On today’s show Daniel sits down with two digital marketing experts, Garrett Jackson and Eric Brende, to discuss your patient’s digital journey. In a preview of a session at our upcoming Team Summit (see notes below for details on Audiology’s biggest team building event). The journey of a patient to your office isn’t always as straight forward as you may imagine!
Read the transcript:
DAN PARSCALE: All right. Hey, guys. How are you doing today?
GARRETT JACKSON: Good.
ERIC BRENDE: Good. How are you doing?
DAN PARSCALE: I’m doing very well, thank you. So we’re here in the podcast room again today, and we’re going to be talking about something that you two are set to speak about at our team summit, which you’re going to be calling the digital journey. Could you give us a quick introduction to what it is you’ll be talking about? What digital journey you’re actually talking about?
GARRETT JACKSON: So let me give you an example of just how this digital consumer journey plays out over time. I just recently bought a water filter, so while I’m out hiking I can go down to a stream and pump water out and be able drink it and not die. So that’s kind of what I was hoping to get out of a water filter.
DAN PARSCALE: Good purchase.
GARRETT JACKSON: Yeah, I started there. Basically I need something that won’t kill me. So it was interesting because at first what I did is I talked to a friend who goes hiking. So–
DAN PARSCALE: You’re like, what won’t kill me?
GARRETT JACKSON: Yeah. Please tell me what will help me survive. And they kind of gave me– the lent it to us. They let us use it. I loved it. It worked great. And so I had a word of mouth referral there. So there’s an in-person interaction that I can’t quantify, I wouldn’t be able to track that online or anything.
And then I went to REI. And while I was at REI I was talking to an employee there about what I should use. He gave me a bunch of recommendations and actually showed me four or five different models and said, you need to consider– you know, inside of this one it’s actually made– it has a clay or a ceramic piece that’s inside of it that will break if it gets below a certain temperature, which is something I hadn’t really considered in the first place.
He had also talked to us about one that used little tiny straws versus a typical filter. And that it actually flushes out really easily and it works well for using muddier water and things like that. So anyways, I had a conversation with him.
So those are two offline conversations. So then I go home. I didn’t buy anything in the store that day. But I did start doing some research. So where did I go? I typed in questions about which ones work best in what type of climate. So which ones are going to survive the cold? Which ones are going to be OK in the heat? Which ones are the easiest to flush out or to clean?
So while I was doing this search, I ended up on a bunch of different websites. One of them was YouTube. I watched some videos of people actually pumping this on the stream. It was like two kids out in their backyard fly-fishing. And they’re like, check out this cool water pump and see how great it works. And I actually watched the entire thing.
So that’s one of my other recommendations I got from them. I went to Amazon’s website and looked at the reviews. I probably read three or four pages of reviews before I said, these are probably my top three options. And then I even watched videos inside of their own reviews section there.
So while I’m doing this too I’m also searching for other options outside of water filters. So I looked at using tablets that you can put in the water to purify it, how effective boiling and these other things are. So there’s just this huge series of searches that are going on around this at the beginning. I’m doing my research. I’m aware of what’s happening. I’m trying to discover exactly what I want to step into next.
So then I decide to move forward with one. It’s called the HyperFlow.
DAN PARSCALE: Whoa.
GARRETT JACKSON: And that alone was why– I mean, obviously that’s why I went with it. But when I found that one it was because a lot of people had recommended it across all these sites. I saw really positive reviews. I watched a video of someone using it. They talked about how easy it was able to pump and do these things. But the thing that was funny is I put in my cart and I forgot about it. And I just kind of left it there.
Well, the beautiful thing is that Amazon didn’t forget the fact that I had it in my cart. So next week I’m on Facebook and I see a little ad in the bottom-right corner that says, remember this is in your cart? And it shows the little Hyper-Flow right at the top in the image. It reminds me that it’s still there. I ignore it for now because I’m not ready to make that purchase yet.
And then I go to another website. What do I see? I see a banner for from Amazon that says, by the way, remember this thing that’s in your cart? So eventually we ended up moving forward. We were going to go take a hike. But I had seen that pop-up three or four more times before I actually went ahead and made that purchase. Which is interesting because I had already taken a micro-conversion step. I had put it in my cart. That’s a pretty big step. But I haven’t gone all the way through to the sale.
But they continued that message, hitting over and over again until I not only had familiarity with it, but I wanted to buy it, because it had been on my list. I saw it repeat itself over and over again. So I was able to move forward. And then I ended up purchasing it.
But I think the thing that’s so interesting about that is, it’s true with every product or industry that you’re looking at. I mean, with hearing you’ve got people, yes, they’re asking a lot of questions at the beginning of it. But if they’re going to a competitor’s website, if they’re going to your website, if they’re seeing a paid search ad from a manufacturer who’s touting the best in the hearing aid technology that’s out there, and you’re seeing all these different messages, the thing that stood out to me in this example was the familiarity.
By the time I finally made that sale, I felt like I knew that product inside and out. And that made it very comfortable for me to move forward. So if you think about the way that you approach this from a branding perspective, is I want to make sure my website and my paid search add, my Facebook advertising, my Facebook messages, my post, everything are saying– it’s all the same message.
So I’m familiar with that brand to the point that when I have that trigger moment and I want to move forward, I’ve already made the decision in the back of my mind about who I’m going to work with, or who I’m going to buy this from. It’s just about making that final decision to move forward.
DAN PARSCALE: So you just described a journey where you were introduced to a product and then along the way in different steps you were reshown that product, educated on it, and then finally made your decision to make the purchase based off of a completely different channel then the steps that happened there previously. So that kind of helps to validate why our strategy is comprehensive with things like social media, posting on Facebook and Twitter, and then the website and having a message on there. And then direct mail even or news inserts et cetera. And just all the different channels that we work in– how they all tend to work together. Paid too– I won’t leave you out of here, Eric. Sorry.
ERIC BRENDE: Thanks.
DAN PARSCALE: But yeah, I mean, that’s the validation that we’re trying to really explain here. Right?
ERIC BRENDE: A lot of people, businesses, focus just on that medium or that point, that marketing medium that delivered that phone call or delivered that form submission. And so they might think that they’re, let’s say, paid search wasn’t delivered on all the phone calls this last couple of months.
So they might think, OK, well, that’s not working so I might want to cancel the paid search. But like you said before, when you’re looking at the analytics, you’ve got to look at it in the bigger picture. Because if you dive deeper you might just realize that those pay search ads were part of that awareness or attributed to that first click where they made that first touch point with your practice. And then months later they finally made that phone call and form submission from just going directly to your website or from an organic search.
So if you were to stop paid search at that point you might be using those people. And they’d be going to your competitors because your competitors are doing paid search instead of you. So when you’re looking at this whole cycle, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture and how everything is working together
DAN PARSCALE: Yeah, Eric, you know, I think when you and I were sitting down to talk about this show last week, you mentioned that you had worked with a plastic surgeon client at one point who typically had more than a dozen channel changes before the conversion actually took place.
ERIC BRENDE: Yeah. I mean it’s amazing if you look in the analytics you can see all the different touch points that people will take. So whether it’s coming from paid search, social, direct, organic, they’re moving through the funnel and you can see how each one is affecting that final phone call. So you can really see the value of each marketing medium for your practice.
DAN PARSCALE: That makes sense to me for other ways too. We’re talking now about maybe organic and paid search. Those two come to mind easily for us because that’s what we work in. But the same concept applies to direct mail or other more traditional campaigns too.
For instance, somebody might get a direct mail and see the name of your practice, and rather than just typing in the address, the URL that’s on the piece, they might actually do a search for your brand name and end up to your page organically rather than direct, even though the initial way that they heard about your brand might have been through that direct mail.
Or it might have been through something that came even before that too. So that attribution talks about a huge history that every customer has before they even decide to even inspect your brand more thoroughly.
GARRETT JACKSON: Actually Eric used this analogy today. It’s like a basketball team. You can’t take one player and just put them out there and say, yeah, take on the whole team. You can do this by yourself. You’ve got to have the assist. You’ve got to have people that are working together. And you have to have tactics that are balancing and working off of each other.
So in the way that we approach this, the beauty of having all this data versus a direct mail piece or a billboard or a small newspaper ad– we can’t track all of the impressions or all of the people that saw that. We can’t necessarily always track every single action that the user took when they saw that in print. But on the web we’re able to follow this all the way through.
So that’s where Google Analytics and running digital marketing work so well is that we can paint a picture. We can see that someone went to the website three times and then they clicked on a paid search ad, and then they decided to go back to the website and finally make their purchase.
So being able to see that and illustrate that, not only helps us as digital marketers be able to determine what’s going to work best for you, but it helps you also determine, where do I need to start this conversation? Is this conversation starting mostly on the paid side with these types of questions? Or is it happening more on the organic side? And how are you going to address those questions on each front?
DAN PARSCALE: I mean, this all makes sense to me. I imagine it makes sense to a lot of the people listening too. But what do you guys advise that people do with knowing this? I mean, for me I’m thinking, somebody comes to my website and they’re going to have to come by maybe two or three more times, maybe more, before they actually make that conversion. What’s to make sure that they’re actually going to continue to come back? I mean, how do you incentivize their return?
GARRETT JACKSON: I think that’s a great question.
DAN PARSCALE: Thank you. I thought of it myself.
GARRETT JACKSON: Well done, Dan. I think one of the problems that you run into– and I’ll speak to websites specifically– is that on a website you’ve spent so much time, money, and energy in developing this thing that you want it to say everything. You want it to talk about your history, your past, your future, everything you guys are doing, every offer, every single item in our industry. Like, every single hearing aid, every single feature that you can’t think of. We want to publish that on the website.
But ironically, when users are going through this journey, if you think about what you’re doing on Google is, you have a specific question that you’re trying to answer. When I type in a query, I am looking for something specific.
So if I end up on a website– Google sends me to your web page to find out more about hearing aids, and you’re telling me, oh, well there’s actually like 50 different models and there’s like 100 different features to choose from. And realistically there’s like 80 parts of the page that you can click on right now. So click wherever you want. You’ll end up someplace nice. You’re not guiding that user to their answer.
And what Google and what we care about as users is, I want an answer to my question. So when we build a website, really looking at, how can I simplify this message as much as possible for the user? So on my home page, instead of having 10, 20 different sliders that are going by selling different offers, instead I can focus on a single image and a single call to action at the top of the page that’s trying to guide me in the right direction.
And if I get lost along my way on the website, I’m able to look at a menu structure that can help guide me back to where I’m specifically looking for answers. So if I’m looking into tinnitus and I need to understand why I have a ringing in my ear, I can go into that page, be able to drill down, learn more, and then I have a call to action that’s specific to my particular query in question that I started this whole adventure out with.
DAN PARSCALE: I agree with you. I’d also just add that sometimes you do need to have a whole bunch of options there, like if you’re selling hearing aids for instance, and you sell more than one kind of hearing aid. It makes sense to have content related to each one of those as an option, for two reasons.
One, because they’re all products that you ultimately want to be able to sell and pique the interest of people. But also because at that stage in the buying cycle, they might still be trying to figure out what is available to them. And they might not have made their mind up yet. So seeing that there are options that can be catered to their particular needs might be the best answer to the question that they started off the journey with in the first place.
GARRETT JACKSON: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a really good point. The key here is not to bombard people with too many options.
DAN PARSCALE: Right.
GARRETT JACKSON: Realistically what we’re trying to do is help answer the question. So like you said, of course we want to show all of the different features that are available to them, but only when it’s answering that specific question. So maybe not putting all of that on the home page, but having that as an internal page about specific types of hearing aid styles or specific types of hearing aid features. And that way they can help find their way to those specific pieces of information.
DAN PARSCALE: So another thing that we talk about a lot internally is something that Google kind of coined, which is micro-conversions. If you’re not familiar with that term– if a macro-conversion is something like a phone call or a form submission, then a micro-conversion is going to be a smaller win along the way.
So for instance, a play on a video that you have on your page, or even just scrolling all the way to the bottom of a lengthy article which implies that they read the whole thing. Something like that– clicking on a banner that takes you to a page that you want somebody to see. Those are the kinds of things that show engagement and potentially have opportunities for them to touch base with you again in the future.
We have PDFs on our websites that patients can download to prepare them for their visit. And that’s an important micro-conversion, because even though it’s not technically scheduling the event, it is going to make them more ready for the event. And so it’s much more likely that they’re already signed up for an appointment, or they’re going to schedule one in the future.
We have videos where we have the content ready on some of our websites too, which shows that, yeah, if you are really interested in the topic of this video on this page, clicking on that it’s a good indicator that you trust this resource and that you value what they’re showing. So those kinds of things can be helpful along this journey as well, right?
ERIC BRENDE: Yeah, definitely. It’s all these different moments. Yeah, Google calls the micro-moments.
DAN PARSCALE: Micro-moments, yeah.
ERIC BRENDE: And it’s just those steps that lead to that phone call. And it’s a good way. When you see people play a video it’s good because they’re engaged with it. But maybe it’s a good way to figure out if things aren’t working. Because that’s not a bad thing. Not everything on your website is going to perform awesome at first. Maybe it’s a video that people aren’t watching all the way through.
So we can use these analytics to figure out, what is the content that people are really engaging with? And then what’s the content that people are not engaging with? And you can kind of adjust your website, adjust your content based upon that to kind of further increase things.
GARRETT JACKSON: Something to think about at the very beginning of this is, it’s incredibly important to have a marketing strategy right out of the gate before you start really investing in all of these tactics. It’s one thing to have a strong paid search campaign and a strong website, and to have these things functioning well.
But it’s a totally different thing to have a comprehensive strategy where you have a message that’s not only on your website but it’s on your paid search, it’s in your display advertising, it’s in your direct mail messaging. You’re pulling this whole conversation together across all of these mediums.
So whether they run into in a display ad and they click on it and have a limited engagement with it, and then a month later they come across it on their website. They see it there. It’s the same thing that’s reiterated to them. And then they see that paid search ad that really tries to push them forward to make a decision about this. Then they’ve already had these interactions with that same message, that same brand that’s trying to guide them in a specific direction.
So yes, all of these things have assisted in that process, but the message has been consistent from the beginning, that’s carrying them all the way through until that final decision point.
DAN PARSCALE: OK. So that makes sense to me too. What would you say is the best– what’s an example of how one of these strategies might look if you’re really trying to drive someone down this journey?
ERIC BRENDE: Different marketing mediums do different things for an audiologist or an ENT practice. So for example, maybe social media for an ENT practice– they’re running a Facebook ad campaign and they’re getting a lot of clicks to the website or their landing page, but we’re not seeing those direct phone calls come from that Facebook ad campaign.
But if we did dive deeper, like we mentioned before into their analytics, we can see that those Facebook ads played a crucial part in awareness, like that first step in the buying funnel or the intent funnel. So we can really tailor your messaging based around how each median is working.
So on the Facebook ad side, maybe instead of just directly asking for that appointment when they’re not ready, we provide Facebook ads that– it’s like a download for a hearing aid buying guide or just a guide about hearing loss– just a warm type lead to provide valuable information to the person. And then when they’re finally ready, they’re further down that cycle, they see ads, paid search ads where we have that strong call to action to schedule a free hearing consultation type of thing. So based upon how we see things work, we can really tailor your messages to based upon where people are at in that funnel.
DAN PARSCALE: Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Let’s wrap things up with the top three takeaways that you want people to remember about the digital journey.
ERIC BRENDE: Top three takeaways– particularly one would be, don’t always focus on what generated the phone call or the form submission. You’re got to look at everything just like Garrett’s example about his water filter. There were so many different touch points along the way. So don’t always focus on that marketing piece that generated that phone call or form submission. There’s other things that helped get that person to that point.
GARRETT JACKSON: Yeah. I think a second point would probably be to be consistent and clear in your messaging. So to make that simple and to have it go across all of these tactics. And also included in that, your message should always be answering people’s questions.
The third takeaway from today– although our team here, we use a lot of digital tools, a lot of technology to keep track of what works and want doesn’t to be able to see how these tactics worked together. We don’t expect you to necessarily have that right now at your practice.
But realistically you have a great tool and a great data set right in front view which is your patients. Your existing patients have a knowledge of the process that they’ve just gone through before they arrived at your practice, before they came into your dorm, before they were fit with hearing aids.
So at that end fitting appointment, before they’re going to brave the world out there with their new set of hearing aids, that’s a perfect opportunity to end that conversation by saying, I’d love to hear about how you determined that you had a hearing loss, where you were searching online, how did you hear about us, and how did you arrive coming to our practice?
By asking those questions, you’re able to gather that same information that we’re able to on the website in some ways, granted not the amount of quantitative data to be able to track precisely what happened. But you’re able to grab that qualitative data of, what happened in their experience, the anecdotes that drove them to finally come in and meet with you.
DAN PARSCALE: Excellent. Well, guys, thank you again for this preview to the conversation that you’re going to be having about this same topic at Team Summit. I understand that we’ll be able to put a little bit more about this online at attainable.fm. So if you’re interested in hearing more and you’re not able to attend Team Summit, go ahead and check that. Garrett and Eric, thank you again for joining us on Reach.
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