Ward Alles

Why healthcare marketers need an army to tell their brand story

By Ward Alles on June 21, 2017

Friendly advice for the overwhelmed healthcare marketer

Doctors and nurses aren’t the only superheroes walking the halls within hospitals and clinics these days.

Take a good look down the administrative wing and enter the office of the Chief Marketing Officer (or VP or Director). You will see someone doing (or at least attempting) the impossible.

But that’s just it.
As heroic as you may be, you can’t manage the brand by yourself.
At least not for long.
The needs are too many.
The demand is too great.
The stakes are too high.

Assess the situation for a moment (in this series of easy-to-read lists) – and you’ll quickly see how monumental the task is.

Your in-house team cannot fully address every audience.

  • Doctors and their demands
  • Employees at multiple locations
  • Patients (current and prospective)
  • Patients’ families
  • The media
  • The community
  • Local government

 

Your in-house team cannot manage all channels.

  • Owned media – online
  • Social media
  • Paid media
  • Earned media – PR
  • Internal communications

 

Your in-house team cannot adequately meet every need.

  • Defining your brand
  • Driving growth
  • Recruiting top talent
  • Promoting the innovation and achievement
  • Preparing for crisis
  • Keeping up with the competition
  • Breaking through the constant noise and clutter
  • Developing innovative ways to market
  • Being consistent and seamless in messaging
  • Always being “on”

 

So who can serve as reinforcements?

  • Management consulting firms
  • Branding firms
  • PR firms
  • Media buyers
  • Social media experts
  • Digital/web agencies
  • Consumer/marketplace research specialists
  • Freelance professionals

And within those firms, what kind of expertise will they provide?

  • Researchers – who can provide insight into consumers and markets
  • Definers – who can put clear, compelling language to the brand
  • Strategists – who can prioritize where and how to market
  • Shapers – who can create the campaigns
  • Producers – who do the storytelling and craft the content
  • Promoters – who push the brand out
  • Amplifiers – who expand the brands reach
  • Reporters – who collect the resulting data
  • Analysts – who decipher its impact and potential next moves

As a healthcare marketing leader, you don’t have to do it all. You have to organize it all.

So where do you begin? Here’s that friendly advice we were talking about:

  1. Understand your business conditions and needs
  2. Assess the health of your brand, communication and channels
  3. Take inventory of your resources (internal, external, financial)
  4. Prioritize around your greatest needs and lowest hanging fruit (for quick wins)
  5. Assemble and align a team of resources (in-house and outsourced) around your over-arching vision
  6. Define success with specific goals to each responsible party
  7. Unleash the armies to execute their portion of the plan
  8. Trust, but verify
  9. Reassemble your generals to communicate status and reset strategy
  10. Learn from every loss; celebrate every victory

If you were feeling overwhelmed before reading this, you are only human. A hero for shouldering it all. But still, only human.

Hope this advice about seeking help … helps.

Ward Alles is a Brand Consultant and President of Core Creative.