“Types” of healthcare marketers: which one are you?

March 18, 2019
Ward Alles President and Brand Consultant

Understanding the role you play can help you make a measurable difference for your health system

In my position, I speak with VPs and Directors of Marketing for healthcare systems around the country.

And without question, there are “types.”

Personality types.

And not talent types. Because everyone I’ve met is infinitely unique and valuable in their own right.

I’m talking about “time” types. As in, one type of healthcare marketer has virtually NO time to herself and is always on the run, executing other people’s plans or fulfilling their requests … and the other spends all of her time managing others – and their expectations.

For the sake of conversation, I’ve given each of these types a name, i.e. “The Doer” and “The Manager.” Both of them help promote their respective brands – inside and outside of their healthcare systems. And both get a tremendous amount of image building and storytelling done, however, they do so in very different ways.

So, which one are you?

You probably already know. But, let’s be sure. Borrowing from the catchphrase of Jeff Foxworthy:

“You may be a Doer, IF”…

  • You are the first one in the office every day … and the last one out
  • You are both the person who both does the posting to social media … and does the “liking” and “commenting”
  • When you try to delegate a project to someone else, you wind up having two or more things on your plate
  • Everyone on the team looks to you for answers

“You may be a Manager, IF”…

  • Your schedule has the word “meeting” on it five times a day
  • You personally handle the special requests of the C-suite and your top physicians
  • You can’t really follow the marcom plan you wrote; you just have to react to what the day brings
  • You consider the word “strategy” a nice thought
  • Everyone on the team looks to you for answers

Notice the final bullet in each list: everyone is looking to you for answers.

Regardless of whether you are a Doer or a Manager, you are making things happen for your constituents … and the patients you all serve together.

However, just like the busy mom who never gets a break because she’s always serving her family members, the busy healthcare marketing executive – whether she’s a Doer or Manager – can find herself so busy serving others that she’s not “healthy” herself. And if she’s not healthy, the brand isn’t healthy.

What do we mean?

Well, it goes back to time. You need time for yourself to be clear-headed and effective. You need to move things off of your plate so you have some time to think about the “big picture” and ask challenging questions. For example:

  • How is the health of our brand?
  • Where is the industry going?
  • What are our patients’ perceptions?
  • Or those of our employees?
  • Where is our competition beating us?
  • And where do we beat them?
  • When was the last time we looked at improving the patient experience? Online? Or even in person?
  • What data do I collect now? What’s worth collecting?
  • Do I have the right internal team in place?
  • Are my external business partners hitting it?

These are the types of questions that a third “type” of healthcare marketing pro finds the time and makes the time to get to. And if you are asking these questions, guess what? “You may be … a Visionary.”

A Visionary can still be a Doer at heart. A Visionary can still be a Manager in style. But a Visionary finds time to rise above the fray … to see out … and scout out … to help lead her followers. A Visionary leaves an impact on her organization. She sets a mark in time, i.e.:

* The way things were around here before she got here … and the way things are now after she was here. (There should be a measurable difference.)

How does the Visionary make her mark in time?

She delegates – fully – and then she holds her team and her business partners accountable. Maybe she doesn’t delegate everything. But she delegates enough to inside and outside resources so she can do the very important job of leading.

She doesn’t have to have all the answers, but she MUST pose the most important questions. The game-changing questions. (Because if you don’t, who will?)

After a few minutes of listening to a new acquaintance in the healthcare marketing world, I can generally tell what type they are: Doer or Manager. However, I cannot always tell if they are – or will become – a Visionary.

That’s up to them. We can help by posing some of those questions with you and for you. Depending on how well you dive in and start driving those discussions determines whether or not you will truly be a Visionary leader.

Regardless, we’re here to help you capture back some time by lightening the load and helping you pose smart brand-building questions. You can do it.

It literally just takes time.

 

Ward Alles is the President and Brand Consultant at Core Creative.

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