If you've seen Marvel's latest record-shattering release, you know that it's good for some action-driven heartbreak. If you take a couple of steps back though, it's also hiding a few great marketing lessons.

There's a LOT going on in the movie, but Avengers: Infinity War (both the film itself and its marketing) is an explosion-fueled master class on the importance of strategy — especially the importance of checking in periodically to make sure your plans are still on track. That's a position every healthcare marketer's been in, but it's especially important to take some time and visit that evaluation period as we near the mid-year mark.

Before we get into that though, if you don't have a healthcare marketing strategy, now's the time to start (it's never too late!). We all saw what happened when the Hulk took on Thanos without a plan, and that's the last position you want to find yourself in.

Visit the Reality of Your Benchmarks
If you're coming up on mid-year and don't have any solid metrics or benchmarks, now is the time to set some up.

A strong set of KPIs (the scorecard that keeps your strategy headed in the right direction) that are tailored to your goals provide high-level insight into your marketing that's hard to access otherwise. These can include bounce rates, conversion rates, newsletter subscribers, and whitepaper downloads. We have a more in-depth explanation available here.

Rethink The Soul of Your Website Goals
If you paid attention to the marketing push running up to Infinity War, you got the feeling that they were aiming for something big and specific. You could almost see Infinity War taking aim at franchises like Star Wars and Avatar. It only took one week to hit $1 billion, and it's completely possible that even a goal that big was completely intentional and just that specific.
Your website goals should work the same way.

Even if they've gotten you through two quarters unscathed, vague goals like “upgrading your site" or “improving conversions" aren't enough. You should be considering specific levels of improvement that align with the benchmarks you determined at the beginning of the year. If you see yourself falling behind in any areas, now's the time to identify opportunities for improvement and allocate resources accordingly.

While you're at it, don't forget content publishing goals. If you've decided that a weekly blog post and monthly patient stories are what you need to hit your targets, set up an editorial calendar that says exactly that.

Evaluate the Power of Your Marketing Campaign Performance
By the time Infinity War dropped, Marvel was 19 movies into its marketing game plan, so it's no surprise that the campaigns around its latest release were so well executed.
They mastered the omni-channel with ads on social media, TV, and as usual leveraged other movies (eg, the end of Thor: Ragnarok). It was bigger than that though. They also pulled in actors to release posters and “request" that the release date be moved.

If your marketing isn't at least headed in that kind of cohesive direction by mid-year, it's time to take a look at some of your campaigns.

Review your email campaigns, call center initiatives, direct mail campaigns, patient retention programs, even social media ad strategy, to make sure they're hitting your conversion goals and contributing to your overall marketing performance. If this is challenging and it's hard to get a clear perspective on your multi-channel campaigns, it might be time to start shopping for a CRM that will help you engage with your healthcare consumers in a personalized way, all while keeping a macro-level view of campaign effectiveness.

Assess the Space in Your Budget
Infinity War brought on some serious tears, but it also had quite a few running themes, one of which was scarcity. Scarcity was the entire reason Thanos decided half the universe needed to be slaughtered or snapped out of existence, and it may or may not describe how you're feeling about your budget as the months roll by.

If you don't know where you stand, now's the time to sit down and evaluate whether you're over or under on campaign spend and how that happened. Have you let a paid advertising campaign fall by the wayside? Did you overspend on collateral for a recent conference?

If it turns out you've been wasting money, it might be time to tighten the definition of your audience or even cut back on a channel or two to round out mid-year. More than likely though, you simply need to make modifications to what's already working, and possibly consider bringing in professional help.

If you're running a surplus, that's an opportunity to either identify and double down on high-ROI campaigns or possibly explore some of this year's hottest digital marketing trends. Either way, don't go killing off campaigns randomly without first understanding the value they bring. Don't be like Thanos.

Mind Your Strategic Goals
If there was one strategic stand out in the movie, it was Wakanda. From protecting their people with precautionary evacuation, to a decision to open the country's barriers and prevent being surrounded, Wakanda's leadership managed to keep the protection of their people, as well as a whole Infinity Stone, prioritized.

You should be taking a similar approach.

While you're re-evaluating all of your campaigns, benchmarks, and metrics, don't forget that the consumer experience is what brings it all together. That experience is a combination of personalization and consumer engagement that's all enabled by your measurement strategies, predictive analytics programs, and lead tracking and management.

Need Time to Correct?
If you've gone through this list and feel like all hope is lost, don't worry! You've got time to course correct and finish out the year better than at least half the Avengers did.

Need help with concrete digital marketing tactics, templates, and more? Download our Healthcare Digital Marketing Toolkit.