Interview with Michael Bell, CMO, VP Client Services & Partnerships at MailMyStatements
Michael Bell is the Chief Marketing Officer for MailMyStatements. Mike is a dynamic, innovative visionary thinker, a marketing technology advocate, providing visionary content marketing strategies in highly competitive markets. Combined business acumen in marketing and sales with innate leadership abilities to recruit & retain top performers while implementing strategic methodologies to increase businesses bottom line and an avid golfer.
MailMyStatements is a technology-driven statement, payment, and collection vendor that specializes in simplifying the billing process. We are proudly HITRUST Certified, ensuring the highest level of protection for your sensitive Patient Health Information. For more than a decade we’ve worked closely with medical offices, hospitals, and health systems to determine the most patient-friendly methods to optimize billing and payment processes.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
My Journey has been interesting, to say the least. Out of College the first time I worked for my father’s computer-generated slide presentation business. Designing presentations allowed me to learn and understand how color psychology and website page layout influenced decisions and would later serve me well in my marketing career. I came from a family of entrepreneurs, so I learned quickly how to be a self-starter.
After a couple of years doing this, I looked at how technology advances in software were going to change what I was doing and decided to start my own business as I started a computer maintenance business that focused on maintaining small business hardware such as computer systems, complex printers, and POS systems. My primary focus was on Banks, Attorneys, and Medical Providers. I did this for five years and was able to learn how to sell and market the business. Again, another technology shift was occurring, and I realized this concept no longer had long term sustainability, so I needed to adapt and pivot my professional life.
Shortly before Y2K, I looked around and realized how the internet would change how we buy goods and services. My answer was to look at the automobile business. I thought I could make a lot of money selling cars online. At this time, there were not many new car dealerships selling vehicles online, so I looked at independent dealerships and how I could help them compete selling vehicles online via eBay motors.
This worked out well for a couple of years until the bigger new car automobile groups realized what they were missing. This served me well as I landed several jobs selling cars online for various dealerships. This was a time the automobile manufacturers got in the game and created the opportunity for consumers to build their vehicle and find it locally through the dealer networks. During these years I was able to grow my marketing and sales acumen.
What changed for me was the 9/11 tragedy in NYC. Over the next few years, the automobile manufacturers idea to help the economy was to create zero percent financing. This was both a boom and a bust. The 0% programs pulled so many people out of their normal buying cycle that after a few years of this the car business fell apart, bailouts occurred, and you know the rest of the story.
Again, it was time to pivot and the result was brokering enterprise OEM tape drives. This served me well for a few years but again, a technology shift was accruing, and the cloud was born. Looking back, I can say I’ve been blessed with great vision and always had a passion for technology changes. I decided to go back to school, during this time I realized the impact Social Media was going to have on buying goods and services and how small companies had the opportunity to compete on a more level playing field. I was all in and from that point, having never looked back. It was also during this time that I started learning everything I could get my hands on about Content Marketing. I finally found the greatest passion of my life. I have had the good fortune to work with many small businesses, helping them grow and prosper. Just like my story here, in today’s marketing world it’s the authentic stories that create interest in your brand.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on?
Primarily we use very complex Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital Marketing SEO/SEM, and Video strategies. Facilitating interest in our brand by highlighting the solutions we offer to help our industry and our clients solve financial collection in healthcare.
What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
My Advice is to understand the technology and use it to make key decisions. When you understand the data, you can pivot quickly to remain viable in a field with so much noise and low attention spans.
When it comes to content delivery, Social Media is crucial to any marketing strategy. Having both an organic and paid strategy helps. For beginners or startups, my best advice is to start small, you don’t need to be on every platform. understanding of your target audience will come in handy here. Which platforms are your target audience most active on? What makes them visit that platform? What platform works best to fulfill your needs. Once you figure that out, pick one or two and learn them, it’s important to become proficient on one before expanding to more. Become an expert, once you do that add another platform. When you have a knowledge base of more than two platforms and your data shows you can be effective, The next step is to learn how to integrate and use a Social Media Automation tool to manage your posting schedule. I share below on what tool I recommend.
As a Content Marketer, you are only as good as your SEO strategy is. An SEO Strategy is crucial to help produce organic, qualified leads to your website. Understanding your target market and creating a strategic, data-driven SEO plan, you are able to be more successful in marketing your website.
I like to use the Symphony approach to describe Content Marketing and what it looks like. Think of it like this, You are the conductor, You have sections of different instruments which when they strategically play together they create a very special sound and experience. It’s the same with Content Marketing. You are the conductor, Your website is the most important piece to the symphony, you will add pieces, SEO, SEM, Video, Email, and Social Media are great examples. They all create entrance points to your website and if your website performs well, You’ll have pre-qualified your target audience through engagement which in turn leads to opportunities and higher closing percentages.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
Marketing Automation and Bots has changed the game, being able to schedule Social Media Posts, plan campaigns and create engagement is where it’s at. I highly recommend using eClincher for Social Media automation. It’s an industry-leading tool that allows you to create and manage your campaigns. It has a unique queuing system that allows for efficiency, personalization, and scheduling.
Understanding the data from your website using Google Analytics helps you to understand the buyer persona and their journey.
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
The best advice for individuals entering the marketing world is to be patient, Don’t sell your brand short, Be methodical and detail oriented. Learn how to diffuse angry people online, focus on making customers happy. Creativity is a soft skill, Be authentic, Be yourself and be approachable. Listen to new ideas, pay attention to new technology, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Marketing is not about following rules it’s about expanding them, push creative boundaries while remaining credible.