Sunday, July 20, 2014

Are you skating to where the healthcare marketing puck will be?

There has been a lot of activity lately with making an analogy to Wayne Gretzky’s most famous statement that he skates to where the puck will be, not where it is as a great player.  And lots of people have been beating that drum in the media lately about how hospitals and health systems aren’t skating to where the puck is going.   And in doing so are placing the very survivability of the healthcare organization at risk.

And that applies to healthcare marketing as well.

·        The healthcare consumer is skating towards outcomes. Healthcare marketer’s skate to award logos and contextually meaningless content.
·         The healthcare consumer skates towards price information. Healthcare marketer’s skate to nondisclosure.
·         The healthcare consumer skates towards social media to find information. Healthcare marketer’s skate to web sites that are not SEO optimized or mobile friendly.
·         The healthcare consumer skates towards choice, access, convenience and price. Healthcare marketer’s skate to new buildings and equipment.
·         The healthcare consumer skates to the story of the healthcare organization. Healthcare marketer’s skate to single point clinical services or diagnostic equipment capabilities story.
·         The healthcare consumer skates to the totality of the healthcare experience. Healthcare marketer’s skate in a circle waiting for some marcom tasks and for the most part are not involved in the experience process.

One could continue to write a pretty long list but I think the point has been made. Healthcare is becoming a very tough consumer centric business which hospitals and health systems have never had to compete in.  And in any kind of retail environment, cost and consumers are kings.

So where should healthcare marketer’s skate?

·         Skate to demand management of populations across the continuum of care.
·         Skate to the totality of the patient or healthcare consumer experience not to the single touch-point of the day.
·         Skate to providing clear and unambiguous price information.
·         Skate to providing outcomes information.
·         Skate to leading the healthcare organization.
·         Skate to telling the story of the healthcare organization, not the service or equipment.
·         Skate to where the market research data indicates that the market is headed.

It’s time to stop circling the wagons and skate to where the healthcare consumer and market is heading.  Otherwise, the Zamboni will pick you up along the way.

The fastpitch travel softball season is moving to a close and it’s been a lot of fun.  The week of July 28 my daughter and I will be at the USSSA 16U A World Series where the team is currently ranked in the top 10 at No.7. It will be a wonderful last hurrah for her. The college visits have already started.  It’s been a great 10 years of fastpitch travel softball and I wouldn’t change it a bit.

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