8 Traits of Successful People in Healthcare Marketing

people around dinner table

What does success look like to you? Your answer depends on what motivates you and what you value.

To some, success means a high-powered job with a big salary. To others, it means waking up every day, excited to get out of bed and do what they get to do. Or even pushing themselves out of bed to make today a better one.

At Ten Adams, we define success as delivering great work that builds better healthcare brand experiences. Success is leaving something better than we found it. Success is happy clients. And while our clients’ success is their own, we don’t feel as though we’re succeeding unless they are.

How to Succeed in Healthcare Marketing

In our years of working with hospitals across the United States, we’ve learned that success often stems from a unique mix of certain traits — what we call the 8 traits of successful people in healthcare marketing.

If you’re a unicorn who perfectly exemplifies each one of these traits — good for you. Grab two glasses and “Cheers” yourself! But if you’re like the rest of us and could use some professional and personal development, then you may find our tips to be helpful.

And please humor us by taking note of the words the first letter of each trait spells!


You deal with many difficult internal clients who think they know a lot about marketing and, therefore, what they need to promote their services – yep, you’re thinking about that ‘one person’. But you handle these folks diplomatically and put your foot down with professionalism, and they respect you for it.

Develop this trait

You know that saying your mom told you during your teenage years: “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? You’ve probably learned by now that she was right. We’ve all been on the giving or receiving end of uncomfortable feedback. What softens the blow for both sides is thinking before we speak.

When the opportunity arises to say something negative, pause and think: “Might what I have to say damage my working relationship with this person?” If yes: “How might I say what I need to say in a way that gets the point across but in a non-damaging way?”


If you’ve already mastered tact, then chances are that you’re empathetic. You put yourself in the shoes of not only your colleagues but also your organization’s patients and their loved ones. This trait allows you to feel what your audience feels to deliver a better brand experience.

Develop this trait

Empathy is another trait that results from pausing. When a colleague, patient or patient’s caregiver turns to you to vent, pause to listen for understanding. Then validate their feelings using sincere verbal and nonverbal communication:

  • Nonverbal includes use of eye contact, appropriate facial expressions and some nodding.
  • Verbal includes use of statements such as “I understand what you are saying” and “I’m sorry that you experienced this.”


You end each day with an organized inbox and organized desk, which sets you up to tackle whatever may come your way tomorrow.

Develop this trait

Block the last 15 minutes of each workday for filing emails and papers (if you still use paper) and re-prioritizing your To-Do list. Also, learn about mastering the chaos of healthcare marketing by carving out time to strategically plan and work that plan.

Adaptable and agile

Despite your planning and said To-Do list — which is beautifully written and color-coded of course — you’re always willing to change, whether it means learning new skills or altering your course, to stay current in this everchanging field.

Develop this trait

Play a game of dodgeball with your team and practice that pivot! Seriously, though — adaptability and agility are developed in practice, by putting yourself in situations that require thinking on your feet and experiencing change.

When something comes across your desk or inbox that throws you off your game, don’t complain or run away. Toss your hair up in a bun, or man bun (the clip-on ones totally count!) and handle it. (Also, check out “adventurous” below.)


You’re able to choose a direction and stay the course (while remaining adaptable, of course).

Develop this trait

Some people are naturally decisive, and others are not. But even those who might classify themselves as “indecisive” have an area of their life in which they’re so sure of themselves and their decisions.

Identify an area or a few within your job in which you feel most confident. Focus on making decisions in those areas. But what about everything else? That’s the beauty of teamwork. Develop a subject matter expert list for your team. And remember: Success in the workplace isn’t about being a Jack or Jill of all trades, master of none. It’s about finding your strong suit and capitalizing on it.


You don’t just deal with challenges as they come, but you gravitate toward them — specifically the things that scare you — because you know they make you better.

Develop this trait

What are some of the tasks that you continually push to the backburner but that you need to get done? How about that webpage that needs some words on it? Or those marketing analytics you have yet to review? Or meeting with that mean yet well-meaning staff member?

Avoidance is a normal response to fear — fear of being uncomfortable. But discomfort is how we grow. So, write those points of discomfort on a sticky note, and post it in plain view from your desk chair. Make it a goal to dive into those tasks a lot sooner and give yourself a practical but challenging deadline to stick to. End of day? End of week?


Because you’re adventurous, you’re probably also strong in a number of disciplines within the field of marketing. You likely lead an interesting, fulfilling life outside of work. You have a lot going for you and a zest for life that radiates and energizes you to do your best work.

Develop this trait

A prerequisite for multidimensionality is balance. (The word “prerequisite” just took us back to our glory days in college...) OK, we’re back: Be productive during the work day so you can leave on time and do the things that not only make you interesting but, more importantly, make you happy and rejuvenated.


Let’s face it: In healthcare, things move like molasses in wintertime. But you don’t let that stop you. You not only take initiative to get things going, but you also plow through barriers with grace and efficiency and keep your marketing plan and organization moving forward. High five!

Develop this trait

Look outside your job description to fill needs for your team and organization, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!

We’re Dedicated to Your Success

At TEN ADAMS (you put together those initial trait letters, boom!), we do more than develop healthcare marketing strategies, brands and campaigns. We also develop people.

We partner with marketing teams to help them plan more effectively and work more efficiently. And we help them turn their goals and objectives into results — and recognition from the C-suite.

What challenges are you facing? We’d love to hear about them. Pick up the phone and give our VP of Strategy, Jennifer Horton, a call at 812.253.6311 or reach her by email at

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