Taking a Product Marketing Approach to Building the Perfect Website

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08/28/2019 in Blog

The hard part is over - you successfully garnered the necessary support to build a new website and received stakeholder approval to move forward with a new technology vendor.  Although it’s easy to get caught up in the process and hit the ground running, you need to take time to set your goals, outline what steps it will take to achieve them, and get organized. 

Taking a product marketing approach to your new website will help ensure that you are solving the right problem for the right audience.  Here are four product marketing activities that will ensure that you see better results, faster:

Step 1: Draft a Positioning Document 

It’s likely that your overall healthcare organization has worked on positioning your hospital and has identified the market need that the organization solves for, but it’s helpful to create one specifically for your website project. What is the problem consumers have that will be solved when they land on your site?  What are the problem-oriented features your website needs to provide the ideal experience for your visitors? This positioning statement will be your North Star as you move through the website creation process and should serve as the reference point for why your organization is undertaking a new website design and development project. All future content and communications should align with this positioning document, so you ensure a cohesive brand message and image.  

Step 2: Develop Personas and Journey Maps

Understanding your buyer is a big component of product marketing. For an in-depth understanding of exactly who your target healthcare consumers are, 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. These tools can also be used to help other teams across your organization understand the customer so you get the necessary buy-in and support to improve the consumer experience.

What are personas?

A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design.  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. Powerful CRM systems can provide in-market consumer data and patient encounter data insight to help create accurate personas for your unique market. 

  • Bring your personas to life with first-person narratives to help foster a connection to your actual patients and the context of their activities that lead to health needs.

  • 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 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 website features are essential and then outline the next steps in the project as well as what are your criteria for success.

Step 4. Curate Your Content

The final step in your product marketing approach is to take an honest look at your current website and its content, and look for areas where this content can be improved, expanded, or eliminated. Use your positioning document to ensure that your message is consistent and reflective of your purpose. It may be tedious, by 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 website strategy? Read our guide to driving growth with web personalization.