Hospital marketing CMO: is Macy’s in your mirror?

Macy’s, health systems and hospitals don’t typically travel together. And hopefully for hospital marketing CMO’s and their organizations, they wont.

Each year, fewer people are interested in Macy’s. Symptoms are sinking sales, profits, same-store sales, and evolving customer shopping preferences and patterns. What’s the underlying problem? Relevancy.

The situation is summed up in this article on loyalty360.org – Macy’s Needs to Address Relevancy to Ignite Band Loyalty.

In speaking about Macy’s, engagement agency Augeo CEO Ken Greer states – The future lies in creating a new, unified and improved experience. Every aspect is integrated, brand values are reinforced at every touch point, and every interaction capitalizes on opportunities to surprise and delight. Relevance is about ‘what will you do for me right now?’ not ‘what have you done for me lately.’ Not what do you promise, but what do you deliver. And most importantly, Macy’s needs to figure out how to answer the most basic consumer question: Why should I care?”

This article could easily be about healthcare. Because health systems and hospitals are also grappling with relevancy:

• Determining how to provide integrated, seamless continuity of care (to ensure access) across the patient journey as future growth comes from outside traditional campus-based acute care, e.g. ambulatory, virtual and retail venues.

• Balancing how to engage and maintain patients under both transactional fee-for-service care and continuum of care fee-for-value arrangements.

• More empowered health consumers expecting the same values of choice, convenience, cost effectiveness, control and experience offered by other industries, such as hospitality, travel and forward-acting retail; and who expect greater digital engagement.

Similar to the Macy’s situation described by Greer, future healthcare success also calls for every aspect being integrated, brand values reinforced at every touch point, and every interaction capitalizing on opportunities to surprise and delight.

The upshot is that health care today is as much about communication, convenience and always-on engagement to drive participation and behavioral change as it is about sick care treatments and outcomes. Key for hospital marketing CMO’s is to observe and learn from the mistakes made across other verticals to get to their desired destination faster and more efficiently.