With healthcare changing so rapidly, 2013 promises to be even more challenging as the implementation of ACA moves forward. The healthcare industry whether they like it or not is becoming more consumer oriented. Those individuals enrolled in Consumer Directed Health Plans are shopping for healthcare services based on price and are price sensitive for example. Many more changes are coming that will put the healthcare consumer in charge and they will be demanding answers.
Here are 10 more steps that healthcare marketing departments need to take right now to be relevant and lead their organizations to a more healthcare consumer focused environment.
10. Educate your organization about the value of your department and work. Lead and prove your departments ROI. Marketing just doesn't make things "look pretty".
9. Scan the B2C companies for their marketing successes. Learn about them, adapt them to healthcare, and implement successfully. Healthcare will take giant steps in 2013 to become consumer driven, so you had better learn how to market effectively to the healthcare consumer. And that means meeting their needs not yours.
8. Invest in market research. It's the only way you can obtain an unbiased view of your healthcare consumers and their needs. I think I know, the physicians know or senior management knows without the quantitative data won't work anymore.
7. Integrate traditional, online and social marketing strategies. All are complementary to one another and drive multiple successes. Figure out how the healthcare consumer wants information and give it them their way
6. Focus the company on the Voice of the Customer and the entire Patient Experience and work tirelessly to improve both. From your VoC efforts will come innovation.
5. Use data to drive change. There is so much healthcare data available, now is the time to learn how to manipulate the data sets and use outcomes to your advantage. No more guessing.
4. Define the brand, brand promise and show what the value of that brand is to your internal and external stakeholders.
3. Stop using the words "unique", "state-of-the-art", and anything that is considered "buzz word" terminology in marketing communications. Unique can be duplicated easily. State-of-the-art refers to yesterday's systems as things change so fast. Buzz words quickly fall out of favor.
2. Bridge the divide between sales and marketing. Without effective working relationships neither will be successful.
1. Be agile in your plans, execute crisply, measures and evaluate often and change immediately. Fail fast.
Get ready for the healthcare world to be turned in its head in 2014.
Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. 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. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. Like us on facebook at the michael J group.