Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are You Working in a HiPPO Marketing Environment?

The other day, I was attending an American Marketing Association webinar on “Your Customers Aren’t Hiding the Answers, You Just Need to Know Where to Look”, sponsored by Autonomy Multichannel Customer Interaction Solutions. The presenters were Andrew Joiner, CEO and Jeff Westover, VP Marketing. (Note, I am not receiving any payment in mentioning this, but you will see why in a short bit. It’s all about full attribution.)

In one slide they presented what really summed up for me what most healthcare marketing is like. And I wish I had thought of it; which bring us back to the original question. Are you working in a HiPPO marketing environment?

H Highest
P Paid
P Position
O Opinion


Yes HiPPO! It was a moment in time where it all fell together. No marketing science, no qualitative understanding of markets, just opinion, hearsay and flavor of the day from reading an article someplace or seeing an advertisement. No primary or secondary market research or understanding customer needs except in the most superficial level. One maybe two people say something and then it’s the whole universe acts that way. I am the highest paid person here…. so go do this. A competitor does this, so you do this. I have made up my mind because I believe this to be true and I am the insert title here- CEO - EVP - VP etc.

An interesting concept that’s easy for you to determine if you too work in a HiPPO marketing environment. Take a step back and look at your healthcare company. When you do that the choices become really clear if you want to succeed.

My read on this….

A HiPPO organization will never reach its full potential and is characterized by a lack of sustainable mission, vision and values, short attention span, constantly shifting plans and priorities, inability to execute operationally, constant crisis and chaos and lacks a formal integrated planning process. Communication is poor interdepartmentally and marketing is seen as doing “stuff”. Proposed marketing solutions are seen an “elegant” and not as the right way to build revenue and brand because they aren’t expedient. It’s all about the HiPPO and what they believe regardless of any lack of foundation in reality.

I do think my time for change has come.

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