Blog Archives

The Case for Inbound Marketing

One of the better presentations I’ve seen on the case for inbound marketing comes from HubSpot.  In sum, it’s better to be found by your target audience than to bother them with email and advertising.  They are not only tuning you out, but they are unsubscribing from your lists. Companies need to “stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.”  Customers and prospects will find you so long as you are participating in the conversation with the right content and through the right channels.

This presentation itself provides a great example.  Posted to slideshare over 1 1/2 years ago, it’s still being shared and receiving comments as recently as 1 week ago! That’s useful content, and we’ve all heard that content is king.

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Marketing the Benefits of The Cloud

By now you’d be hard-pressed to work in high-tech and not have read an article or two (or ten) on Cloud Computing.  But how much of The Cloud is just hype and how much are businesses moving to it?  I found this really interesting infographic on the benefits of Cloud Computing for small business (SMB).

Benefits of Cloud Computing
Via: NovelASPect

One of the most interesting things to me is that security of The Cloud is listed as both a benefit and a reason SMBs have not yet moved to The Cloud.  This is certainly true in healthcare where hospitals and physicians must be concerned with HIPAA compliance and protecting PHI.

One of the best analogies I’ve heard on this came courtesy of my wife (who knows much more on this topic than do I).  People feel that driving a car is safer than flying primarily because they are in control of the car – this despite the fact that statistics show otherwise – flying is in fact safer.  Similarly, if they are not directly responsible for their IT infrastructure, they perceive decreased security.  But Cloud vendors are focused on data protection and security – often more so than companies hosting and supporting their own applications and databases.

So how should vendors market Cloud Computing given the above benefits and concerns?  Vendors often fall into a comfortable pattern of touting the cost-saving benefits of The Cloud alone.  This would not only ignore the many other benefits, it would also presume cost is a customer/prospect’s primary need when if fact they may be more focused on agility, performance or some other benefit.  I like the pragmatic approach that Ken Ostreich espouses – one that is focused on matching customer needs with a vendor’s solutions.

On Being Thankful

This year’s ride is in the books and all donations are in – this post-ride recap, however, is woefully late, and for that I apologize (Debbie reminded me that the Christmas poem was just around the corner!).

Logan, Taylor and me at the finish in Provincetown, MA

PMC 2010 was as eventful and full of memorable moments as always – I even made the front page of the Boston Globe on day 1 (that’s me in the very bottom left, seriously).  This year, I was able to ride, dine, and speak with senators Scott Brown (R) and John Kerry (D) as both rode form Sturbridge to Bourne on day one.  Senator Kerry was coming off hip replacement surgery (#2 I think!) and Senator Brown was headed out to the Middle East, after riding 110 miles, the very next morning.  Kudos to the senators for continuing to show their support by riding under those circumstances, although I’m quite certain both are well aware of the sacrifices that the patients for whom we ride are making, rendering the sentators’ medical and travel “challenges” routine by comparison.

Together we raised $5,475 – eclipsing the $5k mark for the first time!  I am truly thankful for your support and humbled by your generosity.  As I often like to do, and with the benefit of more participation history under my saddle, I’ve taken a look at the fund raising numbers over the years, and here is what I’ve found.

With the exception of 2008, the total amount raised and the average donation has risen steadily.

The total number of donors has remained remarkably steady, and the number of repeat donors continues to increase.

I’m looking forward to the challenge of raising the fundraising bar in the coming years, in particular by leveraging social media.  I have a modest network of friends on Facebook and a slightly more modest list of followers (hopefully growing) on Twitter, but with each friend and follow my reach and opportunity to influence donations grows.  Social media is increasingly becoming a part of my job (anyone’s in marketing for that matter), and it seems to have worked well for Doug Haslam, who has a nice summary of the impact of Social Media on his fundraising efforts.  I have some time to think it through, but it’ll be here before I know it – registration comes in January!

As for the winner of this year’s $200 donation challenge drawing – according to the accounting firm of Taylor and Logan, LLC – that bounty goes to Greg Greely!  Greg, the check is “in the mail.”

The PMC is about many things to each of the 5,000+ riders who train and raise money year after year – I think this video captures it nicely.  For many it’s the triumph over a dreadful disease – for others it’s remembering those who weren’t as fortunate.  Before sunup on day two of this year’s ride, someone from the “Auburn Family” passed away after nearly 10 years of battling cancer.  We are constantly reminded of our daily grace and reasons to give thanks.

Thank you for your continued generosity, and see you on the road!

Why Doctors Need Marketing Now More Than Ever

I just returned from the Diabetic Limb Salvage conference in Washington, DC. I could end this post on that note. If there ever was an example that screamed for marketing help, it’s a conference (or anything for that matter) that goes by the name of “Diabetic Limb Salvage.” But that’s actually not the entire point.

Physicians get a bad rap for a number of reasons often characterized generally as being more Dr. Evil than Patch Adams. A common explanation (not excuse) cited is that doctors walk out of med school with triple-digit debt – and that’s only from four years of study – forget that most go on to additional years of training at salaries not in-line with their level of expertise or responsibility. That would certainly challenge my disposition.

But it goes beyond simple salary implications. For the first time in history doctors are being forced to purchase and use electronic medical records (EMRs). You might think this is a good thing given the rest of the world stands in line for hours to buy the next “iThing” that Steve Jobs dreams up. But EMR technologies have not been designed the way Apple designs their products – that is to say, they have not been designed to serve the end user above all else. In addition, all specialties are at financial risk going forward, and the delta between them is shrinking. Finally, healthcare reform aims to provide benefits to nearly everyone, thereby guaranteeing an oversupply of patients for a chronically under-supplied pool of physicians. We need doctors, now more than ever.

Two things stood out to me at the DLS conference this week. First, doctors are “wicked smaht.” Yes, I always knew this having spent my career working with and/or designing products for their use. But if everyone could sit in a packed conference room watching a surgeon operate on a patient while simultaneously discussing (and debating) the merits of his approach before a panel of world-renown experts, you would get a new appreciation for just how much they really know. Secondly, doctors care very deeply about their profession and their patients. The winner of this year’s Georgetown Distinguished Achievement Award in Diabetic Limb Salvage went to Dr. Gary W. Gibbons. Dr. Gibbons was one of the more, shall we say, challenging physicians on the expert panel. Yet not five minutes later, while accepting the award, he gave an impassioned, emotional speech not about his career achievements (which are quite lengthy and impressive) but about their collective calling. He challenged everyone in the room to work together like never before on behalf of their profession, but more importantly on behalf of their patients. His conviction was as clear as the crystal award he held at the podium.

The themes of Dr. Gibbons’ speech and the dedication of those in attendance at the DLS conference should be part of the broader healthcare debate. See you at next year’s “Diabetic Limb Preservation” conference!

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