Are You Ready for the CRM of 2020?

June 28th, 2015 No comments

CRM_Conference_Promo_Image (3)A new online article from The Next Web discusses features that are sure to be found in upcoming versions of CRM systems. It talks about some really cool features — like holograms, augmented reality, huge data and virtual assistants — all becoming a part of the CRM system of the near future.


Is your organization ready for this leap? Or is your organization still just working to incorporate the basics of CRM into your digital strategy?


If you’re not sure or could simply benefit from learning about how to select, implement and optimize a CRM solution, you might want to take advantage of an upcoming educational opportunity, Customer Relationship Management: Making the Most of Your CRM Investment.


Greystone is partnering with the marketing strategists at Corrigan Partners to facilitate this deep dive workshop. In addition to Mike Schneider and myself from Greystone, the faculty includes:


Terri McNorton, VP Marketing, Ochsner Health, New Orleans, Louisiana
Karen Corrigan, CEO, Corrigan Partners, Norfolk, Virginia
John Marzano, VP/Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Orlando Health, Orlando, Florida
Brian Whitman, Partner, Corrigan Partners, Norfolk, Virginia
Chantal Stephens, Director of Marketing & Sales, Orlando Health, Orlando, Florida
Carla Bryant, Partner, Corrigan Partners, Norfolk, Virginia
Chrisie Scott, Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Meridian Health, Neptune, New Jersey
• Karen Wish, Director of Marketing/Senior Brand Strategist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York


The workshop has a little bit of everything — presentations from industry peers who have “been there and done that,” formal and informal networking sessions with faculty/peers, hands-on exercises to help solve your CRM issues and facilitated discussions, among other things. Across the 1 1/2 days, we’ll focus on:


• How to craft a CRM vision/strategy and how to pick the right CRM solution and vendor
• The changes needed in the marketing department
• How to get the most out of our CRM system
• How to get a CRM strategy back on track, if/when needed
• What we can learn from other industries that have using CRM for many years
• And much more . . .


This seminar will be held in Chicago on September 29-30, 2015. Educational sessions will be held at the Catalyst Ranch, with the nearby Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel as the hotel partner.  Download the brochure.


Participation is limited to 30 health system (non-vendor) participants, so be sure to register soon! In addition, an early-bird registration discount is available only until July 15th so act now to take advantage of the discount.


For more information, please visit the CRM Conference Workshop Overview. We look forward to seeing you in September!




Categories: CRM, CRM, Education Tags:

The Internet of Things: The Future is Here (Almost)

May 29th, 2015 No comments

IoT 2Recently, there has been an Xfinity ad for broadband Internet service playing on a local radio station, in which a woman bemoans the lack of Internet bandwidth in her home because there are so many connected devices being used.

“I think even the coffee maker is online,” she wails. At first, that line made me shake my head just a bit. Seriously? A Web-enabled coffee maker? But then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to program the coffee maker from my bed via my phone if I forgot to do so before climbing the stairs to go to bed?”

And that thought is a microcosm of the Internet of Things, or IoT. The IoT is a network of billions of Smart devices that can communicate with each other – and with us.

You can practically run your entire house from your Smartphone these days. You can:

• Lock/unlock doors.
• Adjust the thermostat.
• Monitor security camera feeds.
• Turn the oven on or off.
• Be notified of problems such as a malfunctioning appliance, power outages, plumbing leaks or the presence of smoke, fire or carbon monoxide.
• Program your coffee maker – yes, there really is such a thing, made by Mr. Coffee.

Companies such as Samsung, GE, Whirlpool and others are leading the connectivity surge, producing connected devices ranging from Smartphones to home appliances to wearables. Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be 26 billion Internet-connected devices in use, up from 900 million units in 2009. The math works out to approximately 26 Smart objects per person on Earth.

Well, okay. That’s all fine and dandy. But how does the IoT affect marketers?

If every person on Earth possesses 26 Smart devices, that’s a whale of an opportunity to connect with them. Interference advertising, always-on advertising, real-time customized communications, data collection … the opportunities are endless.

In healthcare, initial forays into the IoT have been made with the use of apps and wearables for monitoring various aspects of a patient’s condition, for example. But how else can marketers take advantage of the IoT?

In a recent report, the Altimeter Group suggests 5 use cases for employing IoT with consumer-facing programs:

There are various examples of rewards or incentives: money (e.g., coupons, reduced prices/fees, cash), promotion, entertainment and gamification. The use of sensors in Smartphones, wearables, beacons and other devices can engage customers while rewarding them in some manner for their time, purchases or other interaction with an organization or brand.

1. Reward. There are various examples of rewards or incentives: money (e.g., coupons, reduced prices/fees, cash), promotion, entertainment and gamification. The use of sensors in Smartphones, wearables, beacons and other devices can engage customers while rewarding them in some manner for their time, purchases or other interaction with an organization or brand.

2. Information and decision making. Delivering the right content at the right time: This is a crucial element in informing customers in their decision-making process and improving the brand experience. Information can be pushed out via connected devices in response to a trigger such as location, inclement weather conditions and product interactions. Navigation or wayfinding applications can be used to guide customers to a nearby location and/or a particular product via a Smartphone app, beacons, QR codes and other modalities. Anything that can be connected to the Internet can be monitored, from the number of steps taken per day to the amount of food consumed by pets to the amount of windshield-wiper fluid in a car. By monitoring things that their customers care for, an organization can obtain the necessary information to bring additional value to their customers by giving them a way to make better use of their time, energy, insight or money.

3. Facilitation. Customers want to be able to do what they want/need to do in the most efficient and effective way possible – and organizations want that for their customers. By using connected devices, the transactional customer experience can be enhanced in areas such as payment, identify authentication and simply making products and services more useful, like remotely programming that infamous coffee maker from the comfort of your soft, warm bed.

4. Service. No matter how hard you try, stuff happens. Thus, it’s important to be able to respond to service issues in real time. Connected methods can enable an organization to respond reactively to service problems. But it’s just as important to be proactive with support issues – when a problem is identified, the organization goes ahead and deals with it behind the scene, often without the customer being aware. For example, in early 2014, car maker Tesla was able to address a recall of one of its car models by a software update, rather than by its customers having to take their cars to the dealership to get the fix. Not only was the problem solved remotely, the car owners were able to choose when to receive the 45-minute software update, making it even more convenient for them.

5. Innovation. The data received from various connected sources can be leveraged to make improvements and innovations such as increased customization and optimization of products and services. When customers see their feedback used to make improvements, they feel valued.


The IoT is still very new to many people. In its 2014 study, The Internet of Things: The Future of Consumer Adoption, the Acquity Group found that 86% of consumers hadn’t heard of the IoT, and 64% had not purchased in-home IoT devices because they weren’t aware such items were available. But with 26 billion of these devices expected to be in use within the next 5 years, organizations and brands would be well-advised to start working on their strategies to leverage the IoT in coming years. Enjoy the cartoon – all credit to Tim Rickard.


Coffee Maker






Categories: Strategy Tags:

Is Your Web Content Moving Forward in This New Year?

April 24th, 2015 No comments

As April comes to an end, it’s somehow shocking to realize that 2015 is almost one-third over. So…how are you progressing with that 2015 editorial calendar?

You swore you’d get back on track after the winter holidays, yet Easter has come and gone and it won’t be long until Memorial Day and the end of the school year. Staying on track with the best of plans is hard enough to do, and especially so when unexpected demands on your time crop up. One way to get back on track with your editorial calendar is to repurpose existing content.

The truth is, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want/need to add content to your site. Content that was especially successful in 2014 can be re-used in another format in 2015. Long pieces can be broken up into smaller pieces or smaller pieces can be compiled into a longer piece. As an example, this blog post is an expansion of a newsletter article from our GreyMatters monthly enewsletter published a few months ago.

There are some compelling reasons to refresh and re-use existing content:

  • Reaching a new audience. Some people prefer to read text; others prefer videos. Some people like a lot of detail, while still others prefer the “Reader’s Digest” condensed version. With so many digital channels available now, content can be presented in a variety of formats that will engage a larger audience.
  • Making the best use of often-scarce resources. If your kitchen is outdated but your budget can’t cover a complete remodeling job, simple, inexpensive steps like a new coat of paint or wallpaper or adding doorpulls to the cabinets can give your kitchen a fresh, new look. The same concept can work for your content as well.
  • Timeless classics never go out of style. Sometimes you hit the jackpot and create a piece or set of content that really knocks it out of the park. With just a bit of thought and maybe a touch of updating, you can serve up old treasures again with success.

In addition to breaking up long articles into several smaller ones or compiling a group of short articles into a longer single article, other ways existing content can be repurposed include:

  • Turn PowerPoint decks into articles or blog posts.
  • Repurpose press releases.
  • Revise old blog posts.
  • Turn Webinars into videos. Has one of your clinicians done a successful Webinar or online chat/Twitter session? Turn it into a video to post on your YouTube channel.
  • Articles on a specific topic can be turned into guides. For example, if you have content on various medical tests and procedures, consider converting them into “how it’s done” articles using infographics or other images.
  • Turn statistics into Twitter posts or DYK posts on Facebook.
  • Record blog posts for podcasts.

If your organization has a blog (or blogs), use your analytics tool to assess the popularity, reach, etc., of previously-published blogs. If several people were responsible for the top blogs, have them revisit the articles and give feedback for repurposing the articles. This can lead to more successful blog articles.

Another source for repurposing ideas is to talk with your clinicians. Physicians, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, and other clinicians often have great ideas about content presentation. Consider having a brainstorming session with a select group of clinicians from various service lines or departments, perhaps including pizza or snacks, to get perspective and ideas from the people who deal directly with the patients you want to engage.

Is repurposing content part of your organization’s content plan? If so, we’d love to hear how it’s working for you. If your organization is looking for advice or assistance with your content plan, contact us. Greystone offers Content Writing/Strategy Services and we’d love to help you maximize your content’s potential.

Making the Right CMS Decision: Greystone Can Help

April 13th, 2015 No comments

After going through the long, arduous and expensive process of choosing a CMS and getting it up and running, the last thing the folks in the C-suite want to hear is “Oops! I think we picked the wrong CMS!” Especially if, prior to the selection being made, someone in the C-suite said, “I don’t care which solution we pick, just pick one and let’s get on with it so we don’t delay our new Web site any longer!!”


Picking the right content management system (CMS) is one of the biggest decisions a hospital or health system can make that has the greatest impact on the future success of their Web endeavors. Yet the process involves a lot of time and effort that most people don’t really have to spare from their regular jobs. So, how can you perform the necessary due diligence while also maintaining your current system and processes in the meantime?

Greystone can help! Before you get bogged down in the laborious CMS selection process, let us help you:

* Save time you don’t really have to spare. The details and work required during the process can be overwhelming. Just answering all the vendor’s questions or dealing with their salespeople can take hours. Concentrate on your “real” job while Greystone assumes those tasks for you.

* Use a fair, objective process for reviewing CMS options. With our knowledge of and experience with the vendors, what they offer, what they are capable of and how they price, we can walk you through the process, foresee problems and make sure you are getting the information you need to make an informed decision for your organization.

* Utilize a proven process for vetting CMS vendors. Without specific functional and technical requirements that match your needs/goals, it is nearly impossible to measure or compare proposals. Let Greystone share their proven methodology with you to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison on the key features important to your organization. And, use our scoring methodology to ensure an unbiased outcome.

In the past several years, Greystone has had the good fortune to work with dozens of organizations on a CMS selection process. From our experience, picking the right solution is rarely obvious without turning over a few rocks and meticulously reviewing the solution options. There is never any guarantee that everything will go perfectly, but a thoughtful and deliberate approach to selecting the right solution will minimize the chances of making a big CMS selection mistake.

Don’t risk making such a critical decision without all the knowledge and support you need. Visit our Website to learn more about our Vendor Selection Counsel services. Or contact Greystone.Net at 770-407-7670, email us at or request a consult.

Categories: CMS Tags:

The Internet: Where We’ve Come From, Where We’re Going

March 23rd, 2015 No comments

Twenty-six years ago this month, Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee proposed an information management system that would become the World Wide Web. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Millennials of today have little idea of what life was like before the Internet, and even those of us who are old enough to be Sir Tim’s peers – or older – have a hard time remembering life in the pre-digital world. But, in 1989, this is how we did health care:

  • If you wanted information about a disease, condition or procedure, your options were:
    • Ask your doctor or nurse for information.
    • Get pamphlets or other printed materials from your doctor’s office or maybe your local health department.
    • Go to the library and search the encyclopedia (if you didn’t have a set of encyclopedias at home) or periodicals.
    • Call or write to a related organization (American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Diabetes Association, etc.) to request information.
  • If you needed to make an appointment with your doctor, you called his/her office.
  • If you needed to see your doctor, you had to go to his/her office or clinic.
  • If you needed help with your health insurance, you called the insurance company.
  • If someone you knew was in the hospital, you could communicate with that person by calling on the phone, sending a get-well card via snail mail, or visiting the person in the hospital. Or you could call a florist and have a floral arrangement delivered.
  • Hospital and health system marketing departments focused largely on print advertising media, with TV and radio ads thrown in for good measure.
  • Essentially all documentation was on paper – lots and lots and lots of paper. Much of the documentation was handwritten, from doctors’ orders to nurses’ notes to prescriptions.
  • Faxing was a fast and relatively high-tech way to communicate.
  • If you needed a prescription medication, your doctor either handed you a handwritten prescription or faxed it to your pharmacy.
  • If you wanted to compare prices of prescription medications, you pulled out the Yellow Pages of the phone book (note to Millennials: you may want to google “phone book”), looked up pharmacies, and called them to check on prescription prices.
  • If you were looking for a new doctor or other provider, you asked your family, friends and coworkers for recommendations.

As the Internet’s reach grew and technology was developed to help leverage it, consumers began to go online more and more. While other businesses were relatively quick to adopt the Internet as part of their business strategy, the health care industry was slow to catch on. Even as consumers clamored for more health information online, the American Medical Association in 2000 issued a press release urging people not to seek health information online, to fend off the possibility of not being the primary source of health information for their patients.

But the AMA was no match for Netscape Navigator, the first widely-used Web browser, or Internet Explorer, which eventually overtook Navigator as the preferred browser. The amount of health information available online continued to increase exponentially, and Websites such as became more common. As the amount of health information increased, concerns about the accuracy and veracity of online information grew. Organizations such as URAC and Health on the Net Foundation were created to develop standards for improving the quality of health information online.

In the meantime, on the business side of health care, marketers began to realize the value of investing in a Website and an online strategy. They found that consumers’ thirst for health information could be leveraged by health care organizations to attract patients to their facilities and services by providing the sought-after information on their Websites. And as technology such as high-speed internet, text messaging, podcasting and mobile devices grew, consumers demanded to get health information on all channels.

So, here we are in 2015 – this is how we do health care:

  • If you want information about a disease, condition or procedure, you simply type the term into a search engine and pick from thousands of search results. Or you can use a mobile app. You can get static content, videos, podcasts or text messages and you can get this content on your computer, Smartphone or tablet.
  • If you need to make an appointment with your doctor, you can go online to request an appointment through a patient portal, or use a chat session to set up the appointment. Or you can call on the phone.
  • If you need to see a doctor, you can go to his/her office or clinic, or you can schedule a virtual visit through a service such as MDLive, Doctor on Demand, or another similar service.
  • If you need help with your health insurance, you can send an email, go online and use the portal, or chat with a representative. Or you can call on the phone.
  • If someone you know is in the hospital, you can communicate with that person by email, Skype, text message, CarePages or CaringBridge. You can go online to pick out a floral arrangement to send. Or you can call on the phone or send a get-well card via snail mail.
  • Hospital and health system marketing departments are increasingly using digital assets and platforms. Just having a Website isn’t enough. With the advent of mobile devices and social media, patient engagement is a 24/7/365 proposition in 2015.
  • While there’s still a good bit of actual paper in use, documentation is increasingly via electronic means. EHRs, patient portals and other digital platforms.
  • If you look hard enough, you can probably find a fax machine somewhere. But more often, documents are scanned or created electronically and sent via email.
  • If you need a prescription medication, your doctor can hand you a computer-generated prescription or fax/email the prescription to your pharmacy. You can also use an online pharmacy and order online or via email or chat.
  • If you want to compare prices of prescription medications, you can search online for prices.
  • If you are looking for a new doctor or other provider, you can go online and search various Websites, from professional physician organizations to sites such as HealthGrades.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee started a revolution in 1989 and we’re all the better off for it. Who knows what the next 26 years will bring? What will health care look like in 2041?

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