Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creating a Sustainable Healthcare Marketing Operation in a Consumer-Driven Market


These are the four constants that direct-care healthcare providers need to understand and incorporate for success in their marketing operations and campaign efforts in a consumer-driven market. No longer nice to have, these four basic concepts are now business requirements.

Sustainability- The resources to effectively and continuously communicate brand and differentiate your offering across multiple channels.

Presence - By maintaining a continuous presence across multiple channels as in so many other consumer-directed industries, you build brand preference.

Perception- With a sustainable, continuous presence in the marketplace, sooner rather than latter, your key messages become the opinion of you by consumers and they become fact in their minds.

Experience- The actual customer experience matches the brand image, perceptions and opinions of customers that you created in the marketplace that had been communicated in an integrated multi-channel sustained effort.

Change and Survive

A consumer-directed market is much different than a provider-directed market which requires skills and abilities that may or may not exist in an organization. Key success factors for creating a high performance marketing operation that delivers revenue and market share in the new healthcare environment include:

A Vice President of Marketing senior management position that reports to the CEO and is involved in all decision making.

Marketing resources human, operational and capital budgets to support a multi-channel effort externally and internally.

Comprehensive strategic and measurably focused marketing plan that is integrated with the financial and operational plan of the organization.

Tactical execution plan and timetable that integrates all the campaigning to be done over the fiscal year.

Internal communication and training to educate the organization around marketing efforts, expectations and their role in the execution of the plan.

Creation of a comprehensive marketing dashboard which communicates activities and results on a monthly basis to all levels of the organization.

The above organizational marketing success factors are at a minimum what is needed to move direct- care healthcare providers from a cottage-industry approach to marketing to a comprehensive multimillion or billion dollar corporation approach to marketing, that in realty, most of you are.

As the healthcare providers continue to consolidate across all segments, marketing will assume an increasingly important role in the survival and revenue generating activities for the organization in a consumer dominated and directed healthcare marketplace.

And that requires a far different innovative sustainable presence that changes perceptions than the old way of doing things.

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Michael Krivich is a senior healthcare marketing executive and internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger read daily in over 20 countries around the world. A Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives as well as a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association, he can be reached at or 815-293-1471. Areas of expertise include: brand management; strategic marketing; sales and marketing integration; physician marketing; product launch; start-up launch and revenue growth; tactical market planning; customer experience management; rebuilding and revitalizing marketing operations; media relations; and service line revitalizations. Mike is Huthwaite SPIN selling trained and a Miller Heiman Strategic Selling alumni. healthcare marketing, brnd, hospitals, health systems

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