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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Matching Social Media Tools to Your Strategy

The CMO's Guide to the Social Media Landscape

Strategy first is the mantra when it comes to social media tools for brand building, marketing, customer engagement, search engine optimization and more. Dean Whitney of Dean Whitney Interactive put together this guide which provides insight into the effectiveness of various social media tools against specific goals.

Top 10 in 2010: Ten Forces Framing Strategic Discussions for Healthcare Leaders

By any account, 2009 was a watershed year in which politics, the economy, public sentiment and the media all played a significant role in framing a new environment for health care over the next decade. With tumultuous challenge to the first significant overhaul of our nation’s health care system since the introduction of Medicare in the mid-1960s, health systems are still trying to determine the likely impact of payment reform initiatives on health system strategy. Here is a round-up of the most significant market forces that will shape strategic discussions over the next year, and most likely for the foreseeable future.

Click here to download the full article.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Marketers Shifting Resources to Support Social Media Marketing

Seems like marketers everywhere are reallocating budgets and restructuring marketing and public relations teams to embrace social media marketing. The implications are big - and require a thoughtful approach to redesigning the marketing operation in order to reinvent our approach to engaging consumers . . . How are you addressing this in your health system?

This article from UTalkMarketing.Com describes the shift:

Businesses Own Their Audience Through Social Networks, Not Traditional Paid Ads

Business marketing teams are switching from paid ads to social networking advertising in 2010 to gain more control because… well, they can.

Marketers shelled out more than $1.2 billion on social networking advertising last year, and that figure will only rise – to $1.3 billion this year – as advertisers aim to leverage their existing social media infrastructure in 2010, according to a new report from eMarketer.

In its social media outlook, the research firm found that advertisers plan to devote their social media resources this year on maintaining their social networks rather than growing them through paid ads. Many marketers made the investments last year in creating fan pages on Facebook, running ads on MySpace and developing the overall strategy for social media, said Debra Williamson, the eMarketer senior analyst who wrote the report. Now, they’ll look to nurture those audiences.

This shift points to a broader philosophical change, as marketers create their own audiences, rather than rent them. Brands want to invest money in building out audiences rather than just renting through TV, radio and magazines (the old way.) Example … Pepsi pulled out of the Super Bowl after 23 years to develop its own audience through its Pepsi Refresh Project online.
Marketers are looking for better ways to quantify and measure social messaging that surrounds their brands is a summary of what Williamson said. “Whenever you do a paid online campaign, you guess or estimate how many impressions you are going to get, and now they are trying to figure out how much earned media they’ll get,” she said.

Marketers are eager to apply metrics to Facebook posts, Twitter comments, viral marketing and others times and areas when and where people share or interact with a brand online, even if it’s as simple as a consumer replying to another consumer with a brand recommendation. A number of firms track and analyze earned media, such as Listen Logic, Converseon and Networked Insights.

Brands also want to understand how social media eafects the rest of a marketing plan.
“They’re realizing you don’t have to track every single metric, but you should track the ones that make sense for your business,” Williamson said. “If you want to use social network marketing for branding, then you’re going to follow different metrics in terms of whether they are looking at your fan page or passing along to friends. But if you’re looking to do a promotion, such as downloading a coupon and getting a discount at a store, then the metrics are getting better to understand that, too.”

When marketers do spend money on social media this year, they’ll be opening their wallets for Facebook with its 350 million worldwide users. Facebook spending in the United States will jump to $450 million this year, up 34% from $335 million last year.

Read more at Businesses own their audience through social networks, not traditional paid ads.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Sell or Not to Sell: a Guide for Orthopedic Practices Eyeing Deals With Hospitals | Business and Financial

From Becker's Hospital Review

Orthopedic surgeons contemplating turning over their practices to their local hospital may view such a deal as a way to lock in lifelong profits while saying goodbye to all of the administrative hassles of managing a practice. But seller beware: If money is the primary motivator, the strategy could well backfire, according to physicians who have entered into such deals. Some orthopedic surgeons interviewed say they are satisfied with deals they struck with their local hospitals and would do so again if given a chance. There are others who prefer to remain independent. But all agree that such deals are not get-rich-quick schemes, nor do they come without significant compromises and complications. That means surgeons should think long and hard about what they want to gain from aligning with a hospital before making the leap. They should also engage legal and financial experts to help make the most of the relationship, say those who have been through the process.

Read more at: To Sell or Not to Sell: a Guide for Orthopedic Practices Eyeing Deals With Hospitals Business and Financial

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The New Consumer Frugality

What does this mean for health providers?

Retailers must adapt to the enduring shift in U.S. consumer spending and behavior, according to a new Booz & Company survey of buying habits.

A new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, the second issued by Booz & Company since the early days of the recession in October 2008, confirms that a “new frugality,” born of the Great Recession and evidenced by two consecutive years of declining per capita consumption, is now becoming entrenched among U.S. consumers and is reshaping their consumption patterns in ways that will persist even as the economy starts to recover.

A new frugality, characterized by a strong value consciousness that dictates trade-offs in price, brand, and convenience, has become the dominant mind-set among consumers in the United States — and probably in other wealthy countries as well. Two-thirds of American shoppers are cutting coupons more frequently, buying low price over convenience, and emphasizing saving over spending. Per capita consumption expenditure has declined across demographic groups. Consumer sentiment remains weak. These trends are not going to change, no matter the pace of economic change.

Annual consumer surveys conducted by Booz & Company during the past two years suggest that the deep and prolonged nature of the recession, in conjunction with longer-term trends — such as ongoing shifts in the share captured by retailers’ private labels and the greater online research shoppers do before going to the store — has hardened changes in consumer spending and behavior. Even as a slow recovery is under way, it is becoming clear that consumers are not going to step up to store counters with pre-recession alacrity. Marketers and retailers that wait for them to do so are taking a major risk with the futures of their companies. And as consumer demand returns, it will likely center on a different mix of price points, brands and private labels, and retail formats than prior to the recession.

Read more at strategy + business: The New Consumer Frugality (by Matthew Egol, Andrew Clyde, Kasturi Rangan)

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