Now, more than ever, healthcare marketers face greater scrutiny and more intense pressures. Let’s collectively accept the challenge. Here are five New Year’s resolutions I recommend healthcare marketers make in 2018.
1. I will work from a marketing plan closely aligned with my organization’s strategic priorities. If your marketing plan is not closely aligned with your organization’s strategic priorities, don’t be surprised if the C-Suite questions your value when budgets are discussed. In addition to helping you justify your own position within an organization, a marketing plan closely aligned with your health system’s strategic priorities provides a powerful defense against fulfilling “off-plan” orders. Speaking of …
2. I will stop taking orders and start asking questions. We all have our fair share of “political” orders we must take to maintain a good internal rapport. But, don’t let internal politics serve as an excuse for not fulfilling your role as a strategic advisor. Your job is to (respectfully) challenge others. The next time you’re bombarded with a request for the Big Toe Clinic’s Facebook page, resolve to ask questions such as, “What are you trying to achieve?” and “How does this fit within the organization’s strategic priorities?” Then, work with your internal client to help him or her arrive at the best way to achieve his or her objectives, IF they fall within the strategic marketing plan.
3. I will learn as much as I can about new and emerging media and its impact on my hospital and/or health system. Mark my words: Establishing and maintaining a strong digital media presence is no longer an option for hospitals and health systems. If you are using digital media sources sparingly or poorly, you are missing an opportunity to interact with your patient base. This year, Think with Google revealed that search engines drive three times as many visitors to hospital websites compared to non-search visitors. The study also showed that 44 percent of patients who researched hospitals on a mobile device scheduled an appointment.
4. I will work to strengthen my brand internally, before I work to strengthen my brand externally. No matter how hard we try, marketing tactics cannot improve operations any more than a donkey can fly an airplane. Before launching a marketing campaign, establishing a social media presence or doing so much as creating a brochure, make sure you understand what people are saying about your organization internally and externally.
5. I will connect with peers within and outside my industry. The larger our healthcare organization, the more isolated healthcare marketers can become. The good news is that we have the power to make connections with others in our industry through organizations like the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. But, be sure to look outward, as well. Healthcare marketing tends to lag behind other industries and we have so much to learn from our marketing peers.
That’s my quick list. What are you adding to your list for 2018?