As C-suite executives are focusing on volume to value in provider care, the same focus is needed for marketing departments. As a marketer, in the shift from volume to value, focus first and foremost on the areas which are most critical to your organization’s success:
- Build Awareness through Branding
- Improve Engagement
- Enhance Reputation
- Drive Growth
It can be very easy to lose sight of these core areas and fail to prioritize them when you are constantly bombarded with marketing requests. So, let’s revisit and reinforce why each of these is so critically important.
Building awareness begins with branding. Investing time in building a consistent and recognizable brand, both inside and outside your organization, will allow you to spend less time recreating the wheel with each fire that pops up and more time on the strategy behind your brand and its voice. Establishing a comprehensive set of brand standards provides a clear and concrete roadmap for how your materials should look and feel, allowing for faster, more consistent execution of marketing tactics. When a department chooses not to follow your brand’s standards, they are choosing to undermine the financial and emotional investment that’s been spent to-date on the brand, which is especially counterproductive for your need to gain consumer trust.
As healthcare marketers, we impact a variety of audiences both internally and externally. And, to make things even more challenging, each of our audiences speaks a very different language and places value on very different things. From employee communications and physician satisfaction and recruitment to community engagement and keeping stakeholders invested, involved (and happy), each of our audiences is equally important to the success of our mission. If any one of these audiences suffers from our lack of focus and attention, the entire organization begins to unravel. Prioritizing engagement with each of our key audiences is where we add value and drive impact.
Today, reputation has the power to make or break an organization like never before. The modern marketer must frequently monitor social media platforms, full of endless opportunities for the public to cast their opinion (and many times, opinion is all-too-quickly adopted as fact). Our organization’s story must be genuine, and we must follow through with the promises our brand makes. Our audiences are highly engaged and prepared to take any and all grievances swiftly to the public through social media. From driving key content when and where it counts to leveraging PR opportunities, reputation management is critical, now more than ever, and must be a constant focus of marketing. Marketing leaders must leverage resources effectively to handle this overwhelming task.
One of the most tangible impacts of a marketing department is to drive growth. While everyone within an organization may expect the focus to be their department, clinic or facility, with limited resources, it is imperative to be able to focus our efforts on growing the services that will have the greatest impact on the success of the organization as a whole. We must have a solid growth plan outlining which services will be marketed while remaining nimble and flexible to respond to any shifts in the marketplace and to changes to our organization’s goals.
Shifting your mindset (and the minds of others) to allow you to carve out this time each week will take time, but it will have measurable results in the long run. Allocating 10% of your time to strategic planning and actively keeping these four areas at the forefront of your thought process will have immediate improvements on the quality of work you’re producing.