Perhaps no industry understands the value of data as well as the healthcare sector. Having the right data at the right time enables clinicians to make the best decisions possible for the health of their patients; without it, lives literally hang in the balance. And, having the right data at the right time can also make a tremendous difference for healthcare marketers, although the stakes aren’t nearly as high.
Yet many hospitals and health systems aren’t getting the data they need to make the best online marketing decisions. Many online marketers assume the raw conversion numbers they get from their lead generation websites will tell them everything they need to know about how well their sites are performing—but that’s not the case.
Although Google Analytics and other reporting platforms tell marketers how many conversions their websites are generating, that doesn’t tell them as much as they think it does about actual sales leads created. In fact, as many as half of those conversions turn out to be interactions such as customer service inquiries, incomplete form submissions, and even spam. But reporting platforms don’t make this distinction, so marketers aren’t getting the whole story.
For instance, if one source on a lead generation website creates 100 conversions a month and another one only generates 50, the marketer may assume that the first one is the more effective source. But only 25 of those 100 conversions may turn out to be true sales leads, whereas the second source may generate 45 sales leads out of 50 conversions. Without that crucial layer of data digging deeper into the numbers, marketers risk making some dangerous assumptions when it comes time to optimize their websites. They may allocate resources to sources that generate large numbers of conversions but have fewer actual sales leads. Or scale back sources that generate more sales leads, but within a smaller number of conversions. Making decisions such as these without the most complete information available can end up hurting a campaign’s effectiveness.
All of this is why online marketers need to make lead validation and tracking critical components of their lead generation campaigns. With the extra level of reporting these processes provide about conversions that come in online as well as over the phone, marketers finally can have the most complete picture of how effective their sites are. This can fill crucial gaps in marketers’ data—helping them build better campaigns that are more effective at driving new customers to them.
Make sure your marketing team is armed with the right data! Check out the following guide, which breaks down the process of implementing lead validation and tracking step by step.
By Matt Cannon, Director of Web Services, Straight North
Debbie Reczynski is Director of Communications and Program Development for the Forum for Healthcare Strategists.