By Ryan Stout, Guest Blogger | 5.24.16
The inaugural Mental Health Marketing Conference was held recently at Lipscomb University, and the two-day event was packed with local and national marketing professionals who are leading the charge on mental health marketing. Below is a brief recap of the event.
The Man Behind the Curtain
It’s impossible to start this recap without first mentioning the work of Austin Harrison.
If you don’t know Austin (is that possible?), he is the Relationship Director at Identity Visuals, one of the leading video and motion graphic companies in the Southeast.
Austin was the only reason this event happened. He convinced the speakers to speak, he secured the venue, he signed on the sponsors, he made sure we had snacks and coffee.
He was the conference.
The first day started with a beautiful and moving keynote by Austin. The passion he has for this event is palpable and contagious.
The truth is, putting on a conference is hard work. Especially the first one. You need passion to pull it off, and Austin clearly has it.
I think I can speak for all in attendance when I say Austin did a marvelous job as a first time conference organizer. Way to go!
“Your web presence has to be as good as your clinical product” – Lee Pepper, Foundation Recovery Network
One of the main themes over the course of the conference was creating digital experiences (websites, videos, campaigns, etc.) for healthcare initiatives that are as sophisticated as what all leading brands have, regardless of industry.
Healthcare is leading the way in several areas, but design, UX/UI, marketing and digital are not typically where.
A bad experience online can lead to missed opportunities.
This was a leading topic in many of the talks and discussions over the two days, and Lee Pepper of Foundations Recovery Network hit the nail on the head with his quote above.
Users expect a seamless experience from all brands, healthcare or otherwise. If we fail to deliver on this we could miss the chance to help someone.
To surprise and delight is not just for enterprise companies with big budgets. It’s for all companies.
“The whole purpose of marketing now is to start and build a dialogue” – Jerry Youngblutt, Boyden + Youngblutt
As a Partner at Astute Communications, a marketing agency that also serves several healthcare clients, I found Jerry’s comments to be especially insightful.
Content in healthcare marketing is an especially tricky subject to navigate. Not only must we build authority and trust, but there are also regulations (HIPAA/PHI) that cannot be ignored.
Often, creating content for healthcare companies can be especially taxing. The stakes are higher than in most other industries.
Jerry’s recommendation to start a dialogue, to make it a conversation, is a great reminder to speak to healthcare consumers as people, not just patients. Jerry was a wealth of insight and sage advice, drawing on years of healthcare marketing experience to help paint of picture of what successful healthcare marketing looks like.
“Marketing and PR need to be integrated” – Kriste Goad, Revive Health
The last Keynote of the MHM Conference was from Kriste Goad of Revive Health. Her presentation about combining Marketing and PR – a holistic approach to healthcare marketing – was a great way to cap the event.
With Revive being a leader in that space, she was able to really paint a clear picture of what this approach looks like, and what success looks like as well. By marrying PR and Marketing, Healthcare Marketing can reach and serve more people. Integration of these two departments is vital.
Until Next Year…
In its first year, the conference was able to bring together the Nashville Mental Health Marketing community in a new and exciting fashion. Marketing agencies, healthcare companies, non-profits and many more were able to add their unique perspective to this important topic, to educate and motivate. Until next year…