Across the US, healthcare marketing executives are looking hard at their marketing department structures, capabilities and practices, and asking if they have what it takes to transcend the ‘pay for volume’ to ‘pay for value’ economic model. It’s my belief that we’ll be living in both worlds for some time to come.
Nonetheless, it’s important for marketers to re-evaluate their marketing operations in this new environment, do a thorough assessment of capabilities and skills gaps, and move purposefully and quickly to reinvent the role of the marketing department. Building a high performing and accountable marketing team is job one.
Here are seven questions to help CMOs get started:
- What is the current state of marketing in terms of priorities, effectiveness, capabilities, skills, systems, structure and performance?
- Are our marketing strategies, activities and investments tightly aligned to the health system’s strategic vision and growth objectives?
- What are the marketing opportunities and challenges in regards to changes in the market (e.g., reform economics, market consolidation, competitor activities, etc.), and in the delivery system (e.g., care transformation, multiple geographies, expanding services portfolios, employed physician SBUs, etc.)?
- How are advances in technology (digital, social media marketing, CRM, etc.) changing marketing practice, and what new infrastructure, skills and competencies will this require?
- Do we have the infrastructure, decision-support systems and analytic skills to assess and quantify opportunities, drive strategic decisions, monitor and track return on marketing investments?
- How do I strengthen relationships between planning, business develeopment, marketing, PR and sales, as well as with finance, IT and operations, to better inform and support brand building, business development and growth priorities?
- What marketing capabilities and controls should be held by the corporate operation; what is optimally administered by major business units?
Now is the time for chief marketing officers to move boldly and transform healthcare marketing from promotions-oriented tactics to growth-oriented strategic leadership. Embracing change is the first step.