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6 takeaways from a HITMC first-timer

By February 24, 2023No Comments

I’m just over a month past my first Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) conference in Las Vegas. Several pearls of wisdom have stuck with me since – some industry-specific, others more existential.

The event had something for everyone in the healthcare IT community between the top-notch presentations and workshop activities. I look forward to attending my next one.

In the meantime, here are my six key takeaways from my educational and fun time in Vegas.

1. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~Thomas Edison

Of all the memorable quotes I heard during HITMC, this one from the event kickoff stuck with me. At first, it caught me with my guard up. “What exactly do you mean, Tom? Are you calling me lazy?”

Then I thought about it more in a contemporary context. How often haven’t I pursued an idea or a partnership because it didn’t fit cleanly into my current goals? Sometimes my “big picture” isn’t big enough, and pipedreams are worth pursuing. We all need to revisit our dusty great ideas file occasionally.

2. ‘HIPAAnoia’ is a thing

Many thanks to Colin Hung for his fantastic pre-conference presentation on understanding U.S. healthcare and healthcare marketing secrets. Among his astute insights was that many people don’t really know what HIPAA is. While the law includes standards to protect information and requires appropriate safeguards, the primary aim of the HIPAA Privacy Rule is to provide individuals with a legal, enforceable right to see and receive copies upon request of their personal health information (PHI).

Here’s what HIPAA doesn’t do:

  • Ban the use of email or any communication method
  • Prohibit talking with patients’ loved ones
  • Specify how data should be secured or to what degree; it only requires that reasonable security and safeguards exist
  • Prevent sharing of PHI with other organizations or third parties if related to the care of the individual or care as a whole

3. Customer experience leaders are winning

In an excellent presentation by Thomas Swanson, head of health and life sciences strategy and marketing for Adobe, he opined that modern consumers demand experiences that are relevant, convenient, and digitally enabled. The healthcare industry, he said, must address the personalization of digital experience, convenience, access, self-service opportunities, and price transparency.

  • All businesses (B2B, B2C, CPG, MFCT) are seeing higher than average growth in digital customers (70% YOY) and higher levels of customer churn (35% YOY) than pre-pandemic
  • Companies considered to be “leaders” in customer experiences are growing 70% faster than companies considered to have an “average” customer experience in their respective sectors
  • Remote work is driving an increase in digital purchasing across all sectors as people are simply not out and about or running errands – a 300% increase in overall digital purchases over pre-pandemic

4. Emotions are powerful motivators

Most of us probably have heard some version of the late Zig Ziglar’s refrain, “People buy on emotion and justify with logic.” Presenter Cate Hollowitsch, CMO for private-equity firm Nesnah Ventures, added that emotion overrides logic and reasoning 75% of the time (Gallup’s recent research puts the split at 70/30).

In other words, if marketers don’t appeal to emotions and simply rely on value propositions, they are doing it wrong. Invoke senses and pain points wherever possible in your emails, blog posts, and social media presence.

5. People make 35,000 decisions per day

Hollowitsch served up another excellent stat that gave me pause: the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions daily. Researchers at Cornell University estimated that we make 226.7 decisions each day on food alone. I’m in this statistic, and I don’t like it.

This is a helpful perspective for marketers, who must never forget that their campaigns are a small part of their audience’s day. To resonate and stick, messaging needs to tap into emotion. For proof, look no further than those American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) commercials starring Sarah McLachlan. Will you ever hear her song “Angel” the same way again?

6. Hemingway lives! 

This is just fun for me because I’m a big dork. Many content writers are familiar with Grammarly, a helpful self-editing tool, but what about Hemingway Editor? It’s the same idea but with a bent toward clarity and readability. It will assign a reading level to your draft (i.e., 6th grade). Depending on your audience, this can be a valuable tool for discovering how easy your writing is to read.


Are you considering sending your health tech marketing team to HITMC next year? Our B2B healthcare marketing agency would love to hear from you!

Aaron Ogg

Author Aaron Ogg

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