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What You Need to Know in Digital Advertising: Best Practices and Insights

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

[SHSMD17 Speaker Podcast Series] In the Healthcare Success continuing series, Marketing Strategist Peter Do talks with Doreen Pichotti, Digital Marketing and Media Strategist at UC Davis Health System. Today’s podcast will preview Doreen’s upcoming presentation at the 2017 SHSMD marketing conference.

Doreen Pichotti

Doreen Pichotti

PETER DO: I’m pleased to introduce our guest, Doreen Pichotti, Digital Marketing and Media Strategist, UC Davis Health System. Welcome, Doreen. Tell us about your background and your conference presentation topic: What You Need to Know in Digital Advertising: Best Practices and Insights.

DOREEN PICHOTTI: I’ve been with the UC Davis Health System marketing and advertising team for about 22 years. During that time I’ve seen our advertising evolve from traditional advertising to the digital world and I’ve accumulated a vast amount of data and experience. We have some interesting insights to share.

Specifically, I’ll focus on some of the uses, advantages and distinctions between Facebook and Yahoo. I see Yahoo as a well-kept secret, and I think our audience might be surprised at the results that we’ve been experiencing consistently. In addition, we’ll discuss some of the other platforms like Twitter, Pandora and others.

Person holding a cellphone with the screen displaying "Digital Advertising"PETER: Digital marketing encompasses so many different areas. What do you think are some of the more important aspects that health systems should focus on—be it social media or search or reputation management?

DOREEN: Actually, I think it’s all important, and I think that’s the key message. I’ve had to answer the question “should we pay for advertising?,” or “why don’t we just do more social media because it’s free?,” or “why don’t we just use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because that’s free?” But it has become abundantly clear to me that they are all important. This is because each serves a special purpose and they contribute to the total picture of your Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

PETER: One of the things you indicated is that you would be creating a truly integrated marketing effort between paid and organic social media. That’s an important topic to cover as it is always a topic of interest for many organizations. How important is it to have an integrated marketing plan? Is one element more important than the other?

DOREEN: I’m glad you asked that important question. When I think about integrated communications, I think the definition has evolved over time. For one thing, some people may be holding to an old definition of brand consistency, consistent messaging across different media, and even your internal documents.

But I don’t really see a lot of information published about how to integrate your paid and your organic side. What I think is the real key to integrating those two elements is having an integrated measurement tool. What you don’t measure, you can’t improve. And, once you work through some of the comparison challenges, you can actually see how much one element is contributing vs. another element. Ultimately, they both are important and have significant advantages.

PETER: Given that paid social media has a much wider reach relative to organic, what is the case for having an organic presence at all?

DOREEN: Organic is still extremely important because you are developing your community, and that can continue to grow. And at some point as it grows, at some point, you might be able to reduce your paid social media.

PETER: What are some the top line metrics that are more meaningful? What should people be looking for when evaluating these kinds of things?

DOREEN: It depends on the objective. A lot of campaigns that I’m running are strong Call-to-Action campaigns. The measure might be how many capitated members did we attract during enrollment? But with online advertising efforts, it is often a visit to the website, which might be considered a lead or lead generation. And once at the website, it’s up to the website to convert them to a user or new patient. So I’m often looking at actual traffic and leads that come to our website and landing pages.

PETER: Thank you for joining us today. Do you have any final thoughts or take away ideas that you’d like to leave with our listeners?

DOREEN: I would encourage people to try Yahoo native ads…I believe they are very effective. Try them and see what kind of results you get.

Contact Healthcare Success today to discuss SEO for medical practices and how we can improve your website visibility.

For listeners who will be attending the SHSMD 2017 conference, Doreen’s presentation will be at 11:30AM on Monday, September 25th. Please join us there.

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