Have you ever watched your job evolve and been asked to take on duties you never imagined when you were first hired? Welcome to the 21st-century workplace. Shifting roles are almost the norm nowadays. One group of professionals experiencing this firsthand is healthcare marketers.
Innovation Requires New Skills
Innovation is prized in the business world, but unless you’re a tech firm gearing up for the release of a brand new product, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. In the healthcare industry, the burden of being innovative is largely falling on the marketing department. Not only are they expected to focus on establishing an identity and brand, but they must come up with experimental new messages and strategies…and get management to buy off on their ideas. This requires a whole new set of skills that many marketers simply aren’t familiar with.
The trick is to be strategic. Optimizing your resources and relying on data to substantiate your purchasing decisions should be a key component of your plan. Information isn’t free, however — if you’re going to take a deep dive into understanding your customer, you can easily expect to spend $25,000 a month acquiring data. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re able to use it correctly, but before you sign off on a data analytics platform, have the vendor provide you with information on ROI. You’ll definitely need to make sure you’ll receive the right data for your needs.
Once you’ve made the investment in marketing automation, you’ll have access to a wealth of valuable data about consumer behavior — information that will allow you to make strategic business investment decisions. If you’re familiar with the Spiderman comics and movies, you know that Peter Parker is warned, “with great power comes great responsibility.” While you won’t be able to swing between skyscrapers, you will have to be careful to use the information you have gathered wisely. This requires paying attention to the minor details. Let’s say your research shows that patients really want a new online scheduling platform for a particular health screening, but few doctors will write the necessary prescription enabling their insurance provider to offset the costs. It would be foolish to spend the money upgrading your technology if few people will end up utilizing it.
Benjamin Meents, a senior vice president of corporate marketing, brands and events at Optum, says marketing professionals are likely to find success if they do the following:
- Use scarcity of resources to drive productivity
- Rethink everything
- Adopt an outside-in strategy knowing that the brand belongs to your audience
- Love your brand and embrace your role in driving growth
- Think small to launch big
Most important of all, says Meents, is for every organization to find their purpose. Know your customer, obtain the necessary buy-in from management (as well as clinic staff), and aim for a mix of creativity and technology. Do these things and you’re likely to be rewarded with a nice payoff.