New care models, more regulation, and increased competition among providers have altered the healthcare landscape rapidly in recent years. To meet goals, healthcare companies are finding that communications with internal and external audiences including patients and family members, employees, and regulatory agencies are more important than ever.
The increased scope and complexity of communications have skyrocketed. The number of communication channels continues to increase, the consequences of missteps are higher than ever, and more stakeholders are getting involved in the ideation, creation and approval processes. All the while, teams are being asked to accomplish more and need to find ways to become more productive, efficient and structured in their processes.
Over the last four years, Marketing.AI has spoken to hundreds of corporate communications professionals, including many in the healthcare field. We find that there are consistently four areas they are looking to improve.
- Structured Workflows
- Project Management
- Content Consistency
Often, we find that teams are working in tools like spreadsheets and emails to manage their workflows, task assignments and processes. While a spreadsheet is a great tool for some purposes it is hardly purpose-built to managing the complexities of content creation and publication. Communications managers and content creators spend far too much of their time searching for details in emails and updating spreadsheets or Google docs.
By working with a tool that is purpose-built for communication efforts, organizations gain the benefits of documented, structured workflows that generate predictable and consistent outcomes. They also provide an audit trail for communications governed by regulation. A good content marketing platform will allow you to customize the workflows you need by content type.
Here’s an example of a common workflow used by communications managers in healthcare. This shows you how you can automate marketing content creation. Once each step is complete, the workflow engine moves the content to the next step and notifies the assigned person.
By spending more time on the work and less time searching for details and moving content from one stage to the next manually, teams experience a significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to create new communication assets and an increase in the total number of assets being created.
We’ve seen it time and time again; it’s extremely difficult to execute on a sound corporate communications strategy without effective visibility and reporting. With teams or individuals operating in their own email/spreadsheet silos, it’s difficult and time-consuming to show your team’s work and its impact to the organization, identify where work efforts might overlap, and ensure the whole team is aligned on strategic activities. In the last few years, healthcare organizations have allocated significantly more budget to communications departments.
When content is being created inside a unified content marketing platform, project status becomes immediately apparent. Here, for example, is a view that shows all the content pieces for a content management campaign and their status.
As well, for each piece of content, a communications manager can see exactly what stage the content is at and take action if necessary.
Content consistency is crucial. The average corporate communication team now uses, on average, 13 content types (eNewsletters, blogs, social media etc.) to engage with their audiences. In addition to the challenge of aligning all of these content types to strategic campaigns, people will interact with your brand through some, most, or all of these content vehicles and expect a cohesive message. The most successful companies in the world create consistent customer experiences. People know what to expect from these brands every single time.
There are many different ways to generate consistent content. For example, here are content themes we use to align our content with the top messages we want our customers to experience. Each piece of content will fit into one of these themes.
Consistent content cannot be efficiently created, measured and monitored in a non-purpose-built tool or with a collection of project management tools. The unintended consequence will be lack of, or informal, alignment from one content piece to the next.
People responsible for managing all the content in a company can see at a glance what types of content are being created, among many other statistics. This intelligence can help content managers identify and redress any apparent imbalances as well as estimate costs for budgetary purposes.
In addition to keeping projects moving on time effectively, executives expect visibility into what teams are working on and how that content aligns with corporate objectives. Finally, they will want to measure return on investment. Which pieces of content are generating the most click-throughs, form fills or other interaction? Without a content platform integrated with content management, marketing automation and CRMs systems, fiscal return on investment is almost impossible to calculate.
If any of the above speaks to situations you are facing today, then we’re here to help. Start with a free trial or request a demo to learn more about how you can migrate from the way you are doing things today to your ideal communications process.