Peer Perspective from the 2016 SHSMD Annual Conference

by Jason Skinner, Chief Marketing Officer - 09/28/16


Once again, the best and brightest healthcare marketing minds converged at the annual SHSMD Conference. Here are the ideas, issues, and trends that have the healthcare marketing community talking.

Embrace change. Let’s be part of this disruption and create new markets and opportunities for our organizations. Let’s partner with the Googles and Apples of the world, because they have what we want and we have what they want.  

—Roger Jansen, Senior VP for Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer, Spectrum Health

Marketing automation is a team sport. Create a workgroup to help manage these initiatives. Each week, I meet with a group from data, content, and technology to map out and measure workflows. There are so many moving parts; no one person can manage them all.

—Robin Ward, Director of Customer Engagement and Analytics, Penn Medicine

And success with marketing automation is a marathon. We have to help physicians and other stakeholders understand that they aren’t going to see immediate success when implementing marketing automation; it's an investment that yields returns over time. The key is nurturing your audiences until they’re ready to make a decision based on the cumulative effective of delivering relevant content.

—Mark Samber, Director of Digital Strategy and Web Marketing, Medical University of South Carolina

Get ready for multiple access models. We have to meet our patients where they need care. For example, when a working mom has a child with a temperature and can’t drop him/her off at daycare, how do we help her access care that doesn’t sacrifice her ability to make a living?

—Meta Dooley, Senior VP for Strategic Development, Catholic Health Initiatives

Population health is here to stay. The hospital should not be the center of care; it should the center of last resort. Instead, the patient’s home should be the hub for health care, and the best hospital bed is an empty hospital bed.

—Donald Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Give consumers the content they want. Until they’re actively shopping for healthcare, buyers must be engaged with content that matches their lifestyles and interests. For example, one of the top performing posts on our content hub ( is “5 Tennessee Staycations for Spring Break.”

— Jill Austin, Chief Marketing Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Marketing and leadership must be in lockstep. As our responsibilities increase—often with zero additional staff and budget—it becomes paramount to prioritize; otherwise, everything is a priority. If you don’t get alignment with leadership, you’re constantly dealing with the person who screams the loudest.

—Pamela Maas, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer, Gundersen Lutheran

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