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Align Your Output by Starting With the Right Input

March 23, 2018 | Strategy
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Asking for help is never the wrong answer — we have the brainpower, tools and experience to help you accomplish this critical transformation.

We shared ways to improve your thought process by establishing (and prioritizing) the most critical areas of focus for the marketing department, but we also know doing those things well consumes nearly all our resources. So, how do we begin to shift the focus of our organization from volume to value to accommodate achieving those goals?

The first step is to create an integrated strategic marketing plan, aligning your marketing initiatives with the four key areas of brand, engagement, reputation, and growth. Start by carving out two to four hours in your schedule and going to an off-site location away from distractions, either alone or with your team. Establish and evaluate where your brand, engagement, reputation and growth currently stack up with these four questions: 

  1. Where are you at currently? 
  2. What is your desired state?
  3. What is the gap between the current and desired? 
  4. What initiatives and tactics can help move you toward your desired state?

Then, establish a timeline, outlining key expectations and milestones along the way. If you are fortunate enough to have a team, assign responsibility for each initiative. Repeat this process for each area to complete your plan.

Once you have your plan written, it will be easiest to follow if you translate it into a single page Gantt chart listing each strategic initiative divided into each of the four key areas, with each initiative outlining the below:

  1. The organizational goal(s) supported
  2. The person responsible
  3. The budget
  4. The timeline

Keep this on hand to reference during team huddles, staff meetings and meetings with leadership.

This plan should form the agenda of every departmental meeting to maintain accountability and focus on these critical areas with all other requests, tasks and other business taking second priority during discussions. You should also work to routinely provide management and leadership with updates on your plan’s progress. Continue the single-page format to use as a tool when you present to others, need to decline requests or adjust to add additional tasks to the plan.

Saying ‘no’ will be the most difficult part of this process. As the department leader, it’s important you arm your staff with the tools to evaluate and field incoming requests complete with a ‘no’ script on how to politely but firmly decline additional projects that fall outside of your strategic scope.

Shifting a cultural mindset from volume to value is not easy. But it is critical — to your organization’s success, to your team’s success and to your own success. When your brand, engagement, reputation and growth are firing on all cylinders, so is your organization — so let’s make an impact where it counts.

Focus on the work that matters. And if you need help moving your organization from volume to value, consider consulting a strategic healthcare-focused agency like Ten Adams, with a deep level of healthcare knowledge and understanding of the unique challenges healthcare marketing leaders like you face every day. Asking for help is never the wrong answer — we have the brainpower, tools and experience to help you accomplish this critical transformation.

Written by Jennifer Horton

Jennifer is a strategic problem-solver with 20 years of experience strategizing in for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare systems. She simplifies complex healthcare problems, breaking them down into manageable goals to achieve our clients’ large-scale dreams, all while expertly navigating corporate structures and keeping all players engaged along the way.

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