Jack of All Trades

Six Insights for Thriving in The Mad, Mad World of Healthcare Marketing

With the number of hats they’re asked to wear, no wonder hospital marketers’ heads are spinning these days.

Think digital strategies. And social media. Add in advertising, community relations and patient experience. The list keeps growing.

As hospital marketers continue to wrap their heads around the full implications of how consumerism is reshaping healthcare, the need for a holistic approach and multi-disciplinary understanding is more crucial than ever.

That’s one of the chief takeaways we gleaned from Best of Insight 2016 Interviews, a collection of Q&As recently published by our friends at the contenting marketing shop True North Custom. Featuring insights from some of the nation’s leading healthcare marketing minds, the report is chock full of good stuff. Here’s a look at our six favorite thoughts from the pros.

  1. Successful marketing teams get how the business works. “A common denominator of great marketing teams is their ability to stay close to and understand the operational focus and strategic direction of their organizations, and to make certain they’re investing the organization’s resources in the right places.” – Jim Hobson, CEO, True North Custom
  1. Consumerism necessitates cooperation. The exciting thing about the rise of consumers in the healthcare marketing field—and healthcare in general—is that it represents a great opportunity for marketing, strategy, business development, physician relations, and similar disciplines to work together. Specifically, it allows us to have a stronger voice at the table, and it really brings the dynamics of a consumer-driven orientation to the healthcare sector.” – Preston Gee, vice president of strategic marketing, CHRISTUS Health.
  1. As engagement grows, response time needs to shrink. “Immediacy is important regardless of positive or negative sentiment. When someone complains, especially online, one of the biggest things they’re looking for is validation—validation that they’ve been heard. And even when it’s positive, like they’re giving the hospital a high-five, they usually would like the high-five returned.”Scott Stratten, president, Unmarketing.
  1. Strategic marketers should be a leading voice throughout the organization. “Marketing in most industries is a leading function as it goes beyond messaging and promotion and represents the customer/consumer. In the same way, healthcare marketers should have a deep understanding of the customer based on research and therefore own (or at least co-own) the patient experience. Marketing should inform and drive operations, which is often in a silo. That’s been the missing link on the provider side.” – Preston Gee, vice president of strategic marketing, CHRISTUS Health.
  1. Big data is strategic marketing’s friend. The single largest change over time in healthcare marketing has become greater access to better information about the population that hospitals and health systems serve. Both the challenge and opportunity for health systems is to understand the level of sophistication this information presents and how to successfully translate that intelligence into their own business strategies.” – Jim Hobson, CEO, True North Custom
  1. Effective marketing is about building relationships. Content marketing is especially effective in the healthcare industry. We can’t create demand—you are either sick or you’re not, you need surgery or you don’t. The best we can do is build relationships with people and hope that when they need us, they choose us.” – Amanda Todorovich, director of content marketing, Cleveland Clinic.

 

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