It’s easy to get caught up in the throes of a new romance, that hopeful feeling you get when starting any new relationship, even one with a new healthcare technology vendor. But if you truly want this new venture to be successful, you need to take time to set your goals, outline what steps it will take to achieve them, and get organized. Your mission, whether as simple as launching a rebrand or as complex as creating better consumer experiences across your organization, will set the tone for what follows.

Complete the following four activities, and you’ll see faster results as you begin your relationship with your new technology vendor.

Step 1: Create a Marketing-Owned Mission Statement
It’s likely that your overall healthcare organization has a mission statement, but it’s helpful to create one specifically for your marketing team. Define and write down who you are as a department, as well as who you want to become. What kind of digital experiences do you want to create for your healthcare consumers? How do you want to stand out from your competition? State your vision and aspirations in clear terms.

Step 2: Develop Personas and Journey Maps
For an in-depth understanding of exactly who your target healthcare consumers are, you need to create personas and journey maps. This exercise will also tell you what your consumers need and how they interact with your organization across a multitude of touchpoints. You can also use these tools to help teams across your organization and get buy-in to improve the consumer experience.

What are personas?
Personas are fictional, believable representations of your target consumers. More specific than general consumer segments, personas are fleshed out with individual names and stories to help illustrate how a group of consumers might behave or respond.

To create an effective person you should:

  • Engage stakeholders across your organization to gain a diverse perspective on your organization’s goals, processes, and the issues unique to service lines and conditions.
  • Use data and research to inform your individual personas from market research, surveys, interviews, and more.
  • Bring your personas to life with first-person narratives to help foster a connection to your actual patients.
  • Include demographics, personal attributes, and information that crosses the entire consumer lifecycle

Using personas to map the consumer journey
Build on your distinct personas to create consumer journey maps that describe each persona’s experience at various touchpoints. Based on real research and behavior, an effective journey map should represent the true consumer experience – good or bad.

To create an effective journey map you should:

  • Consider context, such as whether the interaction takes place at home, online, on mobile, etc., and how that context can influence interactions
  • Factor in how each step enables the next
  • Explore how the consumer’s emotional state at each interaction – engaged, scared, frustrated – can influence their choices

Step 3. Identify the Universal Problems & Opportunities First
The benefit of a detailed and insightful consumer journey map is that it shows you where you’re succeeding as well as where gaps in consumer touchpoints exist. When you look at multiple consumer journey maps, you’ll see patterns of issues and gaps that cross service lines and journeys, and solving these universal problems is an easy way to see fast results. Getting these quick wins will help gain more buy-in for your investment, and you can build on these successes over time.

Now is also the time to sort out how your web strategy intersects with other martech strategies, like your healthcare CRM or digital marketing efforts. When you have all these goals documented, you can better evaluate which CMS features are essential and then outline next steps in the project as well as what are your criteria for success.

Step 4. Curate Your Content
The final step in preparing for healthcare CMS success is to take an honest look at your current website, all its content, and look for areas where content can be improved, expanded, or eliminated. It may be tedious, but you must look at every single page on your site or sites. Create a space where all necessary stakeholders can review and comment on each page, and then decide which pages need to be un-published before migrating to your new site. You’ll also want to create a running list of any new pages you need to build. Take the time to inventory forms that need to move along with any custom templates and features that need updating or recreating.

You can use the time during your site freeze to update your forms and templates and send out internal communications to stakeholders about the migration. During this time you should keep a log of any changes that had to be made during the site freeze so you can make the corresponding updates to the new site more easily.

Any new technology relationship will have a learning curve, but if you follow these steps, your relationship will build more quickly toward mutual success.

Want to learn more about operationalizing and advancing your CMS strategy? Read our guide to driving growth with web personalization.