When it comes to healthcare marketing, collaborating with your organization’s top decision-makers is a key strategy for success.
The landscape of the healthcare marketplace is ever changing. But one variable remains constant—everyone is looking for the most effective way to reach potential customers. Enter healthcare marketing professionals, important resources for leaders at hospitals and healthcare systems of all sizes.
A Culture of Collaboration
“The goal of leaders, such as chief marketing officers, is to help support the mission of each delivery system,” says Jim Hobson, CEO of True North Custom. “Having strong communication between marketing and senior health system executives is critical.”
Essential to that relationship is an understanding and appreciation for one another as professionals with different skill sets—individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Every member of a health system leadership team needs to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the professional disciplines and organizational structures that drive their colleagues.
“When marketing professionals have a comprehensive grasp of an organization’s operations, challenges, and opportunities, they are equipped to deliver the most effective messages to consumers and colleagues alike,” Jim says. “They have to be subject matter experts.”
Traditionally, the leaders guiding decisions on an executive level with health systems have been physicians, nurses, and finance or operations experts. But as health care evolves, becoming more competitive and prevention–oriented, the role of marketing leadership has become more prominent.
“The role of communicators has shifted from promoting messages through public relations to driving business growth,” Jim says. “In hospital leadership, you commonly have a number of colleagues around the table who understand a great deal about how care is provided and where patient flow is. But many of them need to improve their knowledge about how marketing can drive business.”
As healthcare models shift toward consumer-based decision making, marketing leaders need to communicate the importance of messaging at this critical stage of the game.
“The most powerful force in the universe is change, and the second most powerful force is resistance to it,” Jim says. “Marketing leaders are the change agents in the room. That situation requires a skill set that is almost professorial when working together with management and board members. You have to educate and inform colleagues about how customer decision-making models work.”
Communicating the Value of Information
Part of navigating the latest landscape with expertise and harnessing positive attention from key players is tracking the data related to various marketing campaigns. Have they proven successful? What numbers indicate achievement? Have you packaged results in a manner that commands attention?
“How marketing leaders use information in business planning and service development is increasingly critical to organizations,” Jim says. “Developing strong strategic agility is absolutely essential when working to meet customers needs instantaneously. And marketing is at the heart of that process.”
Find out how your marketing approach compares to peers. Take the 2017 State of Healthcare Marketing Survey.