Category Archives: Marketing Management

Are you using CRM to boost returns on healthcare marketing investments?

CRM_Conference_Promo_Image

Corrigan Partners has teamed up with our colleagues from Greystone.Net to host a Healthcare MarTech workshop on CRM as an essential tool for healthcare marketing. The one and a half day program – Customer Relationship Management: Making the Most of Your CRM Investment – will be held September 29 & 30, 2015 at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago, Illinois.

The Bottom Line is . . . CRM is Good for the Bottom Line

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a game-changing technology with the potential to transform healthcare marketing. With CRM you can more effectively focus marketing investments on the right customers, lower the expense of patient acquisition and retention, create loyal brand advocates and track return on investment. Yet, many healthcare organizations have struggled to make it work. This workshop is designed to address the decisions, capabilities and resources required to make CRM successful.

A Deep-Dive, Open Dialogue on CRM Successes and Lessons Learned

Whether you are thinking about purchasing a CRM system for the first time, want to select a new vendor, are muddled in the throes of implementation or aren’t getting the results you hoped for, this workshop is for you. Participants will engage in educational sessions, facilitated discussions and open dialogue on:

How do I craft a vision and strategy for CRM in my health system?
How do I pick the right CRM solution and vendor?
What changes will I have to make in the marketing department?
How can I ensure we’re getting the most out of our CRM system?
How do I get my CRM strategy back on track?
What can I learn about CRM from other industries?
And much more . . .

Workshop Faculty and Participants

Healthcare marketing executives from around the country will join the Corrigan Partners and Greystone.Net faculty to share their CRM journeys, providing insights into the trials and successes of their CRM programs.

Faculty

Participants will leave with information and tools to support CRM selection, build effective vendor relationships and optimize performance of their CRM systems.

Only a few seats left. Register Soon

In order to provide an intimate venue for open discussion and sharing of CRM expectations and experiences, space is limited to 30 health system (non-vendor) participants. Click here to learn more about the workshop, download the brochure and register to attend.

Evidence-based Healthcare Marketing Webinar Rescheduled

One of our healthcare marketing panelists has been called for jury duty during the week this program was originally scheduled.  See the new date and time, session description and link for registration below.

Evidence-based Marketing:  Rethinking Measurement
New Date and Time:  August 21, 2014 – 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT

Healthcare marketers face increasing pressure to make the most of their marketing investments.  The C-suite wants accountability for outcomes – volume, revenue, greater customer loyalty – and assurance that the health system is strengthening its competitive position.

The bottom line is that marketing is becoming more science than art.  Today, sophisticated tools and marketing analytics provide great insights into customer needs, values, drivers and behaviors.  They inform our decision-making, shape strategy, focus investments.  When actionable information is combined with rigorous planning, innovative ideas and disciplined tracking, marketing executives quickly close the accountability gap.

Welcome to evidence-based marketing.

On August 21, 2014, I’ll join Marian Dezelan, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chris Boyer, AVP Digital Marketing Strategy, for North Shore–LIJ Health System (Great Neck, NY) on a webinar to discuss how an evidence-based approach to healthcare marketing can better focus your strategy and produce measureable results.  Marian and Chris will share how North Shore-LIJ’s marketing department applies evidence-based marketing techniques for personalized targeted marketing, patient engagement and making the most of marketing data.

Sponsored by the Forum for Healthcare Strategists, the webinar is scheduled from 12:30 am to 2:00 pm EDT.  The session is complimentary for Forum members; non-members can participate for $125.

I hope you’ll join us.  In fact, gather your team, order in lunch and make time to learn together.

Click here to learn more about the webinar and register for the program.

Part 3. Let strategy drive healthcare marketing decisions.

Marketing FocusWe’ve all been there.  That place where we’re executing carefully crafted marketing plans, launching highly targeted and creative strategies, balancing both the over-stressed marketing team’s time and the under-resourced budget to make it all work when someone (e.g., administrator, doctor, service line leader) marches in with the marketing demand du jour.  Without a methodology for focusing activities and budgets on strategy-critical projects with the best potential for return on investment, every new demand takes on equal importance and, in the end, sabotages marketing performance.

Marketing resource allocation planning is the process of determining how returns on marketing investments are optimized.  It’s a multi-dimensional decision process encompassing priority services, markets and segments, the marketing mix, and marketing operations and infrastructure investments.

Part two of this series (Focus Healthcare Marketing Investments to Improve Business Performance) described the first decision point – determining those programs, products, markets, segments and initiatives with the greatest potential for growth and ROI.  Once the decision of what programs and service lines to grow has been made, you will then need to determine how time and budget dollars are allocated against the marketing mix.

Investment considerations that come into play at this point include:

  • Research and development to build, expand and enhance the mix of service offerings
  • Service line planning, clinical program development and patient care experience design
  • Building brand awareness and stimulating demand in target customer segments
  • Cultivating and strengthening access channels, physician relations and referrals
  • Sales, third party contracting and pricing
  • Advertising, promotions, marketing events and co-marketing partnerships
  • Digital, social and mobile strategies and tactics

Marketing goals and strategy decisions should clearly guide these choices. The secret to success in marketing resource allocation is to know where investments return the biggest bang.  Consumer influenced or directed services such as bariatric surgery, plastic surgery or sports marketing require more investment in direct consumer marketing, events marketing and call center support; services and procedures influenced more by physician referrals should be more heavily invested in sales, physician relations and new clinical program development.

SCALING ACTIVITIES TO INVESTMENTS

The scope and scale of marketing activities should be matched to investment levels and expected return on investment.  In the example below, Tier One priorities (those most important to strategic and financial goals) receive the majority of marketing resources whereas activities and resources for Tiers Two and Three (those with modest to no return on investment potential) are scaled back considerably.

This may seem like a no-brainer but too often, the marketing team’s time and budget are compromised by squeaky-wheels, pet projects and deep-seated needs to keep everyone happy. (I think the misguided concept of ‘internal customers’ is also to blame, but that’s an entirely different post to write).

CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO ANSWER

  • For Tier One initiatives, do we have adequate research and market intelligence to discern strategies and methods to more effectively attract consumers, increase physician referrals and move volume and market share from competitors?  What additional information do we need?
  • By service line, what segments are most attractive in terms of growth and profitability?  How are those segments likely to be influenced (e.g. consumer marketing, physician referral development, program design, hours of operation, etc.)?
  • What improvements/innovations at the service interface (e.g. scheduling, registration, access, patient navigation, web appointments, MD hotlines, etc.) differentiate and add value? What do we invest to create these programs?
  • How can we leverage existing communications channels and tools to provide effective but lower investment support to lower tier programs?  Should we provide tools, templates and information to program managers to support their marketing efforts?
  • Do we have an adequate balance of activities and investments across research, product development, web, advertising and sales activities?
  • How will we track the effectiveness of these initiatives and when do we regroup to change course?
  • What marketing constraints, risks, etc. exist and how will those be addressed?
  • How will we gain consensus for resource allocation decisions and cultivate support for that focus?

Gaining consensus is critical to keeping the organization focused on the marketing plan and investment decisions.  Not that every bright shining object can or should be ignored – some may very well offer significant opportunities – but distractions can be minimized.  The keys to effective marketing management are the discipline of focused execution, ability to discern when course corrections should be made, and capacity to seize new on-strategy opportunities.

In part four, I’ll discuss investments to build marketing infrastructure and capabilities.

Read parts one and two:

Part 2. Focus healthcare marketing investments to improve business performance.

questions3How do healthcare marketing executives decide where to allocate scarce marketing resources – both people and dollars? In today’s complex environment, determining what gets funded and what doesn’t, how much to invest and what your team should be spending time on can be a daunting task.

Marketing resource allocation decisions must be made across multiple dimensions. What services offer the best opportunity for growth, profitability and improved competitive performance? Within those programs, what specific marketing strategies and tactics should be used to achieve goals? What staffing and infrastructure investments are needed to improve marketing performance?

While it’s not an exact science, the process of marketing resource allocation modeling will help CMOs better invest limited marketing resources in initiatives that improve business performance, build brand equity and position the organization for success.

The first decision point is determining what lines of business, clinical programs, market expansion initiatives and customer segments offer the best opportunity for growth, profitability and competitive advantage.

ESTABLISHING TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES

Effectiveness of the marketing resource allocation model is supported by the discipline to target and select the FEWEST, MOST IMPACTFUL programs in which to concentrate resources. Priority growth program investments are derived from the analysis of key elements such as:

  • Volume, revenue and profitability contributions by line of business (e.g., inpatient, ambulatory, physician services, etc.), service lines and clinical programs (e.g. cardiovascular, orthopedics, etc.), new market initiatives (e.g. joint venture partnerships, facility development, etc.) or customer segments (e.g., geographic, demographic, psychographic, etc.)
  • Overall utilization, volume and demand projections
  • Rate of market growth for encounters and procedures
  • Reimbursement and profitability rates and trends
  • Organizational capacity for new growth
  • Physician supply, access, capacity and alignment
  • Health system competencies, technologies, facilities
  • Patient experience and satisfaction
  • Quality indicators and rankings
  • Competitive positioning, brand strength and market distinctiveness

This will require some work but the outcome will be well worth the effort. By comparing this information across major business initiatives and service lines, it becomes obvious that a focused subset should be targeted.

The following is a simple framework for ranking business lines, services or segments in accordance with their potential for contribution. Tier one programs are those with the greatest potential for financial or strategic returns on investment. Tier two and tier three programs are supported at lower investment levels. In this example, 60% of marketing resources are allocated to tier one projects and the remaining 40% spread across tiers two and three, with three receiving a minimal amount.

These percentages can be adjusted up and down – keeping in mind that the objective is to adequately resource those projects most important to organizational performance.

I’ve found this process to be particularly helpful in arming the marketing team with an effective, data-driven platform to ward off requests that that seem to fly in from left field on an all too frequent basis. You know the ones I’m talking about. It also helps the CMO build agreement with his or her peer executives on a focused growth agenda.

In the next post, I’ll discuss decision point two: within priority programs and service lines, what strategies and tactical initiatives will best achieve marketing goals?

Read Part One:  The Secret to Healthcare Marketing ROI? Focus. Focus. Focus.

The secret to healthcare marketing ROI? Focus. Focus. Focus.

focusPART ONE

Someone once asked me about the difference between ‘focusing’ and ‘prioritizing’ – focusing is knowing what to do; prioritizing is knowing what to do first.  These are the decision points faced by marketers every day. And especially when it comes to marketing planning and budgeting.

Most CMOs are trying to conjure up ways to achieve more with less.  Too many times, unfortunately, they end up spreading scarce dollars over too many projects which can significantly diminish the impact and desired outcomes.

When stuck between a rock (the health system’s need for profitable growth) and a hard place (the drive to cut costs), how do marketers prioritize marketing investments and gain organizational commitment to those investment decisions?

First, clean house.  Use this opportunity as a time to take a stand and stop funding activities that have no or minimal impact on strategic growth, customer acquisition, customer retention and financial performance.  Specifically look at non-marketing activities that sap resources and work with your colleagues across the health system to eliminate or move those deeds elsewhere.  Make sure your team is performing at its best; when you are being asked to do more with fewer FTEs, each has to be a stellar performer.

Second, use a marketing resource allocation methodology to prioritize limited marketing resources (dollars and FTEs) to those growth and marketing initiatives that have the best potential for improving business performance and positioning the organization for long-term success.

In prioritizing marketing resource investments, there are three basic decision points:

  1. What businesses, clinical programs or market expansion initiatives offer the best opportunity for growth and profitability?
  2. Within priority programs and service lines, what strategies and tactical initiatives will best achieve marketing goals?
  3. What infrastructure investments will be required to support effective growth and marketing management?

In other words, what will you choose to invest in to drive growth and improve profitability, and what activities and support systems will contribute most to those objectives? Both top-down and bottom-up approaches to resource allocation are necessary; top down for strategic planning across a health system’s portfolio of service lines and market initiatives; bottom up to develop individual marketing budgets within each priority program.

I know that some of the toughest issues marketers face are cutting others’ pet projects, sunsetting outdated communications tactics, navigating the politics of competing priorities, and so on and so on.  Just saying ‘no’ has not been an option for some;  a marketing resource allocation method can better arm the CMO with data-driven rationale for investment decisions.

In upcoming posts, I’ll explore the components and key questions to delve into for each of the three decision points listed above.  In the meantime, let me know some of your toughest budget challenges — together let’s find a way to stop doing more and focus on achieving more

Sponsorships. To do or not to do?

Every marketer I know struggles with the issue of spending marketing dollars to sponsor not-for-profit community agencies and events such as charity balls or actions, little league games and others.  This post by my colleague, Brian Whitman, describes how some evaluate and approach sponsorships.

3 tips to maximize community sponsorship dollars
by Brian Whitman

Brian CMOWhen I was a VP of Marketing for a hospital system in the midwest it seemed everyone wanted our sponsorship support.  Every employee and every physician had their own pet project, activity or child’s sport team they wished to have the hospital system sponsor. While everyone claims their sponsorship offers “good PR” – the reality is that many of these efforts have little PR value, and likely no marketing value. Yet often, politically it seemed we were in a tight spot to say yes.   Read more . . .

Read the full post and others by Brian at CorriganPartners.com.

Want to Become a Better Writer?

A formula that works for just about anything . . . marketing, brand building, strategic thinking, planning, strategizing, design, sales, cooking, tennis . . . and yes, writing.

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.