#HCIC14: A Great Time Was Had By All!

November 24th, 2014 1 comment

BagpiperSince the 18th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference concluded Wednesday afternoon November 5th, we’ve had time to reflect back on the event in Scottsdale. Including the Insights 2014 Client Conference on Sunday afternoon, it was a truly wonderful 3 ½ days!

Some highlights that come to my mind:

• The keynote speakers this year were spectacular! The diversity and quality of the speakers were great … from Paul Szablowski sharing his view from the fringe (and from the Ebola front) to Scott Stratten’s 75-minute hysterically funny rant on social media to Ross Bernstein’s non-stop talk on building championship teams to Andy Gradel’s practical take on building a digital budget — they were all special, informative and entertaining in their own ways.
• The number and variety of concurrent sessions kept the audiences involved and engaged.
• The Westin Kierland was a wonderful venue and conducive for both learning and informal networking. The evening bagpipers – playing at sunset – added to the fun. They were enchanting.
• Personally, I enjoyed all the interactivity and sharing. And meeting so many of you. Catching up with old friends and making new ones. That’s always the highlight for me.


There have been several blogs written about the conference already (from SiteWire, Avid Design and others) and below I share a few of their thoughts and take-aways:

  • In order to be successful, you must start with your hospital’s “why” and define how it is different than your competitors. [Learning from the Fringe: Uncommon and Innovative Insights Come From Uncommon and Innovative Places. Paul Szablowski, Texas Health Resources.]
  • Healthcare has a Net Promoter Score of 10.8. Lower than all industries except utilities, Internet service providers and cable companies. [Learning from The Fringe: Uncommon and Innovative Insights Come From Uncommon and Innovative Places. Paul Szablowski, Texas Health Resources.]
  • 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.]
  • 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.] Or to say it another way: “Gotta be in the game with social media … an immediate response to a negative comment is the only way to diffuse the negative impression.”
  • ‘Your brand is only as successful as the last person that influences a patient or consumer’s impression of it.
  • Assess where you are then move in the right direction – review data and make adjustments for smarter ROI.
  • “If you have a lot of employees saying dumb things on Twitter, you don’t have a social media problem, you have a hiring problem.” [Scott Stratten, Unmarketing]
  • Patients, like consumers, have a choice – focus on positive user experiences to develop dynamic relationships.
  • CRM is not just a tool, but a philosophy.
  • “You can’t fake passion” [Ross Bernstein] And boy, was he passionate!
  • Connect your digital footprint … integrate it all for stronger results.
  • Think out of the box – look at non-healthcare industry consumer successes.
  • Look at retail – specifically for convenience, value and giving what consumers want – and apply those principles to healthcare.


Lots of attendees took to Twitter to discuss their thoughts and take-aways. You can check out the entire Twitter stream by searching the #hcic14 hashtag. Here are three we liked a lot:


If you came to #hcic14 – thanks for attending and participating. We hope everyone learned a lot and had a great time. We at Greystone sure did. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 19th Annual HCIC – next November 9-11, 2015 – in Orlando!

We also want to send best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to all. If you’re traveling during the holiday week, please take care and be safe.




Categories: HCIC, Insights 2014 Tags:

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 www.hcic.net 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.