Marketing to Healthcare CIOs? Have a listen and let me know what you think.
Today in health it my 10 laws of marketing to Healthcare CIOs.
My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and create, or this week health, a set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current. And engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors. We're investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, short test and artist site two great companies. Check them out at this week. health.com/today.
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All right. I did a poll on Monday. I do a poll every Monday. If you get a chance, check that out on LinkedIn. I don't do it on Twitter mostly cuz I just don't spend that much time on Twitter. But , I do it every Monday on LinkedIn, so if you get a chance to go over there, check it out. I will put another one out on Monday.
I don't know what it's gonna be yet. I wake up on Monday and I think. What am I curious about? This one was about marketing. I said, what is the best marketing approach to reach healthcare leaders with new solutions, with or with a new solution? And I gave four options. Clearly these polls aren't scientific.
You can't capture everything. There's a lot of different things that I could have put in here, but I chose four things, events, trade publications, email campaigns, and social. , there was 218 votes over the course of three days, and 59% said events. 20% said trade publications. 1% said email campaigns, 20% said social media.
If only 1% said email campaigns, I want to know why my inbox is so full of email campaigns and why you're spending so much time on email campaigns anyway. , curious on that one. So anyway, 59%, 60% events, 20% trade publications, 20% social media, 1% for email campaigns. And I started thinking, you know what?
What is my take on this? And so I had some CIOs in the room and I asked them about, you know, how do you find new solutions and where do you go? And that kinda stuff. And we had a really interesting conversation over lunch. And so I decided to put together my 10 laws for marketing to healthcare CIOs.
Again, not scientific, just my 10 laws, and here they are. I'm just gonna throw it out there. Number one, CIOs are busy. They're very busy. I mean, really busy. Don't expect them to be doing things people do when they have time, like surfing the web or reading social media, or even attending a webinar. They have to be efficient with their time or, or quite frankly, they're going to implode.
They just do not have time. When you think about it, they're addressing all the problems because technology is part of everything that a health system does. They're addressing every problem in the health. They don't have time. They're busy people. So that's gonna be the backdrop, and it has to be the first law.
Number two, the average CIO gets about 250 emails a day. All of them have a method for managing this, but deleting marketing emails is the top strategy. Or even better, , you know, Never letting them get into their inbox. I've had people who set up alternate emails when they go to a conference. , they now have methods to tag email from a CRM or an email service as marketing, they do a search, they highlight 'em all, and they delete 'em all.
If you have something to say, you have to get in front of them. . All right. That's the law. If you have something, if you have something to say, you have to say it to their face or on a phone. You have to get in front of them. Number three, they don't read trade publications to find products. They read them if they've been interviewed.
So self-serving ego, I, I've been interviewed, I wanna see what, what it says, or to stay current on certain topics. If the article smells of marketing, they absolutely. So again, just be thinking about the marketing dollars that your company spends or that you are responsible for spending and how that money's being spent.
Number four, the primary reason CIOs go to events is to see their peers. Number one reason. Number two reason is because they've been asked to speak the third reason. Is to see their existing partners because it is efficient. Just go back to rule number one. They're extremely busy. They don't have a lot of time, and if all of their partners are at that event, it's efficient for them to see their partners.
, if there's any time left over, they might find you. If you're not an existing partner, if anyone is to find you at an event, it is likely an influence buyer, not a decision maker. Someone that is second or third. In the IT leadership, somebody who could potentially be doing the work. I'm not saying events aren't worthwhile.
I'm saying that you're probably not getting in front of a decision maker. You're probably getting in front of an influenced buyer, , because the CIOs are busy even at those events, especially at those events, quite frankly, at the carnivals, as I call 'em. , number five, the first place a CIO goes to seek out a new product or solution is their peers.
I've seen it over and over again. What are you doing to cut down on readmissions? , I'm looking for a product or I'm looking at Product X. Does anyone have experience with that product? So that leads me to two subpoints, right? I'm not gonna give these their own points, but subpoint to five that they seek out, , product and solution recommendations from their peers, number one.
You have to get your product right before you go to market, or you risk making your product toxic before you get off the ground. Bad word of mouth is absolute death. In our industry, this is the number one place they go for recommendations. So if that's where they're going and people are saying bad things about you, you're done.
Like if you're a salesperson in that organization, go find another product to represent because that's hurting your brand. All right, so number two, under that, , use your existing clients to get new. . If you don't have any clients, find someone willing to take a risk on you. A, a, a friendly, that will give you, , , you know, the opportunity to work with their health system.
Now you give 'em a great deal clearly, but what you need is good positive word of mouth. You have to have at least one. So, , you know, that first year or whatever, use your marketing budget for this as this is. I mean, that's exact essentially what it is. Getting that first client is market. Right. That is your marketing campaign.
Number six, no CIO wants to be your qualified lead. Let me say that again. I don't wanna hurt your feelings, but no CIO wants to be your qualified lead. Even if you happen to snare them in the traps that you set around the internet or at an event, they don't want your phone. A warm introduction from another CIO or industry leader is the only qualified lead worth acting on.
All right? Otherwise, you're just a nuisance. All right, number seven, scanning their badge in your booth because you gave them good socks. Does not make a cio, someone who is interested in anything other than cool socks. That lead is probably better given to the sock manufacturer than your product. , sales.
quite frankly, giving away cool stuff. I, I love the cool stuff. Keep giving it away. It's great. I have, let's see, I have lip balm on my desk from I, gosh, if you're gonna put your logo on something, at least make it so that I don't have to put my glasses on to read it. . But, , I, so now I can't tell you who it's from cause I don't wanna embarrass 'em, but my gosh, I can't even read their logo and I just put my glasses on.
That's bad. Anyway. , but yeah, I have lip balm all over, , my house from various manufacturers. I have socks, I have other things, but just keep in mind, , you know, scanning their, their badge in your booth cuz you gave away good socks. Makes them a great lead for the sock manufacturer, but not a good lead.
Number eight, marketing That is solely focused on finding organizations that are interested in your product category right now misses an important element of. Relationship marketing people and organizations which are made up of people buy from people and other organizations that are made up of people they know, like trust and need.
Remember those words? I come back to 'em all the time when I'm talking to salespeople. Do they know you? Do they like you? Do they trust you? Do they need you? Right? They have to know, like, and trust you at the point when they need you, so that they'll call. Skipping the first three and getting lucky enough to find that last one at the exact moment they are buying is an important piece of marketing, no doubt, but it places you at a disadvantage unless you've established the first three.
Number nine, if your product is ranked by class or some other respected service that is important and helps to establish a level of trust. The reason we trust class is because they do the work of checking with our peers to validate your. All right. That validates what I've already said. The most important thing is your product at work in healthcare, cultivating good client experiences and then leveraging those relationships is important.
It's the most powerful marketing out there. So class is going to our peers and they're asking them, Hey, does this stuff work? How does it work? Is it good? And that kind of stuff. Because of their approach, that establishes a level of trust in the industry. So that's why you should. The inordinate amount of time to be top of class.
And if you can't be top of class, that tells us something because it's a trusted source for us. So finally, number 10, when you actually find a qualified lead, don't give it to a knucklehead salesperson or every dollar you just spent on marketing is, was. Hire salespeople you like, you connect with you, trust, and whose approach to sales matches your company's culture and approach to sales, right?
You just did all this work. You spent half a million dollars in marketing, you got a really good lead, and you give it to a knucklehead and it's all wasted. Don't do that. Don't make that mistake. All right. There you have it. That's my riff on healthcare marketing written at 6:00 AM on a Friday morning. Is it all right? I don't know if you have others to add. Let me know if you disagree with some of them. You can let me know that as well. When we partner with organizations at this week Health, we actually check references.
I know it's hard to believe, but if your product isn't right, don't bother calling me, asking us to take your money to set your marketing traps on the internet. , we actually call your clients to see what they have to say. If you can't give us two clients that are willing to say nice things about you, I don't really wanna represent your product to our community.
And I, I feel like when you are on our website and I talk about you, that I am endorsing your product. I know this is crazy. We've turned down several potential clients over the years, but at the end of the day, the logos on our website represent our brand and is part of the trust relationship we hope to have with the c.
Wow, that feels good to get off my chest. If you are interested in marketing with us and have at least two successful client engagements and execs willing to talk about it, send me an email bill at this week, health.com, or if you have other thoughts on this list.
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