As executive director of community relations and planning at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, NY, Laura Shea is always working to optimize her marketing efforts. Having recently implemented CRM, here's her advice for leveraging technology to elevate your marketing efforts.
Q: Why do you feel CRM is essential to effective marketing?
Marketing dollars are precious and need to be spent wisely. Coupled with that is the fact that people are inundated with messages of all kinds — making it even more important to provide information that’s relevant to them. We want to reach individuals that are most likely to be interested in our message or service.
Q: What steps did you take to build a business case for CRM?
For years, we have had access to market data that only provided information on utilization, not behaviors, and it was at least a year old. We needed data that allowed us to be more strategic in our targeting of patients. But because of budget constraints, I never thought I would be able to justify the expense of CRM.
When I saw the power of CRM, I worked to eliminate some current expenses to be able to justify adding TrueInsights.
Q: How were your CEO and other stakeholders involved in the evaluation process?
Our CEO was involved in the evaluation process — meaning that he listened to the sales presentation — but ultimately he allowed me to make the decision and business case that TrueInsights would help us reach our goals. I was given the option to make the case for an additional FTE in my department but chose to invest in TrueInsights instead.
While an additional person in my department would have been nice, we would still be missing access to strategic analytics that would help us succeed.
Q: What was your criteria for selecting a CRM tool?
We hadn't initially sought out a CRM tool. When I received the request from True North to evaluate TrueInsights, it was first done out of courtesy of our long-standing relationship. After seeing the capabilities of the tool, we began to see how access to good data was the missing link in a solid marketing program.
Q: What advice would you give to other healthcare marketing leaders who are evaluating CRM?
A CRM tool like TrueInsights has the potential to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Identifying and communicating with people when they’ve already entered the decision funnel will yield far better results than hoping that you’re finding those people among the crowd.