While many healthcare providers have been late adopters of digital marketing (as compared to other industries), it is fair to say that, as of 2018 it is now a cornerstone of most healthcare marketing programs. And that prominence comes from success and lessons learned—some good, some not so good—about both general and digital marketing.
Marketing dashboards are an essential deliverable for any marketing team. Senior leaders want to know what they are getting for their investment in marketing, and how marketing will advance their strategic plan. And for marketers, it is important to document how effective you were in achieving your stated goals. So, where to begin?
Inevitably at some point during your healthcare marketing career you will be faced with bringing a new brand to market. As you do, it is critical to stay focused on the strategic and business objectives of your organization, while also protecting the equity of your brand. The following scenarios describe bringing a new brand to a market, assuming you currently have standing or brand value. The goal in both cases is to leverage the equity of all the brands to enhance your brand, differentiate you from competitors and better serve your customers.
Over the past four-plus decades, AB&C has worked with some of the most premier healthcare systems across this country—large and small—and we greatly value those relationships. But great agency-client relationships just don’t happen; they take true commitment by both parties to be successful. And over the years, we have learned what makes a great working relationship and want to share that knowledge with you, because agencies, while a source of expense, are also an investment, and have a key impact on your organization and your ability to meet patient and provider needs, delivery quality care and build your brand.
Every once in a while, a campaign comes along, and you know that it’s special. Maybe it’s a cause that you strongly believe in, a story that needs to be told or the creative is just really unique. I guess that’s how I felt from the very beginning about MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute’s “Living Donor” campaign. For me, it was a combination of all three.
In my experience as a hospital chief marketing officer (CMO) and in working at AB&C with healthcare CMOs, I’ve found a number of attributes that serve a person well in this role. On Innovation Enterprise, which provides leading-edge ideas and information on a variety of key business channels, Rose Johnstone identifies a number of these attributes from the business world that apply to the healthcare industry.
Healthcare organizations have always struggled with measuring return on marketing investment (ROMI), mostly because of multiple systems of data collection that don’t speak to one another. But with the advent of new “tools,” that challenge is getting easier — if you have the building blocks in place.
We know a few things to be true about popular brands. They exist. They tend to offer a product or service. They have a physical space or online presence. They have identifiable brand attributes. And they are vetted over time through consumer experiences and perception.
Based on these truths, it seems safe to assume that in order for you to establish credibility and trust with your target audience, customers must have some exposure or real-world experience with your brand, right? Well, think again.
Most health systems/hospitals have an affiliated and/or employed medical group. The exception is California, where the corporate practice of medicine prohibits employment of physicians by systems or hospitals.
Some medical groups are faculty models, while others are the result of groups that have merged under one umbrella, and can have primary care and specialty services as part of their cadre of physicians. What is true about all medical groups is that they are the front door to patients you want to attract to your system/hospital.
If you followed a systematic approach to build a new brand (or refreshed an existing one), you started with discovery research. You then developed a brand mantra to inform how your brand would be articulated to internal audiences and the outside world. Finally, you created or refined the outward expressions, such as the name, mark and colors.
All of this hard work was done in preparation to share your brand with stakeholders and customers. This is when the rubber hits the road. It’s important to invest as much time, and as many resources, into properly socializing and managing your brand as it is to develop, create and refine it.