Healthcare marketing: it’s time to evolve

Healthcare marketing: it’s time to evolve

Can we evolve healthcare marketing? Yes we can.

This was the topic of a recent talk of mine, which included five reinforcing themes.  As a foundation for these themes, it was agreed that whatever form of marketing you undertake, it needs to be:

Grounded in truth: genuine to an organization’s story, values and ambition
Relevant to audiences: in ways that are real and genuine
Deliverable based on promises: able to be reinforced through the patient experience (which means deliverable across the organization)

The five themes included:

1. Wider Angle Lens: seeking out new inspiration and insight by looking in new places and making new connections. Understanding what truly drives and moves your audiences, and those who influence them. Identifying the customer strengths you enable, customer weaknesses you lessen, customer opportunities you can create and customer threats you can remove (yes…this is a SWOT analysis, but from your customer’s pov).

2. Creating New Brand Energy: thinking more holistically about how your brand can serve as the platform to move customers, and therefore your brand, forward. Thinking beyond transactions to creating relationships. Creating win-wins such that your organization and customers both grow stronger.

3. New Marketing Energy: creating marketing that has utility. Beyond communications to marketing that enables, involves and unifies. Consider the metaphor of a gear, where your organization’s teeth engage those of the customer and move them to a better place. Helping them do what they can’t on their own, beyond the reach of your competitors.

4.  Mass Customization: Leverage the unique strengths of some channels and mitigate the weaknesses of others. Use traditional to reach the masses (though can also target to discrete target segments), and digital/social to heighten relevance and utility to specific target populations. If Burger King let’s you have it your way, shouldn’t healthcare?

5. Synchronous Actions: Can the brand promises you make truly be delivered across the organization? Are all internal audiences (docs, nurses, staff, volunteers) aligned around a brand-led culture and able to deliver your uniquely branded experience? Be aware that every action sparks an equal reaction which either enhances or detracts from your desired perception. There’s a great native American saying – “it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.”

Thoughts about this list? Others you’d add?

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, the specialist health & wellness branding and marketing agency using every moment as an opportunity to move customers, brands and businesses upward to a new destination.