Chris Bevolo is the founder and principal of health care marketing agency Interval and president of Chris Bevolo Consulting. To read more of Bevolo’s insights on the marketing world, visit his blog.
Working as a marketer in a hospital or health system is often a thankless job, and the frustrations are many. It’s easy to gaze out the window and wonder what it would be like to work in an industry where marketing is more valued, such as consumer goods or retail. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve proposed five things for which health care marketers can be thankful.
- You work in an industry that helps people and saves lives. Though marketing widgets and whirly gigs might be less stressful, marketing health care is certainly more meaningful. We work in an industry that has as its mission to cure people of injury, disease and ailment. Our work ultimately helps our organizations improve and save lives, and that’s something to feel really good about.
- The number of tools you can use to communicate with the people who need your organization’s services has increased exponentially. Just a few decades ago channels for reaching key audiences were limited and blunt — print and outdoor advertising, broadcast television, radio, etc. Today, the opportunities to reach out and touch your audiences are vast, more effective, and frankly, more fun. Now at your fingertips, the Internet and all that it enables: your website, Facebook, Twitter, mobile, e-mail, blogs, podcasts, as well as thousands of television outlets and channels, in-hospital television, and more. Weeeeeee!
- You’re being held accountable for your results. Chris, you may be saying, why should I be thankful that my boss is breathing down my neck and asking for proof that our marketing is working? Granted, you may face frustrations early on in building a program to measure your marketing results, but investing the time to do so will pay big dividends in the end. The ability to quantify marketing effectiveness will help you demonstrate the true value of your department to the organization, lifting your credibility among leadership. If your CEO wants to know results, that’s an invitation to shine. I say bring it on!
- Leadership is focusing more and more on brand building and the patient experience. According to a 2010 HealthLeaders Media survey, 72% of senior healthcare leaders say that patient experience has been more of a priority than last year. And from what I see and hear, branding is becoming a top strategy at more and more organizations. Of course, we know that the best way to build brands is to focus and improve the way we live our brand, and that is driven first and foremost by the patient experience. The more leaders who recognize the value of these strategies, the better off we’ll all be.
- 2010 is about to join 2009 — in our rear-view mirror. Let’s face it, the last two years have not been fun ones in the healthcare sector. Between our nation’s economic tumult and the health care reform, many organizations were battered financially and frozen strategically. But the economy seems to be headed in the right direction and the vast uncertainty faced in the industry is starting to clear. (Though, of course, the impact of the new Congressional majority on the industry remains to be seen.)
So enjoy your dinners and desserts, families, friends and football and don’t forget to be grateful for all the goods things in health care marketing. Come Monday morning, your glass (if not still your stomach or your work desk) should feel more than half-full.
Image Credit: sjlocke, via iStock Photo