The one thing healthcare marketing must get right in 2017.

What is the one thing healthcare marketing must get right given that digital transformation and becoming a “customer experience” business is the future of marketing?

Seventy nine CMO’s across industries responded to this question on Adobe’s cmo.com – What CMO’s Must Nail in 2017 To Succeed In The Experience Business.

While not specific to healthcare, there’s good learning here for healthcare marketers. Because these “broad view” answers provide another lens for those in healthcare marketing to think differently about:

Possible Frustrations. Where are consumer pain points in the digital delivery of their healthcare services.

Orthodoxies. The assumptions or beliefs in the healthcare industry that go unchallenged.

Analogies. Borrowing on successful practices from other industries and organizations to adapt for their own.

The overarching takeaway from these 79 CMO’s is that organizations need to take customer experience seriously – understanding their journey, where they have the right and ability to stand out and how to deliver meaningful stand-out experiences. In addition to the article above, this infographic summarizes the five common themes among all CMO’s and provides some key data points and supporting quotes.

My top ten favorite quotes (and parts thereof), because of the perspective they provide, are below:

  1. We’re past having a digital team off in the corner executing on their own agenda. Embrace that the lines, in many cases, no longer exist.
    —Jim Berra, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Royal Caribbean International
  2. Ensure top management is convinced regarding the crucial role played by marketing in driving digital transformation and the strategic business objectives.
    —Cristian Citu, Senior Director, Group Digital Strategy, DHL
  3. People love brands that are “experience businesses,” and CMOs are central to helping their companies identify what that means for how they engage customers.
    —John Coyne, Head of Campaign and Marketing Experience, Adobe
  4. Motivate customers by designing brand experiences that make a difference to their lives. We gravitate towards easy, special, and meaningful. The rest is forgettable and undesirable.
    —Stuart Crawford-Browne, Director, Phoenix Rising
  5. In a world driven more and more by technology, don’t get impersonal and lose sight of making emotional connections with your audience through your unique brand voice.
    —John Dillon, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Denny’s
  6. Marketers are on a perpetual transformation journey. CMO’s must think holistically about the customer experience and engage across all consumer touchpoints-digital and traditional.
    –Marci Grebstein, CMO, Lowe’s
  7. CMOs must understand how to add value by creating a sense of “wanted-ness.” Consumers should feel like the brand is providing a real value exchange, not just selling them products.
    —Jamie Gutfreund, Global CMO, Wunderman
  8. Make the mobile experience that you provide to customers on their smartphones the center of your digital strategy
    —Ray Pun, Head of Product Marketing for Mobile Solutions, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe
  9. Understand—really understand—the experience your customers want. Walk in their shoes, talk to them, live their experience.
    —David Redhill, Partner, Global CMO, Deloitte Consulting
  10. Marketers who connect with customers at a human level will win. Customers are not “cohorts.” They are individuals. Connect and solve their needs.
    –Ernan Roman, President, ERDM Corp.

Brands have never been more fragile, as audiences forge new digital pathways that have changed the way they interact with organizations. But strong brands can still create something more enduring, something that transcends a purchase or a healthcare transaction: building a bond. But it takes time and effort along with consistent positive customer experiences to create this type of relationship.

The changing digital landscape doesn’t alter the value of brands — it changes how much harder brands need to work in order to maintain and increase that value. The 79 views above can help.

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand and marketing firm specializing in creating momentum for businesses across the health + wellness continuum. The common threads are consumers who want to get well, stay well and play well, and brands that fulfill these aspirations and goals.

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