Friday, December 26, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
In grand anticipation of 2015, and the potential it holds for taking healthcare marketing in hospitals and health systems to the next level, consider if you will some resolutions for 2015.
In the spirit of David Letterman here goes:
10. Focus on innovatively meeting the needs of the healthcare consumer. Through market research drive programmatic and service delivery changes
9. Learn from the healthcare retail giants like Walgreens, CVS Caremark and others. Healthcare continues to evolve into a semi-retail market and what has worked in the past won’t work anymore.
8. Marry price to outcomes and be transparent to the healthcare consumer. Provide and prove value.
7. Integrate traditional, online and social marketing strategies. All are complementary to one another and drive multiple successes.
5. Be a marketing thought leader- in the organization and to external peers.
4. Focus on marketing accountability, resource utilization efficiency and effectiveness. Use the data to demonstrate ROI. If it doesn’t work then stop doing it.
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 clinical, operations and marketing.
1. Serve and be humble, for working in healthcare is a privilege, not a right.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Best wishes for a prosperous year in 2015.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
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Saturday, October 18, 2014
An interesting question, isn’t it? The marketing department is going from the tried and true traditional hospital and health system advertisements and pithy messages to stories that market the hospital or health system brand.
As an industry, we need to move more fully into developing compelling content to engage and frame the experience of the healthcare consumer or patient. And that means storytelling assumes greater importance.
After all, when one looks at the hospital and health system advertising, it’s still the shiny new building, panoramic views from the rooftop terrace of lounge, smiling doctors, award logos, or trophies and modern equipment. But does that meet the needs of the healthcare consumer or patient? Those kinds of activities do not lend themselves to online or social media very much, where people are 41 percent of the time looking for information on the healthcare provider. And with TiVo, cable online, and all the myriad choices for viewing nowadays, does anyone see them or surf through?
If that is the case and healthcare organizations, for whatever reason, are unwilling to build points of differentiation for the brand based on outcomes and price transparency, then why not tell a story?
Stories can provide rich content. Stories can engage. Stories can frame the experience. Stories can allow one to impart critical information that a healthcare consumer or patient can use to choose.
This isn’t the story of “us” or the development of the hospital as in “one hundred years ago, a visionary physician” well, you get the idea. It would seem that given the lack of differentiation in the market place between hospitals and health systems that compelling storytelling can be the difference.
In a society that begs for compelling and meaningful content, who better than the hospital or health system to frame what they do, how they do it, and the outcomes achieved around stories? It does not mean that the traditional product, a place, price, and promotion aspect of marketing goes away. It is just that those four Ps are told in a story.
Storytelling has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
For your consideration, I submit, what works better, a story of the development of a new outpatient center that is the future of healthcare, a full-page four-color advertisement of a new building that says this is the future of outpatient cares? A picture of a glass and steel building multistory building? It looks pretty cold and sterile. And I have no idea what is inside, what the hospital does, how it’s done, or what it will cost me.
Now tell me a story about the experience. Engage me with the story of the levels of treatment and what is done. Thrill me with the levels of care. I was hoping you could give me the reasons why this healthcare brand matters at this location at this time in my life. Tell me a compelling story of why.
Hospitals and health systems do good. There are millions of stories that can be woven into compelling content optimized for social media and mobile that makes a difference. Not all the cold, dry explanations a healthcare consumer sees today. Use storytelling to create the reasons why one should choose the hospital, doctor, or whatever one is trying to sell.
Individuals are now paying one-third of the total cost of care. They are gaining sophistication regarding making healthcare choices with outcomes and price data. What they don’t have is the frame of reference to understand what it all means.
In an age where compelling content matters more than any time in the past, it’s time to change the paradigm for healthcare marketing, and time for creative storytelling based on the traditional four Ps of marketing.
Once upon a time……
Saturday, October 11, 2014
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Saturday, September 27, 2014
- Market Presence- The resources to effectively and continuously communicate brand and differentiate the offering across multiple channels. This includes having the right marketing organizational structure with the right people in the right jobs to manage the fully integrated marketing program.
- Leveraging Opinion/Perception – Social media is critical in the area. Even with all the cost, price and quality data that is being released and consumers are learning how to use; it’s still recommendation of physicians, family members or friends that drives a big part of the selection process. That will change over time, but as of yet, it’s that old tried and true ubiquitous “word of mouth” opinion/perception influencer channels that one needs to actively manage.
- Consumer/Patient 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 that includes social media engagement.
A consumer-directed market is much different environment 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 an era of reform in the new healthcare environment include:
- 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.
- Price, outcomes and experience transparency
- 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.