Marketing is a fast-moving business, and digital marketing is even faster because it is changing all the time. “Just keeping up” can be hard especially when your own industry is changing rapidly, independently of what is happening online.
Medical device marketing shares some key strategies with healthcare marketing in general, however, it also presents a number of challenges that are best tackled with certain tools. TBA Digital’s Blackboard is a great starting point for any medical device marketing professional looking for resources, but let’s take a deeper dive into some of the digital tools that are best suited for medical device marketing.
CloudScape spins up a range of different VM instances on AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure to run popular benchmarks to test system performance and presents easy to understand performance statistics.
So, let's say you've determined that there is
a business case
to include a content management system
as part of your website, portal, or app.
As we pointed out in an earlier video,
there are different types of
content management systems
to build or choose from.
How do you decide which one
is right for your project?
Well, the specifics of your situation are
ultimately going to determine your choice,
but here are some more general
questions to help guide you.
One, what is the main goal
of your website or app?
Are you building an eCommerce site?
Promoting a cause for your NGO?
Marketing your professional services?
Or perhaps you're building
a very specific app--like the one
we built to help hospitals
discharge their patients.
This seems like a rather obvious question,
but the point is not to be dazzled by
any particular feature of the CMS
--as wonderful as they may be--
if you're never going to use them.
So begin by taking a step back
and looking at your wider purpose
and trying to keep that in mind,
as we get into the details.
This alone may be enough for you
to make the decision on
whether you're going to go with an open-source,
proprietary, or custom CMS.
Two: How's the user interface
for managing the back end?
How easy will it be to add
or remove a page or element to your site
or app using the CMS's editor?
In other words,
how is the user experience?
The more people you are going
to have editing your content,
the more important it is that
the user interface is clear and intuitive.
Because once your CMS is up and running,
its biggest cost to you
will be the salaries paid
while your team learns
and uses the system.
If only a couple of people
are going to have to use it,
it might not be that big an issue.
But even if only one person
has to control your CMS,
and that person leaves
a clumsy or difficult interface
could cause their replacement
to abandon it completely,
wasting your investment in the system.
In any case, a clear and easy-to-use editor is always better
than one that is awkward or confusing.
If you're considering a custom CMS build,
obviously you can't see the UI
before it's built,
but your designers should at least be able
to impress you with something
from their portfolio that is similar
to what they're proposing.
In general, a custom CMS will have a much cleaner
and more streamlined user interface
than other categories of CMS,
as it will only include the features
that are relevant to your business.
Look for an interface with easy-to-use features
inspired by popular text and photo editors.
Things like drag-and-drop page building
and image cropping, flipping and rotation.
Three: Does it come with
adequate training and support?
Even the most intuitive interface
may still require some training.
If you're going with proprietary software,
what are the different vendors offering?
A series of videos? Seminars for your team?
and after any initial training, what kind
of real-time support do they offer?
And if real-time support
is important to you,
the vendor's location
is also a consideration.
If they're on another continent, do they
offer help outside their own nine to five?
Are their support agents fluent in English?
Four: Is it safe?
Let's deal first with external security.
It's hard to tell how well protected
a particular CMS is from hackers
and other unscrupulous characters,
even if you are able to read the code.
But in general, a proprietary
content management system
has an advantage of at least
maintaining control over their code
by keeping it inside a black box.
An open-source CMS, built by thousands of
volunteers writing code, is inherently riskier.
It's an open book,
lying there for anyone to read or edit.
In particular, it's the sheer number
of plugins written for WordPress
--tens of thousands of them--
that make it vulnerable.
Worse, if you are the victim
of a successful attack,
open-source software leaves you
with little recourse.
Now, there's a counter argument
to this one, and it goes like this:
Open-source code is more secure
because with so many eyes on it worldwide,
the most obvious cracks
in an app's armor
are likely to be quickly
discovered and filled.
Not to mention that most vendors
will be testing the code
prior to releasing it to the wider public.
But while the community as a whole
may spring into action
to correct a fault, no one is obligated
to help you specifically,
unless you've hired someone to fill that role.
Here's where we stand on this question:
Well-designed proprietary software
is probably less likely to succumb
to an attack in large part because
it's less likely to be targeted
--kind of like the difference
between Mac and PC.
One of the reasons Macintoshes have always
had fewer problems with viruses and malware,
is because of their much lower share
of the PC market.
Hackers want to get the most bang
for their buck, so they tend to go
for the biggest target. And there's
no bigger CMS target than WordPress!
The most vulnerable CMS is the one
that's built on open-source code
and hasn't been regularly updated
over the years.
There's been so much malicious code
written to infiltrate WordPress
that if you don't keep it up to date,
sooner or later,
some old piece of malware crawling
around the internet will find its way in.
All the scrutiny in the world
won't help you
if you aren't keeping
your software current
by incorporating the latest
So if you do go with an
make sure someone on your team is held
responsible for keeping it up to date.
Better yet, use an open-source CMS
that updates automatically.
If you go with a custom-made CMS,
make sure your vendor knows
how to run a security scan
and does so regularly.
Internal security controls are
what determine who has the ability
to make changes to your app or website
and who is allowed to post these changes.
Particularly if you're a large business where
many people will have access to your CMS,
you want tiered access to these functions.
For example, developers on one level,
editors or project managers above them,
department heads above them,
and a top level for final legal check
Nothing appears on your website without
going through all the levels in order.
And of course, permissions
should also be compartmentalized.
Someone in human resources should be able
to take down a job posting,
but probably not be able to add
a new product page.
A CMS with solid internal security
protocols can actually be a big help
in managing your business' workflow.
Five: Is it scalable? You want a CMS
that can handle your data,
not just today,
but as your business grows.
This doesn't just mean a database
with the capacity to handle
more records or visitors
and still keep up to speed.
It may also mean a CMS that can manage
additional websites or apps
should you decide to add them.
Also, be sure to ask about the ability
to add new languages to your CMS
as you expand its use into new markets.
Now, even if a vendor can demonstrate that
they can handle a dramatic increase in load,
find out how much you're going
to have to pay for it.
Many content management systems charge
according to the traffic volume.
Scalability also means being able to move
to other marketing and distribution channels
to create new revenue streams.
Now, if that's a possibility for your business,
then consider a headless CMS.
A headless CMS has the ability to
integrate with APIs that allow you
to connect with third-party
devices or software.
Six: Does your CMS have solid
backup and restore functions?
Did updating the latest version of your
CMS cause your app or website to crash?
Reverting to an earlier version of your
CMS from a backup can be the fastest
and most effective way to deal
with an emergency.
At least until you can figure out what
actually went wrong and correct the issue.
So make sure your CMS has
the ability to roll back
to its last functioning version
with a few clicks.
This feature is mandatory.
Also, backups should be both
frequent and automatic.
Seven: How's the presentation?
Almost everything we've talked about so far
has to do with the back end of the CMS
--the interface your team will be working with.
But a great presentation on the front end
for your audience is also essential.
Just about any serious contender
for your purchase will be able
to show you beautiful- looking pages,
but adaptability and range of
presentation are probably most important.
You want a flexible output engine
that can keep the look of your app
or website fresh for years to come.
The best measure of that is the ability
of your CMS to vary presentation
on a range of formats today.
And it goes without saying that it can integrate
video and audio elements seamlessly.
If you're working with a headless system,
the front end will be beyond
your CMSs control.
But again, look for a proven ability
to integrate with different APIs.
Eight: is your data accessible to you?
If you decide on a custom CMS
from a developer or agency,
make sure that it isn't written
in some arcane language known
only to a dying cabal of coders.
If, for whatever reason, you move on from
your current agency or developer,
you want to have a wide field to draw from
when searching for the next lucky candidate
to take charge of your custom CMS.
As long as the language is relatively common,
finding another coder should be easy.
Your developer should also write
well-structured code with plenty of comments.
Also, look for transparency to the licensing model.
For example, do you own the rights
to the source code?
An agency or developer that retains
ownership of your CMS's code
could hold your business hostage
by withholding permission to alter it.
Nine: How are the search functions?
Look for a powerful search engine.
No internal search engine is going
to match Google's effectiveness,
but it should be precise,
able to rank results by relevance
and be able to work around
the occasional typo or spelling error.
What you don't want is to have your users
leaving your website to use Google.
So there you have it:
nine questions to ask your vendor,
your agency, or possibly just yourself
if you're in the market for a CMS.
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