As 2014 Winds Down, 18th Annual HCIC Is Almost Here!

October 27th, 2014 No comments

hcic_logo_2014Wow…2014 sure has flown by! It’s almost Halloween, then comes HCIC, then Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and BAM! It will be 2015.

It’s hard to believe that after all of the months and months of planning and coordinating, the 18th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference will be in progress in just another week. And it’s also hard to believe that once everything from the HCIC is packed up and put away, we’ll be on the final legs of 2014.

On Monday, November 3, hundreds of professionals involved in healthcare marketing, IT and strategy will gather at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ, for 3 days of educational programming, including five keynote sessions, four pre-conference workshops, with 56 concurrent sessions in between it all. In addition, there will be ample opportunities to network with colleagues and attendees with a robust and vibrant exhibit hall with over 80 of the top industry vendors.

Have you registered yet? If not, you still have time! Visit to register for the conference. You may also register for one of the pre-conference events as well.

If you are a client of Greystone.Net or StayWell, you’ll want to join us on Sunday afternoon before the main conference begins for the combined Insights 2014, the Client Conference. Don’t forget – your paid HCIC registration entitles you to attend the Client Conference at no additional charge! But you do need to register for Insights 2014, so please don’t forget to do so.

One reminder: Don’t forget Election Day on November 4th! If you’ll be in Scottsdale, please take advantage of early voting or complete an absentee ballot before you travel. Your vote only counts if it gets in the ballot box!

The final HCIC preparations are almost complete. We look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale!




Categories: HCIC, Insights 2014, Uncategorized Tags:

What’s a CMO to Do?  (Part 3 of a Series)

October 20th, 2014 No comments

Juggling picIn parts 1 & 2 of this blog series, we discussed the potential merging of the roles of the CMO and CIO into a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) role and the factors driving this change. Let’s now look at strategies a CMO can use to accommodate a changing role.

As digital technology continues to advance and improve, it’s imperative for the CMO to stay abreast of tech implications on marketing strategy. While obtaining a degree in IT is neither necessary nor feasible, forging a close relationship with the IT staff is absolutely a must.

A report released by Accenture Interactive in July found that among 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives from around the world, relationships between the two groups have improved over the past year. And 23% of the respondents felt that collaboration between marketing and IT was currently at the right level, up 10% from last year’s survey. So, while things have improved between the two groups, there is more work to be done. Collaboration is mandatory as marketing becomes more enabled by technology.

To reiterate a point made in last month’s article, the marketing technologist is an increasingly essential member of the marketing team. Every marketing organization must become technology‐savvy. More than any time in the past, good marketing management means good technology management – a necessary component that provides differentiation and competitive advantage. A CMO can’t delegate technology decisions to IT or others — it’s just too important to long-term marketing successes.

A CDO needs a broad range of experiences, competencies and qualities such as:

  • Being a free thinker who’s willing to experiment (based on data) and move on from failure
  • Being able to quickly adapt
  • Having the ability to move in an agile manner among all departments in the organization
  • Being able to communicate in the “language” of various departments and disciplines within the organization and interpret complicated technology concepts for all stakeholders
  • Having cross functional expertise (marketing and technology)
  • The ability to be persuasive, adaptable and visionary.


Digital transformation is happening all around us. To be successful, the CDO must make sure that digital is more than an afterthought. And, marketers of the future must be ambidextrous” and able to seamlessly think and act across all realities — digital or not.


Categories: Strategy Tags:

Coming to SHSMD14?

October 11th, 2014 No comments

coffeeIf you are coming to San Diego this weekend for the SHSMD annual conference, stop by booth 421 and say hello to your Greystone friends and colleagues. We’ll be there and would love to see you. And, if you have a few minutes, we’ll buy you a cup of coffee.

Also, don’t miss my presentation with Kelly Faley, VP of Web Strategy & Customer Contact Center at Sharp HealthCare, on the Rise of the Chief Digital Officer. We’ll be debating the need for CDOs, the role they can play in healthcare and the long-term outlook for the role. We speak at 4p Monday, October 13th in Seaport B at the Grand Hyatt Manchester.

The last time we were in San Diego for SHSMD we all endured 9/11 together. What an impact that day had on not just the meeting, but so much of our lives since then. I can’t wait to get back there and make some new memories. See you soon and safe travels to San Diego.



Categories: Best Practices, Strategy Tags:

Five Sundays From Now: Insights 2014

September 28th, 2014 No comments
Sonora Desert

Sonora Desert – Arizona

It won’t be long before we head to Scottsdale, Arizona for the the 18th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. In fact, our annual client conference begins on Sunday afternoon, November 2nd and that’s only five weeks from today. It seems to have come up so quickly this year.  If you’re a client of Greystone.Net or StayWell, we hope you’re planning to arrive in Scottsdale on Sunday to attend the Client Conference.


What’s New This Year?

The Client Conference has been renamed this year as “Insights 2014,” as we’re offering a fresh approach to focused peer-to-peer sharing.

The name of the conference has changed for a reason:  it’s no longer just about information; it’s about what you can do with the information. Insights is the ideal forum to share your experiences and best practices in Web strategy, Web development and digital health marketing with your peers. The client conference is presented at no additional charge for those registered to attend the Healthcare Internet Conference.


The Benefits

Starting at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 2nd, join us in an informal setting where you’ll be able to:

  • Network with colleagues from around the country facing similar challenges in optimizing online effectiveness.
  • Participate in facilitated discussions in a comfortable setting.
  • Hear the latest from Greystone.Net and StayWell.
  • Share ideas and learn best practices that you can use in your own online activities.


Insights 2014 image

Event Details

For a full conference schedule, check out the Insights 2014 brochure. Highlights of the client conference include:

  • Rob Klein (Klein & Partners) and Mike Schneider (Greystone) presenting “Unmasking the eHealth Consumer” – be among the first to hear the results of a nationwide quantitative survey about the evolving eHealth consumer and their wants and needs.
  • Shannon Hyslip (Baptist Health) and Spencer Griffith (Stone Ward) presenting “When is a Tagline Not Just a Tagline? – showcasing a Baptist Health case study on using digital strategy to shift the system’s focus outward to embrace, celebrate and promote its role in the healthy lives of the community.
  • Vik Patel (Hardin Memorial Hospital) presenting “Making a Measurable Difference in the Digital Ecosystem” – showcasing a Hardin Memorial Hospital case study on the real impact marketing can have on all aspects of healthcare from operations to patient satisfaction.
  • Leanne Spaide (UC-Riverside), Kara Tomazin (CentraCare Health System), and Farrah Hunt Thompson (Greystone) presenting “How I Met My Vendor: The Art of Matchmaking and Successful Vendor Relationships” – a presentation of how two different organizations used a structured vendor selection approach and process to find the right partners to help them meet their digital footprint needs.


And after all the educational sessions conclude, join us for an entertaining dinner and awards presentation of the 2014 Best In Class Web awards.


Want to Attend?  Here’s What You Need to Know:

  • If you’re already registered, great!  You are good to go.
  • If you haven’t registered yet, do so soon. Hotel room discounts end on Friday, October 2nd so reserve your hotel room by Friday, if possible.
  • If you’ve already registered for HCIC, but now want to add on attendance at Insights 2014, you can upgrade your registration at no additional cost.

See you soon in the beautiful Arizona desert.



Factors Influencing Emergence of the CDO Role (Part 2 of a Series)

August 29th, 2014 No comments

chief_digital_officer_cool_600In the first of this series, we talked about how the roles of the CMO and CIO/CTO are converging with (and sometimes into) the role of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Now, let’s look at what’s driving this role merger. A primary driver of the emergence of the CDO role is, of course, the move to digital transformation. With the number of mobile devices exceeding the number of PCs and Wi-Fi nearly ubiquitous, it’s essential to have a marketing leader in place who’s up-to-speed with the latest technology and trends.

Traditional marketing strategies alone no longer bring about engagement with today’s customers. An organization’s marketing and branding strategy must be re-evaluated from the ground up in order to appeal to an increasingly tech-savvy audience.

A Few Key Concepts


The concept of converged media means a marketing leader must work to leverage all types of media to reach the target audience. In the past, an organization could focus primarily on paid media (TV/radio/newspaper ads, mail campaigns, etc.) and work to get exposure on free media. But this is no longer a viable strategy. Today’s organization must develop a workable strategy with online and social media components forming a large part of the overall plan. Using converged media is important because:

  • It takes multiple exposures to a message for consumers to believe it.
  • While social media is pervasive and popular, not as many people see social media content as you may think.
  • Leveraging earned media within your owned channels brings customer loyalty because they want to help you tell your story once they’ve been won over.


The patient experience is becoming the heart of modern marketing because:

  • Distance between a communications message and patient experience has collapsed to a click.
  • The experience often starts online and crosses all devices, defines your brand.
  • Social media gives everyone who has a experience with you – good or bad – the ability to share their story with others.

For these reasons, the patient experience is now paramount to marketing. Just remember to focus on the “patient journey,” not just individual interactions.


More and more, the marketing technologist is an essential member of the marketing team. With increasing sophistication of technology, an understanding of the underlying components of the various platforms is required. This doesn’t mean that marketers need to be coders. But every marketing organization must become technology‐savvy. In other words, good marketing management now incorporates good technology management – a necessary component that provides differentiation and competitive advantage.


Big data … you already have much of it, but you have to be able to leverage it effectively. Every year, a half trillion dollars is spent worldwide on marketing, yet nearly 40% of it is deemed “wasted.” Data enables you to be more targeted, more effective and efficient and provides a platform to prove it. Big data is the missing link between marketing actions and results. When developing and managing your data, you should:

  • Find a data savvy manager, which isn’t easy.
  • Find a good data partner.
  • Use data to sync up corporate goals and strategies.
  • Think big, but build incrementally.


Finally, in a time of increasing technology and shrinking resources, the ability to implement agile marketing is essential for a modern marketing leader. You can no longer survive with just a static annual marketing plan. Agile marketing lets you get more done, in less time, with better results. Consider the 70:20:10 balance:

  • 70% of your marketing is planned “marketing as usual” activity.
  • 20% of your marketing is programmatic (marketing automation), in which campaigns are automatically triggered by an event and deployed according to a set of rules applied by software and algorithms.
  • 10% of your marketing is purely responsive.

These are some of the trends shaping the role of a Chief Digital Officer.

Next time, we’ll talk about how a marketing leader positions himself/herself for becoming that digital leader.



Categories: Big Data, Branding, Social Media, Strategy Tags: