Posted: December 27, 2017

Healthcare marketing is full of acronyms. With applications and technologies designed specifically for the industry, there can be a lot of confusion when folks banter around acronyms that can have multiple meanings. We've put together some common acronyms to help you parse the lingo and make sure the conversation you think you're having is the conversation you're actually happening -- CMS: content management system or CMS: government org, anyone?

Glossary of Healthcare Marketing Terms

AI (Artificial or Automated Intelligence): Artificial or automated intelligence allows marketers to automate simple tasks like data collection and data observation and free up more time for strategic improvement of other processes. Think about the possibilities for scheduling appointments or prescription refills with AI.

AR/VR: (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality): Augmented Reality is when a user directly views a real-world environment that is augmented by computer generated sensory information such as video, sound, or graphics. Virtual Reality is when a user uses and interacts with a simulated environment in which the user feels like he is inside the experience rather than viewing it. Could this technology or something similar be used for telehealth in the near

API (Application Programming Interface): APIs are a series of rules that allow a computer application to extract information from a service and use that information in its own applications. The application “calls up" information for you to use in your own software. Many advanced healthcare technology solutions have API-based structures.

CaaS (Communications as a Service): A communication solution that is outsourced by a vendor such as text, Instant Messaging, voiceover IP, videoconferencing, and other communications. Outsourcing CaaS allows businesses quality of service and a pay-as-you-go communications system.

CMS (Content Management System): A web application designed for both technical and non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website and help with the writing, editing, publishing, and indexing of content, sometimes also referred to as a wCMS, or web content management system.

CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services): The acronyms are the same for both so using the context is critical.

CRM/hCRM (Customer Relationship Management or Healthcare CRM): A technology system set up to manage all of a company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. hCRM is a Customer Relationship Management system built specifically for healthcare, with security and structure for healthcare's nuances and regulations factored in.

CPC (Cost per Click): The amount of money spent to get a digital advertisement clicked when users visit a website's advertising campaign. CPC can help assess how cost effective and profitable the advertising is. Modern healthcare marketing is moving beyond this as a measurement of true engagement toward measurements like form fills, appointments scheduled, etc., but it's still an important measurement for campaign optimization.

CPL (Cost per Lead): The amount of money it costs for a marketing organization to acquire a lead. The CPL is a metric that marketers watch and track when considering downstream ROI, marketing effectiveness, and budgets.

CR (Conversion Rate): The percentage of web users that complete an action on a single web page, such as filling out a form or signing up for a newsletter. Web pages with high CRs are performing well, while those with low CRs are lagging.

CTA (Call to Action): When a website visitor is encouraged to take action via clicking a text link, button, image, or downloading content. Taking action could include scheduling an appointment, downloading information, signing up for a seminar or event, etc.

CTR (Click through Rate): The percentage of web users that click through or advance from one step to the next on a web platform. The rate is determined by the total number of clicks that a page receives divided by the number of pageviews or opportunities to click. This is a deeper measure of engagement than CPC, but its true value depends on what the end of the click, the "through" portion is — a form, a landing pages, a phone number — and the campaign's goals.

CX (Consumer Experience): The overall experience a consumer has with a brand or website from the beginning to the end including their ease of use, personal interactions, communication across multiple channels, etc.

EDH (Enterprise Data Hub): A secure repository for any number of data sets that enable organizations to aggregate, standardize, and index their data.

GA (Google Analytics): A Google service that provides detailed statistics about a website's traffic, users, conversion rates, etc. Used in digital marketing to assess how well a website is doing with its audience.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator): A type of measurement to evaluate and track marketing goals such as how many leads are generated, how many homepage views a company's site receives, and other marketing statistics.

PPC (Pay per Click): A digital advertising model in which advertisers pay a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked. Google is a prime channel for this.

RFP (Request for Proposal): A formal document an organization may use to elicit bids when funding is available for a project, like a technology investment for CRM, CMS, marketing automation, and more.

ROI (Return on Investment): A measure of performance which is used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. The ROI formula: Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment, divided by Cost of Investment. ROI can be applied to everything from a house to a business marketing plan — in healthcare marketing, ROI is trickier to calculate and requires a robust lead management system to track campaign engagement all the way through the consumer journey to appointments and billing.

ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment): The net of marketing spending. Formula: Profit divided by the marketing invested. Today's marketing is moving toward a more sophisticated measurement of ROMI, more closely related to true ROI, tracking specific campaigns and efforts so profit can be attributed more specifically rather than broadly.

SaaS (Software as a Service): Any software which is hosted by another company that stores your information in the cloud. For example Dropbox offers SaaS for pictures and files.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page): The page displayed by a search engine when a query is entered. The first page of Google is a powerful SERP determinant of how well your organization is managing its website, SEO tactics, reputation, directory listings, and paid advertising.

UI (User Interface): The space designed into a computer for the user to interact with. UI can include the appearance, aesthetics, content, and response time.

UX (User Experience): The overall experience a user has with a brand or website from the beginning to the end, including their ease of use, personal interactions, communication across multiple channels, etc. (Also see CX).

Influence Health Specific Acronyms

CXP (Consumer Experience Platform): A web-based system set up to give consumers relevant and timely information and offers across multiple channels. Cloud-based, the system can help test content, measure marketing performance, and gather insights and marketing trends.

DMS (Digital Marketing System): A collection of integrated solutions that cover the gamut of healthcare digital marketing requirements, including search and social advertising, lead management, reputation management, director listings management, email automation, and print marketing. This works most effectively when connected to a Content Management System (CMS) and Customer Relationship Management system (CRM).

DPM (Digital Presence Management): An integrated process in which a brand becomes visible online and promotes marketing information relating to its physical location across all interactive media channels. In healthcare, this includes SEO optimization, reputation and directory listings management, and web content for a balance of paid, earned, and owned media strategy.

Want more healthcare marketing insight, specific to your organization? Request a free Healthcare Marketing Assessment.