Trump and the Critical Importance of Emotional Triggers in HIT Marketing Content

Trump and the Critical Importance of Emotional Triggers in HIT Marketing Content

The influence of emotion in the healthcare IT marketing segment may be ready to skyrocket. I would argue that not since Y2K has there been more angst in the marketplace what with the uncertainty about healthcare generated by the Trump election.

A headline this week in Healthcare IT News pretty much sums it up:

Execs express dystopian view of Trump presidency’s impact on healthcare

To save you the trouble of Googling “dystopian” like I had to, the Dictionary.com defnition is “a society characterized by human misery, such as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding”.

It doesn’t get more emotional in the B2B world than that!

Healthcare IT professionals are no strangers to human misery and disease, but rarely has it been transmitted by a presidential election.

So how does this effect your content marketing, social media and data aggregation efforts?

There is no shortage of books and seminars related to the need for building emotional intelligence as a key element in the science of “why they buy”. These emotional factors can range from something as simple as having a pleasant and engaging phone manner, to much more subtle or subliminal emotion- al nuances deeper within content. These emotional triggers or indices built into content result in “data exhaust” during every engagement that translates into to some very powerful buyer insights.

Many content developers did not need a controversial election to build emotion into their materials. Fear of interoperability failures, cybersecurity breaches, privacy concerns and skills shortages are all typical emotional elements within HIT promotional materials and tweets. They are bi-partisan concerns that will occur across administrations.

What makes Friday, January 20, 2017 different is that there could be seismic changes in the way the business or healthcare is conducted and how dramatically its technology backbone will be effected.

Will it truly be dystopian as many healthcare executives predict? Or will it eventually be a Y2K event where the fear never met catastrophic expectations around the world. [I’ll never forget staying up for New Zealand midnight to watch reports of any massive techno-collapses of major businesses or government institutions in the rst time zone to convert ]. HIT executives have already received mixed signals from the President-elect in the weeks since the election regarding whether it will be repealed or amend- ed, and whether insurance will be sold across state lines.

So what can you as Chief Marketing Offcer, the leader of corporate content strategy, do to prepare your organization for addressing client emotion related to the potential for massive change.

In our case, the HIMSS Center for Content Analytics has immediately started to capture emotional indices in HIT news and feature stories that contain quotes from HIT leaders deploying programs in the most volatile Obamacare-related areas. While no surprise, a word cloud on the dystopia-theme stories we cover editorially shows a prevalence of the proverbial fear, uncertainty and doubt, along with expense, unhappiness, disaster, fraud and suffering.

These words become important additions to our data taxonomies given that they give us a much better understanding of how these emotional triggers resonate in future engagements. Further it gives us a better indication of which buying in uences tend to gravitate to stories (or vendor custom content pieces) that have a theme related to the perils of a major political transformation in the midst of a previous one. As with Amazon ‘s collaborative ltering:” people who were fearful about revenue cycles also liked panicking about interoperability”

Vendors have the advantage of an outside-in emotional analysis given their client-facing sales and support organizations. However, many rms fail to leverage to tap into those internal intelligence assets. Users of modern CRM or marketing cloud deployments have the ability to leverage these platforms as “listening stations” for emotional triggers presented in call reports, user group communities or service calls.

An ability to capture these themes using structured or unstructured data (i.e. conversations) can be key in building empathic content and sales enablement materials. At minimum they could be included in the 140 characters of today’s tweet to test engagement.

HIT buyers will be more reliant on nding trusted partners than ever given the stakes to their technology and nance infrastructures. This should not be confused with leading with more sales materials relat-
ed to how your products x a problem. Our research shows that yes, at certain stages buyers will want vendor brag sheets, but during periods of uncertainty they are looking for thought leadership, deep insights, level-headedness and trust. Not unlike the “Venus versus Mars” books on marital relationships, sometimes buyers just want someone to listen.

Finally, if done well, the ancient art of storytelling can be one of the most powerful tools used by content marketers in establishing trust and credibility during periods of market chaos. For example, many of
the case studies we see use an emotionless or clinical approach to the content personality. Just as with face-to face communications, storytelling that builds in the emotional triggers gathered add a more tangible feeling, tone, cadence, and most important, empathy that bullet points can rarely convey. Stories that convey challenges reaching an intersection where serious business resolutions must be decided in times of uncertainty are especially powerful.

A prospect clicking on content assets, social media feeds or editorial features embedded with these emotional indices can provide a treasure trove of data about what stage the buyer is entering the fear factor continuum aspect of the buying process.