kick people when they are down. Smart things to include on your 404 page:

  1. Your company's name and logo

  2. An explanation of why the visitor is seeing this page

  3. A list of common mistakes that may explain the problem

  4. Links back to the homepage and/or other pages that might be relevant

  5. A search engine that customers can use to find the right information

  6. An email link so that visitors can report problems, missing pages, and so on

2. Monitoring Error Page Traffic

Suppose a prominent blog links to your site and the link is broken, this will cause a negative experience to users (which will not find what they expected) and to search engines (which will not crawl the right content). How long will it take until you notice it? How often do you check the traffic to your 404 page? Chances are you don’t do it every day, but you should! Or at least you should have someone look at it: why not let Google Analytics do it for you? 

Create an Alert on Google Analytics

In the screenshot below you will see how to set an alert on Google Analytics that will let you know each time your 404 pageviews increases above a certain threshold. This will enable you to do the work once and be alerted every time there is a problem. 

The alert below is based on the increase in error pageviews, but if you decide to create a goal (as suggested below) you could create the alert based on the goal too. Note that you can opt in to receive an email or a text message when the condition is met (404 pageviews increases more than 15% compare to previous day). Also note that I decided to define the 404 page based on the title of the page, very often there is no indication of an 404 page on the URL (read more about this below). 

To learn how to set a Custom Alert check this help center article.

Measure your 404 Page as a Goal

Setting the 404 page as a goal on Google Analytics will surface important information that can be achieved only through goals, e.g. the last three steps before getting to this page. Below is a screenshot on how to do it, but note that you would need to have an identifier on your URL (or trigger an event) in order to set your 404 as a Goal.

Add Your 404 Content Report to Your Dashboard

Every report on Google Analytics can be added to the dashboard. By adding the 404 page to your dashboard you will be able to constantly monitor the trend of visits to your 404 page. Learn more about customizing dashboards.

3. Analyzing & Optimizing Error Pages

Monitoring your 404 pages is important, but useless if you don't take action using this information. Taking action means doing all you can to decrease the number of people getting missing pages. Below I provide a few tips on how to find and fix both internal and external broken links.

Check Your Navigation Summary Report

This will help you understanding where did visitors come from from inside your site, i.e. it will tell you which pages contain internal broken links. You will also be able to understand what is the percentage of visitors that arrive to the 404 page from internal and external sources; the internal sources will be listed on this report. See navigation summary screenshot below:

Check 404 Page URLs

Learning which URLs are producing the errors is a great way to get rid of them. If you learn, for example, that 100 visitors a day get an error when they visit the page “/aboutS” you can infer that there is a broken link leading to it; sometimes it might not be possible to find the source of the error to fix the link, but you can add a redirect from that page to “/about”, which looks to be the right page. 

In order to do that you will need to find the report below, but please keep in mind that some assumptions were made to arrive at it. Most CMS (Wordpress, Drupal, and others) will return an error for non-existing pages on the actual content section, but they will keep the original URL; however, they will have a page title with the word 404 in it. So check your site to know if that is the case before you try the report below.

Once you find this report, click on the first entry and you will get a list of all the URLs that triggered an error page. Good luck with the redirects!

Measure Internal Searches From this Page

If you do not have a search box on your 404 page, you should seriously consider adding one. Through searches performed in this page you will be able to understand what people were expecting to find there and you will get insights on which links you should add to the page. If you don’t have Internal Site Search enabled on Google Analytics check this help center article.

Below are the metrics you will be able to analyze if you use this feature:

  • Total Unique Searches: the number of times people started a search from the 404 page. Duplicate searches within a single visit are excluded.

  • Results Pageviews/Search: the average number of times visitors viewed a search results page after performing a search.

  • % Search Exits: the percentage of searches that resulted in an immediate exit from your site.

  • % Search Refinements: the percentage of searches that resulted in another search (i.e. a new search using a different term).

  • Time after Search: The average amount of time visitors spend on your site after performing a search.

  • Search Depth: The average number of pages visitors viewed after performing a search.

Closing Thoughts

As we mentioned above, errors happen, and we must be prepared for them. We must give a hand to our visitors when they are most frustrated and help them feel comfortable again. The level of online patience and understanding is decreasing and users have a world of choices just one click away, so website owners cannot let one small error get on their way.

Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Analytics Advocate

Monday, 16 September 2013

Supporting A Modern Browsing Experience

To focus on supporting modern browsers, we are deprecating official compatibility of Google Analytics with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) at the end of 2013. We decided to do this to both accelerate the pace at which we can innovate new product features, and to facilitate adoption of newer web technologies in the design of the Google Analytics product. Our ultimate goal is to provide a superior user experience for every GA user. As a note, we’ll of course continue to measure traffic from IE8 browsers to your website. 

We will continue to support the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 or higher, Safari and other modern browsers. 

It is our hope that giving you more than 3 months to prepare for this change will minimize disruption to Google Analytics usage for you and your business. We will send further reminders prior to the deprecation at the end of the year, but we strongly advise you begin preparing and implementing plans for this change at your earliest convenience.

Posted by the Google Analytics Team

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The media is calling; how do you respond to PR crisis?

Sometimes, another organizations PR missteps are an opportunity to learn how not to handle a PR crisis.  Just ask the any of the hospitals and health systems that have been in the media the past few weeks with HIPAA violations for data beaches. And what I have seen from the healthcare consumer side in the coverage and their responses have been arrogance, apathy and really stupid responses by senior management.

I mean really, “We had a panic button and security camera.”  Does it matter in your response that the theft happened after hours?  Or the, “We had 60 days under the law before we had to report it.”  How do you think the public reads that answer of hiding behind regulations when their personal data is at stake?

In an age of healthcare model evolution from provider-dominated models of decision making to consumer-directed models, those bygone days of being able to mismanage a PR crisis and response and get away with it are gone.

Is your response to dive for under the desk? Do you send out poorly prepared underlings, to face reporters and the public? Does leadership, make proud pronouncements at the outset, that could come back to haunt you because at this point, you just don't know?   Do you react as an arrogant organization with the, "How dare you question us response"?   Do you think that it can never happen to you? Do you have a crisis communications plan in place?

Every healthcare organization will face a PR crisis. How you handle the communications, will determine the amount of brand damage and length of time people remember, the good and the bad.  In this age of social media and the Internet, there are no, "We just need to wait 3 days to weather the storm", anymore.

Many times organizations respond with:

·         Lack of organizational understanding of the need to handle a situation as crisis communications;
·         Different, conflicting senior management messages;
·         Testy responses to questions;
·         Lack of preparation by speakers in understanding the seriousness of the communication;
·         Poor speaker body language;
·         No overriding organizational message;
·         Organizational arrogance;
·         Lost messaging opportunity;
·         Appearance of blaming others;
·         The organization appearing not accountable;
·         The organization furthering to anger the media;
·         No response at all with the "it's just a three day story and will go away";
·         Sending out unprepared underlings to face the media;

Is it not true that any press is good press!  Every day, someone somewhere faces a crisis communications issue which is poorly handled.

By following these planning guides, you can weather any storm, limit reputation, revenue and ultimately brand image damage:

·         Understand the nature of the situation;
·         Be transparent;
·         Be proactive in how you intend to address the situation;.
·         Limit the amount of time senior leaders i.e. the CEO or president speak;
·         Make sure everyone has the same message and is on board;
·         Develop strong organizational messaging of care and concern;
·         Don’t scapegoat, blame others or give the appearance of blaming others;
·         Don’t tell people things will change when things are not changing;
·         Practice, practice, practice;
·         Bring in an outside PR firm for another viewpoint;
·         Understand that your reputation is built up over a long time and can be destroyed in a few short minutes;
·         Remember that it is not just a three day story;
·         Watch your body language;
·         Know your facts about past performance, reporters will be prepared;
·         Learn from others;
·         Each year engage in a day of media training for executives. Dealing with the media is a learned skill that the majority of executives do not have.  It is not as easy as it looks.

Most importantly, engage the media all the time all year round not just when you have a problem.  By establishing positive media relations with the good you do, you won't necessarily be cut any slack in a bad situation, but you will get the opportunity to tell your side.  You won't if you don't have good media relations already in place.

Plan now for that crisis communications event, and you will better off as a prepared healthcare organization.

Michael J. Krivich, MHA, FACHE, PCM, is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views read in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. These views are my own. He is founder of the michael J group, a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executivesand a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.  Like us on  facebook at the michael J group, and connect with me on LinkedIn and  Twitter.