Waving Goodbye to 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, it’s time to turn our attention to the future and focus on emerging trends, issues and opportunities facing healthcare marketers in the year ahead. But before we do, please indulge our brief stroll down Memory Lane to reflect on these 10 key posts from 2010.

The Gap Between Older Adults and Millennials is Shrinking When it Comes to Key On-line Activities 

Ever hear a healthcare executive say “our patients are older and don’t use the Internet”? No doubt there are generational differences in on-line activities; however, the gap between how younger and older generations use the Internet is shrinking in a number key areas according to Pew Research Center’s Generations 2010.

Read more; download the report . . .

Five Things Healthcare Marketers Should Break Free From in 2011 
by Priya Ramesh of CRT/tanaka 

Last Monday, I had the opportunity to talk social media trends and what’s next with Chief Marketing Officers in the healthcare space at the Innovator’s Studio in Chicago. As part of the discussion, we were asked to break into two groups and identify a few traditional tactics that the CMO’s in the room would commit to get rid of in 2011. Let me just say the experience was very eye-opening. I strongly recommend this exercise with your team at the end of each fiscal year to sit as a group and identify where you can cut expenses and re-invest that money/resources into other more efficient ways of doing things. So here’s a list of five things that a group of highly experienced, smart healthcare marketing leaders decided to move away from in 2011 that might get YOU thinking:

Read more . . .

Putting Market Share in Perspective 
a point of view from Chris Bevolo

For many hospital marketers and their CEOs, market share is the ultimate measure of marketing success. In the “2010 State of the Art” survey highlighted in the last issue of Healthcare Strategy Alert, respondents listed the top area of marketing focus as “increase market share.” When asked to rate “measures of success” however, respondents listed market share third, behind awareness/preference and patient volume, a drop from its first place position in 2005. But this actually may not be a bad thing.

Read more . . . 

Customer Relationship Management – What are You Waiting For? (Parts One and Two)
by guest blogger Les Stern

Sophisticated customer relationship management systems for healthcare organizations have been around for almost 15 years. Yet only 15% or so of healthcare providers are using them.  Before we understand the benefits of CRM, let’s agree on what the three key components of a CRM program for healthcare organizations.

Read more (part one) . . .
Read more (part two) . . .

Thinking Retail . . . 

Once upon a time, I used to call my doctor’s office to make an appointment for the annual flu shot. It was always scheduled at a time more convenient for the office staff than for me (“We do shots between 10 am and 2 pm, but we’re closed from 12 to 1 for lunch.”) and even then, a 25 to 45 minute wait wasn’t unusual.

Read more . . . 

Three Factors Motivate Performance – Money Isn’t One of Them 
Marketers have long known that price is rarely the true motivator for consumers; when it comes to motivating employees, the same principle holds

Last Fall, I heard author Dan Pink speak on the science of motivation at TEDxNASA and was delighted to run across a You Tube posting of the talk. From his study of the scientific literature on motivation, Dan outlines the myths and perils of extrinsic motivators (such as money), and describes the three key elements of truly effective motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. A key finding from the MIT study described in this piece is that, while financial rewards tend to motivate people doing ‘mechanical’ tasks, it has the opposite effect on workers using ‘cognitive’ skills.

Read more . . .

What is Your Approach to Marketing Leadership? Parts 1 and 2

Part One:
Marketing departments emerged in health care organizations in the early 1980s when prospective payment methodologies made it evident that certain clinical programs were more profitable than others. Hospitals began to compete for patients for those services and procedures that produced better financial outcomes. Many of these early marketing programs were administered by existing public relations or community relations functions, and had a strong communications focus. Over the next two decades, marketing practices matured to include other aspects of the discipline such as research, sales and referral development, segmentation, product development and brand building.

Today, marketing management systems differ significantly across health care organizations. Some are expansive, core business functions with strong growth accountabilities aligned to strategic planning, business development, clinical operations and financial management initiatives. ROI expectations center on overall growth, profitability, brand equity and creation of sustainable competitive advantage.

Read more . . .

Part 2:
Marketing orientations differ across hospitals and health systems for a variety of reasons – culture, philosophy, strategy, even knowledge or understanding of the marketing discipline. One approach is not necessarily “right” where another is “wrong” – what is important to understand is that each path requires a specific configuration of core competencies, staff capabilities, processes and investments aligned to organizational vision, strategy and business objectives in order to produce results. Misalignment occurs when management wants to achieve significant improvements in strategic growth, for example, but has a production-oriented marketing operation. Which of the following best describes your organization’s approach to marketing management?

Read more . . .

Patient Experience Starts with the Hiring Process 

It’s 6:45 am on a Sunday morning and I’m sitting in an airport waiting on a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. The flight is running a little late, and bleary-eyed passengers bemoan the extra half hour of sleep they could have had. Meanwhile the Southwest gate agents, who look much too rested and energized for such an early hour, begin the lighthearted banter for which they are known. Pretty soon, the delayed passengers are laughing at their goofy repartee of corny jests and bad-rhythm rap. Once on board, the pilot apologized for the delay and joked that he’d just had a low-carb, high energy drink to help get us there in record time

Read more . . .

President Signs Health Care Reform Act; Now What?

This week, President Obama signed into law the most significant social legislation since the 1960s. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) extends health insurance coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans ― at a cost of $940 billion over the next decade. The legislation ensures that by 2014, nearly all Americans will be required to be insured, and by 2016, the majority of the uninsured (30 million people) will be covered.To do this, the legislation expands Medicaid to cover families making as much as $88K a year. It also creates state-supervised exchanges to expand coverage access to individuals and small businesses. Other goals of the legislation are to improve affordability and accountability, crack down on waste, fraud and abuse, and ensure fiscal sustainability. What Didn’t Get Passed?
Read more . . .

Marketers Must Lead Health Systems in Embracing New Media
By John Marzano, VP External Affairs, Orlando Health 

Orlando Health took the better part of a year in developing a strategy to participate in the social/digital environment. In November 2009, with full support of organization leadership we launched our plan with both a Facebook (www.facebook.com/orlandohealth) and You Tube page (www.youtube.com/orlandohealth). To date, we have acquired more than 3,800 fans to our page and have over 4,000 views on You Tube for a special heart month video called ‘move it’ as well as other videos featuring tours of our facilities and physician expertise. Overall, we looked at some best practices (Mayo Clinic, University of Maryland Medical System) and took a measured approach while setting very realistic parameters, guidelines for use, and expectations as part of a new communications platform that addressed the mix of traditional and digital forms of communication to engage our target audiences. In addition, we seamlessly moved two FTEs into roles that support this strategy and help us stay current with the technology.

Read more . . .

Many, many thanks to our colleagues, readers, contributors and friends for your participation and support this past year.  Happy New Year to you – may 2011 bring you much joy and success.

Karen Corrigan

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