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Recently, we had the opportunity to attend the 18th annual Healthcare Internet Conference. There was a lot of great content over the two and a half days of the conference – and while we couldn’t experience all of it, we gleaned a number of great insights while we were there.

We shared the first five insights we took away earlier this week and today we’re sharing five more:

Takeaway #6: Your logo makes people think of two things: their most recent interaction with your brand and their most memorable interaction with your brand (good or bad.).

[UnMarketing. Stop Marketing, Start Engaging. Scott Stratten.]

Scott Stratten kicked off Tuesday morning at the conference with a high-energy talk, focusing on how brands can interact with their consumers in authentic ways. While Stratten brought up a number of great examples that were relevant to healthcare marketers, his take on the logo definitely caught our attention. As marketers, it’s important to remember that no matter how much work we do on developing and perfecting our logo and brand, at the end of the day, it’s the patient experience – especially the most recent—that defines the brand. Considering some of the common “most recent experiences,” such as attempting to make an appointment, being discharged from a hospital or receiving bills for medical care, healthcare marketers have many opportunities to optimize patient experiences to better reflect their brands.

Takeaway #7: Today, the average hospital spends 9% of its media budget on digital, while the average for other industries is 25%.

[Digital “Shift” Happens: Making the Case to Turn Digital Dimes into Dollars. Andy Gradel, Main Line Health.]

If one statistic epitomizes the large opportunity healthcare has right now, this is it. As the healthcare industry evolves and becomes more patient-centric, organizations that close this gap the fastest will be the most successful. As Gradel showed, consumers continue to spend less and less time with traditional media, especially print, and more time with digital media. These trends will only continue, so it’s time our marketing plans follow suit.

Takeaway #8: 20% of mobile apps are only opened once. Just one-third are opened more than 10 times.

[Learning from the Fringe: Uncommon and Innovative Insights Come From Uncommon and Innovative Places. Paul Szablowski, Texas Health Resources.]

As healthcare marketers explore new ways to engage with patients in innovative and personalized ways, mobile apps are a natural fit in the consideration set. And, while it’s true that mobile apps have the potential to take patient engagement to the next level, there are hurdles to cross, in order to get to that point. Marketers must ensure that their apps bring value and utility to the patient, otherwise the patient will have little motivation to download it to their phone. So, as organizations move forward with mobile apps, it is important to approach them from patient-centered perspective. The more the final product benefits the patients, the more often the app will be downloaded.

Takeaway #9: In a crisis, when “it” hits the fan, it isn't time to hide behind the fan. Immediacy is key. You have to own it and engage.

[UnMarketing. Stop Marketing, Start Engaging. Scott Stratten.]

Another relevant observation and reminder from Scott Stratten. In healthcare, just like almost every other industry, when it comes to a crisis, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. In today’s era, a crisis must be managed across multiple channels, including social. Healthcare organizations need to have a crisis plan in place so that when “it” happens, they can quickly mobilize a team, define messaging and engage across channels.

Takeaway #10: How can we reimagine all patient communication?

[What’s next in healthcare digital marketing? Shawn Gross, White Rhino and Sarah Mackey, Baylor Scott & White Health]

Gross and Mackey led this interactive session, challenging those of us in the audience to consider how we can use technology to better communicate with patients and, in turn, improve the patient experience. We considered how we could use personal finance app Mint as an example to help make the billing process easier to comprehend. Or how we could visualize lab results to help make them easier to understand and more actionable. This was a very appropriate question for our final session of the 2014 Healthcare Internet Conference, as we left the conference inspired to find new ways to use digital tools to enhance the patient experience. So, there you have it – our final five takeaways from HCIC ’14! Overall, it was a great experience. We’re already looking forward to next year! What did you take away from HCIC this year? What thoughts do you have on our takeaways? Let us know in the comments.

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