I was a presenter and attendee at this year’s Hospital Marketing National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia—#HMN16. The event was filled with case studies and presentations aimed at making healthcare marketers’ lives easier and more successful. In the two days I was there, I took away four marketing hacks I know you can use.

  1. “This is Worth Watching”

Captivating the diminishing consumer attention span is the order of our day. It was my privilege to present “Human Connection through Digital Videos,” with Becky Swanson, divisional director of marketing, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). Our case study covered how as a challenger in her market, Becky was able to leverage the use of digital videos to create a human connection—and with the help of Hailey Sault, bring two HSHS hospitals from zero to 200,000 views in just three months. If you want to know more, see the presentation here.

During our presentation, we fielded a question regarding the most effective length for video. While data shows :30 and :15 videos are effective, we challenged attendees to create space for storytelling and to experiment with video lengths. In healthcare, powerful stories captivate and compel individuals to watch.

It’s important to give a video the necessary time to inspire viewers to share it as “This is worth watching.”

Since the conference wrapped, who would have thought that the 4-minute Chewbacca Mom’s video would be on a path to overtake the U.S. viewership of the 2012 Summer Olympics?

  1. Moments of Truth and Humor

Healthcare is serious and loaded with every imaginable emotion. Several presenters touched on moments of truth and flashpoints they discovered in the consumer decision-making journey, patient experience and physician engagement insight development. Hailey Sault did some valuable consumer research that covers several of these topics. You can access it here.

During all the seriousness surrounding connection-making and successful marketing, Becky Swanson had the room erupting in laughter as she shared the experience of fielding rapid-fire internal client requests while trying to create a piece of artful, consumer-centered marketing.

Unpacking humor—and letting the joy that comes with letting it fly—in presentations and insight-sharing is something we all need every day in this serious business of healthcare.

  1. Honorable Competition

Healthcare marketing is purpose-filled work. The conference itself and the awards ceremony that accompanied it brought competitors into the same room, to appreciate work well done and hearts and minds hard won. It was a thrill to see two of our clients recognized as Healthcare Marketers of the Year. I also appreciated the work and presentations from other agencies.

When we come together as professionals in competition or to share best practices and strategies, it’s important to approach each other, shake each other’s hands and let each other know we appreciate a job well done.

  1. Strategy Download, Speed-Dating Style

The conference agenda was strategy speed dating with primarily single, consecutive 30-minute sessions instead of multiple 60–90 minute session conference tracks.

Attendees were able to take in a lot of different strategy viewpoints and approaches. Instead of rushing from one filled room to another they could stay put, get comfortable and take in the same information. There was adequate time to discuss what was learned with each other during breaks. The conference felt more cohesive as a result.

Timing is everything. Knowing your audience—whether marketer or healthcare consumer—makes it easier to get it right.

See you at #HMN17. Looking for more marketing hacks? Check us out.