Can peer-to-peer content scale faster than company-created content? ft. Thomas Carter, Sr. Director of Global Marketing at Vision RT
We've had a chance to connect with Thomas Carter, Sr. Director of Marketing at Vision RT to understand how he thinks about facilitating community-created content and repurposing it
We've all heard this before as marketers - involve your community in the content you create. Let's be honest, most of us don't exactly have a way to routinely execute on that beyond the occasional customer testimonial or case study here and there.
What happens when everyone has [alleged] case studies? How do you continue to build trust with your new and existing customers alike? I needed to find the answers.
I've had a chance to connect with Thomas Carter, Senior Director of Global Marketing at Vision RT, to learn how he thinks about peer to peer content vs company-created content for their company.
As part of our expert community series at tribetactics, we're always on the lookout to balance our own research with the insights we learn from experts in our community.
Vision RT develops cutting-edge radiation therapy solutions to help patients and practitioners combat cancer better. In their own words, "Vision RT is the inventor of Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) and develops solutions using computer vision and AI to help ensure cancer patients’ radiation therapy is delivered safely. With systems in around 70% of the “Best 50 US hospitals for Cancer”, we work tirelessly to improve the accuracy, efficiency, safety and comfort of radiation therapy."
Learning #1: Customer skepticism is on an all-time high
There is no industry under the sun that doesn't believe in building trust with customers, and marketers in the healthcare industry are no different.
"Those making healthcare purchase and use decisions can deeply impact patients’ lives, and so they are understandably wary of any content from vendors. When we zoom in on “new to the world” med tech products such as those produced by Vision RT, this wariness is even higher."
Believing in the power of word of mouth and peer-to-peer distribution, Thomas understood that building a native medium to tell stories that are embedded in their community will go the distance. People are smart, and they're only getting more skeptical as they get exposed to more "content".
"The flip side to this situation is that it’s a 'small world' and if you do good things, the word spreads quickly."
Learning #2: Don't interrupt conversations, host them
In an effort to not to reinvent the wheel but rather harness what was already working, they adjusted their content strategy sails to go with the wind, and embrace a peer-to-peer first mindset when it comes to producing content. Companies often fall victim to doing things they think they're "supposed" to do, as opposed to doing the brave work of actually looking around to see what's working, and aligning to that.
"This dynamic has led to us almost exclusively relying on content produced by users and beneficiaries of our product, whether they are prescribers, users or patients."
Rather than interrupt a conversation with bland, corporate marketing efforts, they decided to host the conversations that were already being had by creating opportunities and platforms for those in their community to meet and discuss what they want to discuss, how they want to discuss, and most importantly, with whom they need to discuss it with.
"We have established an arms-length “by users, for users” community, to enable direct communication between experienced users and new/potential customers with the same roles."
Learning #3: Simplify your work, learn to follow
Related to the point above, is knowing when to lead and when to follow. As Daniel Pink would say, where we used to live in a caveat emptor (buyer beware) we now live in a caveat venditor (seller beware) world. Rather than guess what customers want, involve them, and listen to them. It also makes life easier because we begin to truly listen to approach and understand our community not as one big fuzzy demographic, but as a group of individuals with common interests and goals.
"This improves overall use of our products, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and then peer referral."
Learning #4: Connect, Repurpose, Repeat
Vision RT has found a repeatable process to attract, engage, and scale their peer-to-peer conversations by virtue of creating opportunities for their users, and prospective users alike to meet and connect. After the content is created, they find ways to repurpose it and share it with the people who most need to see it in order to build social proof, credibility, and scale the conversations online.
"A significant portion of our resource is spent delivering events for a specific customer role, with the added benefit of content from these events being used afterwards for further education, targeted at people with the same role elsewhere."
"Supporting and facilitating this peer to peer interaction has not only boosted credibility and adoption of our products, but also influenced our own strategies, as we learn what is most beneficial from our customers and feed that back into our work."
Looking to find the best way to get ROI by repurposing content from your event? Check out our guide here.