Posted: February 7, 2017

Seven questions to get to know our digital marketing strategy and consulting expert, Giselle Bardwell.

1. What’s your day-to-day look like?

My days are a combination of internal meetings, communication with my teams, other cross-functional business teams, and preparation for onsite meetings with clients. Internal meetings are important to ensure our teams stay connected and moving in the same general direction. Onsite meetings are important because it is our opportunity for face-to-face collaboration with our clients—it is where we get to hear first-hand what are the problems they need to solve, and it gives us an opportunity to discuss solutions.

2. What’s the one lesson you’ve learned in this business that’s stuck with you?

Nothing is “easy” in healthcare. Early on in my career at Influence Health as an SEO Specialist, I remember making recommendations that to me were rather straight forward—add a keyword here and there, call it a “center” instead of a “clinic,” change the title to “pediatrician” instead of “pediatric specialist,” etc. I later realized that instead of giving actionable recommendations to my clients, I was setting them up to fail without providing them the data and tools necessary to defend those recommendations. I didn’t realize that they would need to do some “selling” internally to make things happen. In other industries I had worked in, making changes to things on the website was never a big deal that needed to be reviewed and/or approved by various groups.

I’ve learned that due to the amount of oversight in healthcare, and the level of collaboration needed to make things happen, I need to provide supporting evidence for my recommendations. And I need to provide it in a way that makes it easy for my immediate client to present and “sell” up his/her chain of command.


3. What’s one thing you wish our clients knew about Influence Health?

The breadth and depth of expertise we have. We’ve been typecast as a technology provider and not a strategic digital marketing partner. I wish our clients knew how much collective experience we have in managing the entire lifecycle of healthcare marketing from ideation to execution to measurement and optimization.

4. What’s the next big thing you’re working on?

Forming a digital strategy and creative consulting arm here at Influence Health and launching a new set of services to help us partner and engage with our clients more strategically.

5. What irks you the most about healthcare today?

There are several things. Healthcare has always been slow at adopting new strategies to reach consumers. It irks me that it we are still convincing some healthcare organizations to treat their patients as consumers, and as such they can benefit from providing digital experiences that are in-line with what we all expect as consumers.

It also irks me that many organizations have not fully realized the potential of digital marketing as a business development tool and instead opt for investing in “vanity marketing.” Many C-suite and prominent physicians still get satisfaction from seeing billboards and TV ads, while ignoring the ROI of targeted digital marketing campaigns. As a result, healthcare marketers are expected to devote a large amount of their budget toward marketing tactics that have time and time again showed they are not as effective.

6. What matters the most to you as a healthcare consumer?

Having access to good healthcare. Having caring nurses and doctors that see and treat me as a human person and not a number. Having clean and updated facilities. Being able to easily contact my doctors and nurses and get answers to my medical questions.

7. What’s your biggest health vice: coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, carbs?

Coffee! I easily drink three cups of coffee before noon. It is my addiction. I’ve tried to quit by using coffee substitutes, but I always go back to the good stuff.