Up until now in this series, we’ve primarily talked about what goes into building the application. There’s more to building a new online service than creating the functional pieces of the platform. As with everything, you must market it. In the beginning, this doesn't have to be perfect or fancy - it just needs to provide information consistent with the product itself.
Even as I was working through the concepts necessary to determine how this app will flow and what information it needs to store, I was talking with other professionals about it. This development diary series is another form of marketing. Staying silent and waiting until you’ve created the service means that you will launch to an audience of zero. Creating a buzz and gauging interest in what you’re building takes time, but it’s something that can occur in parallel with the work necessary for production.
The inevitable question, however, will come when someone asks you about your Web site. I know, contain your surprise. Creating the application also means that you must create a Web site. The Web site is a completely separate entity from your Web application because it must enable you to pivot quickly and constantly update marketing details about your new service without compromising your release schedule for the application.
In many cases, the marketing Web site will be ready to go long before you application. That’s expected (and important), as it will help you create buzz, decide what features you want to focus on as you field sales questions and create marketing copy to match that initial plan. It also helps solidify requirements in your own mind so that you can give your development team deeper insight into your vision.
Creating a new digital product doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so it’s important to talk about your product with other professionals in the industry - I joined HIMSS and began seeking out other healthcare industry professionals in my networks. Creating the marketing site doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with something basic and get some basic information in place to start. It’s a content management system, so you can add on to it as your idea takes form and evolves.
Now, with that out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to Compliance Clinic - a brand new Web-based service to assist private medical practices and solo offices manage their service providers for HIPAA compliance. Our platform assists healthcare providers with managing their business associate relationships for compliance and provides those same associates with an easy way to stay on top of their risk self-audits. As mentioned above, this Web site is a work in progress, but most Web sites usually are.