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It has been several years since we last reported on the growing use and popularity of content marketing as a core strategy among B2B marketers.  Back in 2012, the creation and use of compelling, relevant content was still in an experimental and learning stage for most B2B marketers.  At the same time it was starting to gain significant momentum and claiming a growing percentage of marketing budgets.


Fast forward to 2015 . . . according to the Content Marketing Institute's and Marketing Profs' fifth annual 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends survey, content marketing has grown from "just a creation and distribution of content tactic into a formal discipline," and the latest data reflects continued momentum.  


Key findings include:


  • 87% of B2B marketers are using a variety of content marketing tactics. ​47% indicate that they have a dedicated content marketing group and another 15% plan to create one. 
  • 70% are creating more content than they did a year ago, with 42% publishing content daily or multiple times per week. 


Source:  Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.  2015 B2B Content

Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Survey. 


  • The average number of content marketing initiatives used to achieve marketing goals has increased to 13, up from 8 in 2012, with Infographics showing the biggest jump in usage year over year from 51% to 62%.  
  • 30% of the overall marketing budget, on average, is allocated to custom or branded content and 84% plan to increase their content marketing spending during the next 12 months, up from 60% in last year's survey.

Respondents use content marketing for a variety of purposes, but brand awareness, lead generation and customer engagement are the top three.  Social media content, and especially content delivered through LinkedIn, is the top content marketing tactic used by B2B marketers, followed by e-newsletters, articles on websites, blogs and various others such as case studies, white papers, videos, etc.


In spite of the growing momentum, challenges remain.  B2B marketers continue to struggle with creating enough engaging, high quality content and doing so consistently.  Plus they have difficulty finding enough trained content marketing professionals and struggle to measure the effectiveness and ROI of their content marketing efforts.


Finally, it is noteworthy that the survey findings show that those B2B marketers who have a documented content management strategy and follow this strategy closely are more effective with content marketing across the board.   For additional details and insights on these and other survey topics, a copy of the 2015 study is available via the Content Marketing Institute website.


As always, we welcome your comments and questions and the opportunity to dialogue with our readers.  


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In spite of early skepticism about the business value of online communities their popularity and adoption has been growing significantly in recent years.  Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest have been leading the way as digital technologies continue to transform our lives and businesses.  Today, digital business is an imperative and organizations without a digital transformation strategy in place are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their digitally savvy counterparts.


One of the key manifestations of the new digital reality is the way organizations engage, communicate with, and extend relationships with their customers, suppliers, partners and employees.   Increasingly organizations are moving away from one-way, portal-centric interactions and conversations to more socially engaging alternatives that facilitate brand advocacy and peer-to-peer collaboration to achieve business outcomes.  



Research from a variety of industry watchers such as Gartner Group and IDC shows that customers trust the opinions of other customers more than company sources or even industry opinion-leaders. Harnessing this power of people, with common interests connecting and engaging through customer and/or product reviews, word-of-mouth referrals and problem solving, can be a powerful force for companies.


Although early use cases and the return of investment for online communities centered primarily around customer service, the proliferation of digital technologies has led to the emergence of other viable use cases with robust value propositions, and most notably a customer engagement use case.  


Recent data from Perficient, a Salesforce.com cloud alliance partner, shows that clients who have implemented online communities are achieving a 48% increase in employee engagement, a 45%  increase in customer satisfaction, and a 43% increase in partner sales.  As a result of 48% faster case resolution, Perficient clients also continue to see substantial benefits from their customer service and support use case.


While companies should have a presence on the open social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, owned online communities provide more control and flexibility for engaging with customers, partners, employees and other target audiences aligned with organizational and brand strategy and objectives.  These branded, and typically closed or private communities, put the power of social communication and collaboration under your control, helping you compete more effectively in today's competitive marketplace.


If you are  ready to embrace online communities as the next big engagement opportunity for your business, or interested in learning more about the value and benefits of online communities, we would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your specific needs and share our thoughts as to next steps in your digital customer engagement journey.  

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Digital business is a hot topic and nearly every week several new reports or white papers on this subject become available from various sources.  It can be challenging to sift through this information overload to discern what's real, relevant and actionable to help guide our business decision-making.   


One of the more authoritative sources of information about this topic is the annual Digital Trends report, a collaboration between Adobe and Econsultancy.  This fourth annual Digital Trends 2015 Report focuses on practices and trends that are, as the authors state, "attainable in the here and now."  Based on a record number of about 6,300 B2B and B2C business professionals around the globe, the report not only provides a prospective view of what's ahead for 2015, but also compares last year's expectations against the realities of what actually occurred during 2014.


One of the most important highlights of the report is the growing emphasis placed on the Customer Experience as a key business priority for many organizations.  Although the authors acknowledge that areas such as data-driven business, personalization, mobile, social and cross-channel marketing are considered as critical for business success, it is the focus on the Customer Experience (CX) that stands out as increasingly crucial for not only competitive differentiation but also for "survival in an unforgiving business world."

                    Source:  Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing - n=2,543


As shown in the previous table the customer experience ranks first as a key differentiator among client-side organizations with a growing margin (22% versus 20%) over other opportunities.  The authors point out that realization of an optimal customer experience in a consistent manner across multiple channels remains a challenge for many companies and emphasize the importance of not only "bringing together data sets, technological infrastructures and operations," but also the need for a customer focused culture.


Other key highlights if the report include the growing importance of targeting and personalization as well as content marketing and content optimization as emerging initiatives. At the same time, mobile and social, in spite of falling back some in the rankings, continue to be key digital business priority areas.


For more in-depth information about the Customer Experience and other key digital business imperatives from the Digital Trends 2015 report, Click Here for a free copy.

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Momentum continues to build, both industry-wide and in Washington, for the repeal of the highly unpopular 2.3% tax on medical device revenue.  Several bills were recently introduced in the House and Senate, with broad and growing bipartisan support, aimed at repealing the medical device tax.  


To underscore the significance of this issue, just a few weeks ago two medical device tax repeal bills were introduced in the 114th Congress.  On January 7, Congressmen Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI), along with 272 co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 160, “The Protect Medical Innovation Act, and on January 13, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with eight of their Senate colleagues, re-introduced S. 149, the "Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act."   


With mounting evidence and increasing recognition from both sides of the aisle that the tax hurts the device industry and industry employment, repealing the tax will be a top agenda item for both parties. The legislation is strongly supported by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA).  These latest legislative actions, which coincide with the release of surveys from both the MDMA and AdvaMed, clearly demonstrate that the tax hurts innovation and job creation and that its repeal is expected to significantly boost employment and R&D spending in the sector.


The AdvaMed Survey of their members found that the tax has had a substantial negative impact on jobs, R&D and capital investment  since it its inception in 2013.  More than half of the respondents indicated they had reduced their R&D spend because of the tax and that the tax would lead to 195,000 lost jobs over the next 5 years.


The results of an MDMA Poll of 100 medtech executives, conducted during the last 2 months of 2014, support the job loss findings of the AdvaMed poll but also suggest significant upside potential from repeal of the tax.   While a majority of the executives said that their companies had either cut jobs or halted hiring as a result of the tax, repeal would lead to job creation and increased R&D spending.  Key findings of the MDMA survey include:



IntelliQ Health will be tracking, and keeping you up-to-date on industry and legislative developments about the medical device tax during the months ahead. Please let us know by phone or via email if there is any additional information you may be interested in and we'll be more than happy to support your intelligence needs. 

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A significant evolution involving the business of big data and analytics is under way and was on full display during Teradata’s 2014 Partners Conference and Expo in Nashville.  Teradata, NCR Corp’s former data warehousing division, is the world’s leader in enterprise data warehousing and analytics.  Many of the Global 50 enterprises rely on Teradata to consolidate their data and provide insights that enable faster and better decision-making.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the conference is the message that big data and analytics are not just for “techies” anymore.  Perhaps most telling was Teradata Labs President Scott Gnau tweeting several days after the conference that “this is the first time in Partners’ history that most attendees are from business and marketing, not IT - pretty cool.”  

In fact, many of the sessions and presentations focused on insights from practical case studies related to customer engagement as well as digital marketing and campaign management.  Increasingly, vendors and end-users recognize the growing need for analysts with multi-disciplinary backgrounds who can provide contextual business and industry understanding  and can act on, and/or deliver, wisdom that enables agile and higher velocity decision-making, while creating competitive advantage.  

Business intelligence and analytics vendors, many of whom exhibited at the conference, are responding with “out-of-the-box” analytics applications that are easier to use and don’t require programming skills, thus putting powerful self-service analytics and data visualization capabilities in the hands of non-IT business analysts.  During his presentation, Microstrategy’s Michael Hiskey pointed out that he has observed an increasing level of sophistication among business analysts with analytics skills, capabilities that would have required the skills of statisticians 6 to 7 years ago.  There is obviously significant value creation potential for businesses going forward.


A recent industry survey clearly confirms the growing importance of big data and analytics.   According to NewVantage Partners’ 2014 Big Data Executive Survey, 67% of senior Fortune 1000 business executive report having big data initiatives running in their companies, up from 32% last year. 


Moreover, 82% say that it is “important or mission critical,” and 23% say that its value is “revolutionary,” demonstrating that Big Data has gone mainstream and is delivering significant business benefits, including sustainable competitive advantage for those firms who master obtaining greater insights and learning from multiple sources of data, including structured and unstructured data.  It is also telling that only 4% see technology selection as important to successful big data adoption, reinforcing that big data value is less about the technology per se, and more about the insights, wisdom and business value delivered.  


For additional key takeaways from the Teradata Partners conference, and/or a free copy of an executive summary of the New Vantage Partners' 2014 Big Data Executive Survey, email us at infohealth.intelliqresearch.com.  We welcome the dialog.

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For many organizations, there has been considerable skepticism about the business value of social media.  In many cases, business leaders have associated social media with employees wasting time on Facebook and Twitter. This sentiment has been reinforced by various industry watchers such as Gartner Group who prognosticated as recently as November of 2012 that through 2015 most social business initiatives would fail to meet business objectives.  


However, the latest annual survey from MIT’s Sloan Management Review and Deloitte suggests that "times may be a changing," and that the negative views about the value of social business may have been premature.  The study found that over 60% of managers surveyed report that their social business initiatives were at least somewhat successful and positively impacted business outcomes.


This is especially true for firms that have reached a certain level of social business maturity and have the ability and capacity to derive positive benefits from social business.  In fact, the higher a company is rated on the social business maturity scale the more likely they are to report positive business outcomes.  It is interesting to note that social business maturity involves more than simply implementing and using social media tools. Study participants with higher social business maturity levels have typically adjusted and evolved their business processes to take advantage of the power of social media tools to positively impact business outcomes.  


           Source:  MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2014.   


Moreover, as social business maturity rises, the use and benefits of social business tend to evolve from externally focused applications, such as marketing and customer service and support, to more internally focused applications such as innovation and product development.  At the same time, the tools used to measure and assess social business results and ROI become increasingly sophisticated.


For more information and/or strategies and initiatives you can use to raise your organization's social business maturity level and capture its value, contact us at infohealth.intelliqresearch.com.

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The growing use of cloud technologies, social media channels and mobile devices is transforming interactions between organizations and their customers.  Even though the healthcare sector has been slower than other industries to embrace these social media technologies, experts predict that 2014 will be a year of significant progress in how healthcare organizations interact with both patients and one another to deliver care and manage health.


The Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IMS) recently suggested that "the role of social media in healthcare and impact on patient engagement is moving to center-stage."  As previously reported, Price Waterhouse Cooper's Health Research Institute expects that engaging digitally with patients will be key to addressing healthcare consumer expectations.


Patients as well as caregivers are using social media and other online resources in increasing numbers to not only access health information, but also as a diagnostic and decision-support tool.  There is also growing recognition among healthcare organizations that social media channels can bring stakeholders closer together, engage them in deeper, more meaningful, and stronger relationships, while ensuring better outcomes.


Online communities are especially well-suited to address the demands of the empowered healthcare consumer for a more personal and engaging customer experience. The highly interactive, multi-directional nature of community platforms, through which individuals are able to share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content, provides a ready and potentially impactful forum for access to healthcare information and patient support. 


Branded Online Communities?  The Best of Both Worlds? 



Source:  IMS Health with IntellQ Health Annotations  


Healthcare providers who have embraced social media and online community platforms are already realizing the differentiated benefits of these new engagement channels in terms of reach, frequency, usability, and immediacy.  They are also netting significant reputation building value from a superior patient engagement experience.   
If your organization is looking for a way to enrich the patient experience trough social media, and particularly online communities, we may just be what the doctor ordered.  For more information about ways you can enhance the customer experience using online communities and/or other social media tools, just give me a call send me or an email. 
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The American College of Emergency Physicians' (ACEP) recent 2014 Report Card presents troubling and sobering assessment of our nation's emergency care system.  In spite of increasing demand for emergency services, yet shrinking capacity and reductions in funding and resources, ACEP's findings show that the nation's ER environment has not improved as expected, but instead has sadly deteriorated.   


Compared to an overall grade of "C-" in 2009, this year's grade slid to a "D+" reflecting, according to the study's authors, "a nation that has too few emergency departments to meet the needs of a growing, aging population."  


2014 ER Report Card By States Overall 

Source:  America's Emergency Care Environment, A State-by-State Report Card - 2014


It is important to point out that the report does not measure the quality of care provided by hospitals and emergency departments.  Rather, it assesses the conditions and policies under which ER care is delivered on a state-by-state and national basis.  ACEP's comprehensive study utilizes 136 objective measures across five key categories, including Access to Emergency Care, Quality and Patient Safety, Medical Liability, Public Health and Injury Prevention, and Disaster Preparedness.    


While four of the five categories receive passing grades of 'C" or "C-," the fifth, and highest weighted category, "Access to Emergency Care," receives an overall grade of "D-."  Perhaps of more concern is that twenty-one states received a failing grade, "F," in this critical category.


Obviously, there are many factors that contribute to this troubling situation.  With significantly increased utilization expected as a result of the Affordable Care Act, these findings certainly represent a Call to Action for providers and policy-makers at the state and national level.  


For those of you interested in the report's details and additional insights, as well as ACEP's recommendations, just give me a call or send an email for a free copy.  

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As we look ahead at what will no doubt be a tumultuous year for the healthcare industry,considering the contextual landscape that has been created by the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, what issues and challenges can we expect to encounter during 2014?   


Last month's Top Health Industry Issues of 2014 report from Price Waterhouse Cooper's Health Research Institute outlines ten predictions that they expect will shape the health economy during the coming year.  Comprised of interviews with one thousand consumers and industry experts, the study illustrates that healthcare organizations are facing significant changes that are reshaping the industry, and creating both threats and opportunities.    


First and foremost, the industry as a whole is expected to become more competitive and therefore more consumer-centric and consumer-driven in 2014.  Findings from the PwC report show that consumers’ experiences in other industries are continuing to drive their expectations for healthcare, especially with regard to convenience and overall value. Healthcare industry performance, however, lags and has slipped from 5th to 6th place compared to last year's survey when ranking the customer experience across eight different industries. “Hospitals/healthcare” came in at a dismal 6th place, trailing retail (#1), banking (#2), utilities (#3), hospitality/hotels (#4), and automotive (#5).


PwC's survey findings illustrate an urgent need for healthcare organizations to improve the customer experience.  Technology, and specifically engaging digitally with patients will be key to addressing consumer expectations.  In fact, two of PwC's ten predictions involve the growing use of web and mobile technologies to improve patient care and health management.  



Millions of consumers are already taking control of their health by using mobile device apps to count calories, track fitness goals, manage diabetes, and plan pregnancies.  As we have seen in other industries, the real challenge involves integrating the new Web 2.0 data (via social and mobile platforms) with other sources of data to get a macro-level picture useful for identifying market trends and opportunities for innovation.  Although the use of mobile apps is not yet widespread, industry experts believe this year will mark a turning point for the adoption of mobile technologies, including health-related apps for consumers and healthcare providers.   "Going social" to better understand consumers' healthcare needs and experiences is no longer an option that can be put on hold.


For insights into all of PwC's ten predictions, a free copy of the full report, or further information how IntelliQ Health might be able to assist your organization better understand consumer healthcare related needs and expectations, just give me a call send me or an email. 


Have a great 2014!

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Posted by on in News

As  Benjamin Franklin once said,


 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  


Those of us who have been involved in the implementation of online communities for a while know how critical proper up-front planning is to their success. Many working in the online community category describe the current state of the business as something akin to the “Wild West,” and it reminds me of the early days of the “dot com” boom.  Analyst would later characterize this period as the days of “irrational exuberance,” with companies rushing to build websites with little or no consideration of customer needs and preferences, minimal business and financial planning or objectives and unattainable, unrealistic expectations.


Fortunately we all learned a great deal from the “dot com” boom and bust experience and are able to use the lessons learned to make sure we do communities right and optimize the likelihood of community success with objective up-front planning.  So, before even thinking about the technology aspects of community, the following five key steps have proven to be critical to increasing the chances of success.


  1. Above all, start by defining the goals, objectives, and success factors for your online community and how these goals and objectives will integrate with your overall marketing and business goals and objectives.
  2. Next, identify and understand the target audience(s)/community participants. 
    • Who are the targeted community users, what do you expect from them, and what expectations will they have from their participation in an online community with your organization?
    • Develop user personas and user scenarios that will describe targeted community member types, as well as their likely uses and expectations.    
  3. Based on this understanding, the next step is to put together a detailed online community plan with a set of well-defined deliverables supported by clear milestones and metrics. 
    • What online community platform, type of community (open or private), features and functionality would be most appropriate based on the needs and expectations of the  target community members and community objectives? 
    • What will the “rules of engagement,” for members and community managers, be?
    • How will community member privacy and  institutional integrity and reputation be assured in what are essentially public places?   
    • How will online communities work together with and support other social media and marketing initiatives?
    • Which metrics will be used to assess and measure online community success?
    • What resources, both financial and human, will be required to implement and support online communities?
  4. Before launching the community, be sure to identify and seed the community with relevant and engaging content that will attract and resonate with the various audiences being targeted.
    • What type of content will target audiences be interested in and value?
    • How frequently should new content be added and/or existing content be refreshed?
    • What type of content will be needed to keep audiences engaged over the long term and attract new audiences?. 
  5. Determine when, how, and how frequently to monitor and measure the online community and the process to be used for improving/adjusting community initiatives post-launch.          

If you are considering, or in the early planning stages of, an online community for your organization, please call or contact me by email for additional online community best practices from IntelliQ and/or our online community solutions partner, Get Satisfaction.

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Posted by on in News

Throughout the last year we’ve spoken to many healthcare and B2B professionals about engaging with customers through online customer communities.  While we are typically met with enthusiasm for what is an innovative, contemporary approach to customer relationship-building, we also hear about many misconceptions about online communities – what they are, how they are used, and who should (or should not) participate.  Here is our list of the top three myths about online communities:


Myth #1:  Online communities are synonymous with social networking sites.


Reality: Actually, online communities are not another social networking channel.  Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for people to connect, share stories and photos, and make funny commentaries.  LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is often used as a platform for community-building, but as Leader Networks CEO Vanessa DiMauro describes, communities on LinkedIn are often ineffective and “overrun with inappropriate and sales-driven content.”


While these social networking platforms are hugely popular spaces for connecting people of similar interests and sharing information, they do not allow organizations to own and manage the overall customer experience.  In contrast, online communities are often referred to as “owner” communities, as they enable organizations to control the branding, manage and organize the content and discussions, and own and mine the resulting voluminous customer feedback data.


Unlike social networking sites, online communities are owned, controlled, and branded by you.



Myth #2:  Online communities are just forums for people to complain.


Reality: Online communities are far more than complaint departments.  Customers love to share their opinions; sometimes it’s useful feedback, and sometimes it's not.  Perception is reality, though, so if a customer has an opinion – good or bad— you should want to know about it.  In an online community, all of the activity is treated as customer feedback that can be used by your organization to make meaningful improvements that are most important to your customers and will yield the best return.  Encouraging customer feedback is one way of making customers feel valued by your company and can lead to improved relationships and increased loyalty.


Experienced community managers attend to any complaints that arise in an online community, and often these responses to complaints, when handled with care and genuine courtesy, can result in positive attitude changes and build trust among your customers.



Myth #3:  Competitors will have access to trade secrets and other proprietary information available in an online community.


Reality: We often hear this concern, but online communities can be implemented as “closed” or “private” communities that securely operate behind your organization's firewall.  (This is another way in which they are vastly different from open social networking sites, as described above.)  As the owner of a private community:

  • You hand-select which customers, prospects, or other industry leaders can participate in your online community.  You send a private invitation and require a secure password for entry into your community.
  • You determine the most appropriate use cases for the community, based on your overall business strategy.  Is the community’s main purpose for industry-specific or "community of interest" specific information sharing?  Building a knowledge base for a disease specific audience?  Customer and prospect insights and new product and/or services innovation?  Market insights and research?  Generating referrals?
  • Based on the use cases identified by you and your team, you develop the initial content that encourages active participation from the members of your community.  The content needs be engaging, insightful, and valuable to your customers, and needs to be well-aligned with the goals of your community.

Customers who actively participate in private online communities do so to learn, share, connect, and contribute, and typically not to complain or badmouth your organization. You build their trust by providing valuable, useful content.

Increasingly, organizations are recognizing  the value of “social business.”   Online customer communities are effective in meeting complex needs for faster, more cost-effective, and better solutions, but there are many misconceptions about how they can be leveraged.  We’ve identified the three most common misconceptions.  Stay tuned for more to come.

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One of the questions we hear from customers and prospects most often is. . .

"How do I convince my stakeholders that an online community will solve core business problems and deliver measurable value?"


To learn more about the latest best practices for measuring, maximizing, and communicating the value of online communities, be sure to join us for an expert panel discussion, co-sponsored by IntelliQ Research and Strategy and Get Satisfaction:

How to Sell The Vision and Value of Community

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. - 2 p.m. EST

Participants: Ms. Vanessa DiMauro, founder and CEO of Leader Networks, Dr. Robert Miller, Ph.D., President and CEO of IntelliQ Research & Strategy and Ms. Lisa Sacquitne, Manager of Non-Integrated Services at SPS Commerce.

Whether you’re building a business case or simply trying to gain internal alignment, determining and selling the value of online community is a critical part of the implementation process.

Register HERE Today to join us for this interactive webinar on October 30, 2013 about calculating and communicating the value of community. And, don't just listen — but ensure that the panelists address your questions and concerns by asking them ahead of time in the Get Satisfaction community!

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CINCINNATI, OHIO and SAN FRANCISCO, September 23, 2013 — IntelliQ Research and Strategy, Inc., a full service global provider of market intelligence, research and analytics announced today that it has formed a strategic alliance and partnership with San Francisco-based online community solution provider, Get Satisfaction.

As part of this mutually beneficial agreement, Get Satisfaction will be able to leverage IntelliQ’s well-established position in the healthcare and B2B sectors, including its impressive roster of industry-leading global accounts, to expand its reach and position into these sectors, while IntelliQ will be able to provide market research and enhanced analytics services to Get Satisfaction’s growing base of online community clients.

Robert Miller, CEO of IntelliQ Research and Strategy said, “We are extremely pleased with this new relationship and we are excited to be able to bring Get Satisfaction’s robust and forward thinking online communities solution to our clients and the markets we serve. Online communities are clearly emerging as an essential method and platform for gaining continuous customer and market insights. Adds Miller, “Providing innovative tools that enable our clients to gain insights into their customers and markets more quickly and economically is a critical element of our business strategy, and Get Satisfaction’s industry leading solution is an essential capability we are proud to bring to our clients.”

Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction, states “Our partnership with IntelliQ gives us direct access to leading companies we are looking to work with to help realize the opportunities engaged communities can bring to their businesses. We are seeing increased demand for clients in the healthcare and B2B sectors and know that the effect of community on their customer experience and success will be profound.”

About IntelliQ Research and Strategy

IntelliQ Research and Strategy is a leading market intelligence and research consulting firm focused on providing strategic insights to industry leading clients in the healthcare and B2B sectors. With offices in Cincinnati, Ohio and State College, Pennsylvania, IntelliQ brings value to its clients through sophisticated data processing, marketing sciences and analytics capabilities as well as deep industry knowledge and expertise in healthcare and a variety of B2B sectors.

About Get Satisfaction

Get Satisfaction helps customer-centric organizations engage millions of consumers in meaningful conversations about their products and services, every day. The Get Satisfaction community platform transforms these conversations into powerful user-generated marketing content and insights, enabling businesses to create differentiated customer experiences, acquire more customers and bring new innovations to market. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Get Satisfaction's customers include Citrix, HootSuite, Intuit and Kellogg’s.

Start a conversation with your customers today: www.getsatisfaction.com.

Media Contacts:

Bert Kollaard                                                                                                                           Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer                                                                                     IntelliQ Research and Strategy, Inc.                                                                               bkollaard@intelliqresearch.com                                                                                             513-605-3633

Bateman Group for Get Satisfaction                                                                                     getsatisfaction@bateman-group.com                                                                                   415- 503-1818

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Although the use of social media is well established in most consumer markets and especially retail and hospitality, the healthcare sector has been slower to adopt this new form of connecting and communicating with their customers.  While the use of social networking sites grew from 5% of adults in 2005 to 50% of adults in 2011, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a more recent Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) survey shows that only about one-third of consumers use social media for health-related matters.

Effective use of social media is yet another challenge for resource-constrained healthcare providers.  Nevertheless, a growing number are recognizing the need to move forward and put the power of social media to work in order to drive revenue growth, cut costs, enhance patient relationships, improve quality of care, and achieve better outcomes.  At last count more than 1,500 hospitals are participating in 6,379 social networking sites, according to Ed Bennett's Found in Cache blog.

In spite of concerns about inaccurate and misleading medical information being broadcast through social channels, patient privacy concerns and potential threats to reputations, providers recognize that "social business" is inevitable and that the benefits outweigh the negatives.  In fact, other than "Stage 2 Meaningful Use" incentives considerations, an increasing number of healthcare organizations are taking steps to become active social media participants and enterprises to mitigate the risks associated with "ignoring" these concerns.

Benefits of Social Media Participation




Other than social media innovators and pioneers such as the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente, most providers lack the time, expertise and resources to achieve a proactive and participatory approach to social media.  Most healthcare institutions are unable to deal with the "always-on," 2-way, near-real-time world of social media and the constant engagement, monitoring, moderating and content creation efforts required for success. Many are opting to use outside services and external expertise to pursue a more active role in social media.


I'd welcome your comments about social media practices in the healthcare industry.  Also, for additional information about social media practices, a copy of the PwC report, and/or ways IntelliQ Health might be able to assist you with your social media initiatives, please contact us at Infohealth@IntelliQresearch.com.

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In spite of recent headlines about skyrocketing insurance premiums, a number of factors are pointing to continued downward pressure on medical costs for 2014.  The latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show medical spending inflation has slowed appreciably from 11% in 1990 to 3.9% in 2011, and that annual Medicare spending only increased 1.7% per beneficiary between 2010 and 2012, down from 6% per year during the preceding two decades.

Although this continued spending growth slow down will result in additional financial

challenges for healthcare organizations, this development will be welcome news for employers. Price Waterhouse Cooper's (PwC) Health Research Institute (HRI) recently projected a medical cost trend of 6.5% and a net growth rate of 4.5% for 2014, after accounting for certain adjustments like higher deductibles - among the lowest since the government started measuring national health expenditures in the 1960s.

Even with the uncertainties surrounding the full implementation of Obamacare, the HRI does not expect a direct impact on the medical cost trend, citing a number of factors that are expected to deflate medical costs in 2014.  These include:


  • A slower than expected economic recovery that will continue to suppress demand for healthcare.
  • Consumers who are taking more responsibility for their healthcare and making more cost conscious choices.
  • A continued shift in care provision from costly hospitals to more cost effective locations such as retail clinics and mobile health.
  • Large employers who are contracting with big-name health systems to secure lower costs for complicated procedures.
  • Growth in high deductible plans among employers.
  • Government actions such as readmission penalties and potential costs savings from Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

Source:  PwC Health Research Institute

The HRI cites the growing use of complex, expensive specialty drugs/biologics and healthcare industry consolidation as two risk factors that could drive costs higher.

But, on balance, they are confident that structural and behavioral changes in the industry will mitigate these risks and continue to exert downward pressure on the cost trend.


For more information about the 2014 Medical Cost Trend and the implications for employers, payers, providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, a free copy of the PwC HRI report can be accessed by clicking HERE.

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Recent surveys as well as discussions I have personally had with healthcare industry leaders illustrate that there continues to be a great deal of confusion and lack of awareness about healthcare reform.  From talking with providers, payers and employers I have found that they often lack awareness and are in need of additional information to assist them in framing responses to the specific impacts, challenges, and opportunities associated with healthcare reform.

In addition to the complexities associated with the 6,000 plus pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, we have witnessed the emergence of a new vocabulary, along with acronyms and buzzwords such as Accountable Care Organizations, Episodic Payment Model, Meaningful Use, and Bundled Payment.




As a result, many decision-makers are not familiar with the new and evolving lexicon and lack the clarity needed to respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with the promises of patient-centered care and improved outcomes in our new healthcare environment.

I recently read a Truven Health Analytics white paper, entitled "Vocabulary of Healthcare Reform."  In addition to explaining the new terminology, the paper provides considerable insights and context related to the new vocabulary and reform concepts that may very well provide the critical knowledge you need to formulate your response strategies and initiatives.


For more information and/or a free copy of the healthcare reform vocabulary white paper, just send me an email, give me a call at 513-605-3664, or access it by clicking HERE.

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Early last year industry experts anticipated that 2012 would be challenging for the largest global pharmaceutical firms. . . a year of transition as they digested lost revenues due to the patent cliff, and adjusted to growing governmental scrutiny and regulation as well as a poor economic climate.

The pharmaceutical industry, according to First Word's Pharma Outlook Q1 2013 report, will continue to face many of the same challenges during 2013.  Even though the FDA approved 39 new chemical entities during 2012, the highest number in 16 years, overcoming the sizeable revenue declines due to patent expirations and generic competition will be considerable.  Furthermore, an evolving market landscape with new 'generic" competition from biosimilars and a growing demands from payers and providers to demonstrate value, creates additional hurdles.


During the next five years, pharmaceutical manufacturers are likely to overcome the patent cliff and other industry challenges with a broad range of new products.



By 2017, 50 products are expected to fuel industry growth and revenues by about $80 billion, with Oncology and Diabetes medications accounting for nearly half of this growth.  Moreover, growth drivers are less likely to be based on revenue size and more on how targeted each product is.


These are only a few key insights from the Pharma Outlook Q1 2013 report.  For more detailed data about the key growth driver products and their manufacturers, click HERE to access this insightful report.


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According to a recently released Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, rising premiums have driven a steady decline in employer-sponsored health insurance since 2000.

In 2011, the number of non-elderly Americans with employer-sponsored insurance stood at 159 million, a decline of 11.5 million from 2000 (69.7% in 1999/2000 vs. 59.5% in 2010/2011). According to the report, 47 states had a statistically significant decline in employer-sponsored coverage from 2000-2011, with 22 states experiencing declines of at least 10 percentage points.


Employers Offering Coverage, 2010/2011


Source:  State Health Access Data Assistance Center, 2013.  "State-Level Trends in Employer-

Sponsored Health Insurance."  SHADAC Report, Minneapolis MN, University of Minnesota.


Other key findings:


  • While most states saw “significant declines” in employer provided coverage, the range was wide (e.g., New Hampshire with 73.8% coverage vs. New Mexico with 48% coverage).
  • The largest decline occurred in Michigan with a 15.2% drop.
  • As might be expected, higher income populations experienced less of a decline than lower income populations.
  • Annual premiums for single coverage more than doubled while family coverage increased 125%.

For a full copy of this report, click HERE.

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For the first time in over 20 years, spending on traditional prescription drugs among those with commercial insurance declined 1.5% in 2012, according to latest Drug Trend Report just released by Express Scripts.

Much of this decrease can be attributed to broader availability, growing use, and lower prices of generic medications.  While spending for brand name drugs rose 12.5% in 2012, this increase was more than offset by a spending decline of 24% for generic medicines.


* 2012 = January – December 2012 vs. same period, 2011,   Q4 = October – December, 2012 vs. same period, 2011

Source, Express Scripts 2012 Drug Trend Report


Spending on specialty medications on the other hand continued to increased during 2012, jumping 18.4%, and contributed to an overall annual prescription drug upward spending trend of 2.7%.  With the Food and Drug Administration approval of 22 new specialty medications in 2012, many of them with very high price tags, this trend is likely to continue.


In total, specialty medications accounted for 24.5% of total per member per year (PMPY) spending on prescription drugs in 2012.   Increased usage and significantly higher costs for new hepatitis C therapies, drugs for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and unique cancer treatments were key contributors.


It is also worthwhile to note that spending for diabetes prescription drugs accounted for the single biggest share of spending on any treatment class, rising 11% in 2012 versus a 7% increase in 2011.  With diabetes diagnosis increasing dramatically, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is likely the proportional share of overall drug spending for diabetes drugs will continue to rise in the coming years.

A great deal of more in-depth information on these prescription drug spending topics and trends can be found on the Drug Trend Report 2012 web site.


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Posted by on in News

In recent months the subject of Telehealth has generated steadily increasing interest and "buzz" in the media, industry circles and among politicians. Will all this "buzz" and attention finally translate into what Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) characterized as a "banner year" for Telehealth in 2013?   Is Telehealth "ready for prime time at last?

Both Information Week and Computerworld cite reports that project a six-fold increase in home-based health monitoring and a nearly five-fold growth in the number of in-home monitoring devices between now and 2017.  A new InMedica study projects remote patient monitoring use to grow from 300,000 patients today to 1.8 million worldwide by 2017, while Berg Insight predicts the volume of home-based remote monitoring devices to increase from 2.8 million to 9.4 million connections by 2017.

World Telehealth Patients (thousands by disease state)


telehealthpatients Source:  InMedica - World Market for Telehealth


Telehealth growth is being fueled primarily by the efforts of governments worldwide to curb increasing healthcare costs.  As a result, the majority of patients using remote monitoring devices are post-acute patients with long-term chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, hypertension and mental health issues.


The use of these devices is increasingly being viewed as critical for reducing hospital readmission rates, tracking disease progression to improve outcomes and quality of care, as well as an efficient and cost effective solution for care access in rural and remote areas.


According to the ATA, growth is also being facilitated by a flurry of legislation mandating coverage for telemedicine services similar to the way in-person visits are covered, resulting in  more and more payers (most recently Wellpoint) including remote monitoring coverage in their plans.  At the same time, research shows that payers are recognizing that they can increase their competitiveness and reduce in-patient payouts by working with Telehealth suppliers.

"After 40-plus years of development, telemedicine has finally come of age," ATA CEO Linkous writes, and argues that demonstration grants, projects and experimental research are giving way to Silicon Valley, private payers and consumer groups embracing the technology to transform the delivery and quality of care.  Linkous sums it up nicely when he says, "Whether you call it telehealth, mHealth or remote monitoring, the deployment of telemedicine is galloping."



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