Dealing with the “But We've Always Done it This Way” marketing mentality

May 4, 2015Marketing Strategy


A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post providing three reasons to include digital in all healthcare marketing. Now, I’m sure you and I know the reasons to include digital, but what if there’s resistance coming from within your organization? Are you struggling to get others on board with your digital efforts? Do you struggle against the “but we’ve always done it this way” mentality?

Some organizations and industries lag behind the others when it comes to a digital marketing adoption curve. If yours is one of those, I have four suggestions to help move the needle and get more people behind a digital presence.

Start Small & Use “Pilot” Programs

Don’t go all in right away. That tends to scare some, especially those in finance. Doing too much, too soon opens the organization up for mistakes. Mistakes aren’t necessarily catastrophic, but they must be mixed with successes in order for the organization to continue. Start small with your digital efforts and use “pilot” programs to start. Test out a social media campaign and measure the results. Build a landing page and put some PPC budget behind it and see what happens. Try to set your strategies to last a few weeks or quarters, not beyond. That way, you can measure sooner, adapt and not be in too deep from a budgeting perspective.

Show Them Proof

The big advantage to using digital is the accountability it provides. Use this to your advantage and prove to them digital works by showing them the numbers.

You can’t argue with numbers.

You don’t have to get all the way down to ROI, although that is ideal – being able to tie off how much you spent on direct (or somehow, indirect) revenue generated from that amount. Most organizations can’t get to this level. You can get the basics – visitors, page views, bounce rates, click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates and the like. If you can prove that a digital campaign cost $50,000 and resulted in 100 new customers, if you know the average lifetime value of a customer you can provide some rough idea of ROI.

Show Them the Competition

There’s a good chance your competition is using digital. I’m not usually a big fan of scare tactics, but showing stakeholders (especially executives) that your competition has a head-start could light a fire for them. No organization wants to be playing catch-up, so seeing first-hand that others in the space are doing it should provide some motivation. Proceed with caution, however, as decisions made under duress can lead to poor choices, lack of planning and strategy and ultimately a waste of time and money.

Show Them Options

Show them how much a traditional media campaign can cost. Show them how much it takes to produce a 30 second spot to run on TV, and how much running that spot for just a month on local channels would set them back. How them how much the billboard off the interstate actually costs.

Compare these traditional marketing options to what they could get for the same budget with digital. Compare how long that billboard would stay up relative to how long they could run a paid search campaign. And don’t forget to remind them that those digital assets can remain “live” long after the campaign runs, still receiving potential traffic from organic search and social media channels.

Naturally, digital shouldn’t be the only marketing channel and I’m not suggesting to replace all of your traditional marketing with 100% digital. A healthy mix is often necessary, but show them the pendulum should swing just a bit more toward the digital side.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me with your thoughts.

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