Sunday, April 1, 2012

Can you see the 10 signs of an ineffective healthcare marketing operation?

The arguments are in. SCOTUS has already voted on healthcare reform. The majority and minority opinion writers are chosen. Regardless, healthcare will continue to change in very fundamental ways. And that means marketing has to change as well.

Marketing strategy and effective marketing operations is everything today in healthcare marketing. And if you have a bad strategy or no strategy, combined with marketing operational deficiencies, then no amount of tactical execution will overcome ineptitude. Some of the verticals in the healthcare industry are notorious for no strategy and just plain bad marketing operations, following the herd and just keeping the internal audience happy with what they want.

Here are the 10 signs spelling marketing doom in your hospital or other healthcare organization:

1. The marketing plan is not integrated with the organizations business and financial plan.

2. Your brand messages are not clear, and are not integrated across internal and external audiences.

3. The CEO sets the marketing priorities based on what others are doing , the loudest voice in the room or just because he or she likes it.

4. Departments are creating their own logos and communications. Only coming to marketing to "make it look pretty".

5. Marketing has little or no resources allocated for market research.

6. Marketing does not have an organizational voice or champion.

7. Your marketing department can't demonstrate an ROI.

8. The triangle of Public and media relations, social media and internet and traditional marketing is nonexistent or if it exists, lacks integration.

9. Little internal communication throughout the organization regarding marketing efforts.

10. Marketing is not at the senior management table.

Healthcare is transforming from a provider-dominated and directed model, where these types of behaviors and operational deficiencies really didn't make much of a difference. In the evolving consumer or patient-directed and dominated healthcare model, continuation of these marketing operational structures and behaviors need to be weeded out.

The healthcare consumer will become a harsh mistress, and will not tolerate an unresponsive healthcare organizations. Old ways of marketing must be replaced with a new understanding of marketing in healthcare and its power in the marketplace.

Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 4,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.

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