Introducing the Hospital-Hybridization Model

As hospital executives scramble to meet the needs of a changing market, they have begun building executive team structures that deviate from legacy C-suite structures. As a result, health technology and services companies often sell to a nebulous (sometimes new) group, making decisions by committee. Turnover is high, and large buying decisions are increasingly challenging and often unpredictable. In order for health technology and services companies to continue messaging effectively to the new hospital buyer set, they must evolve with them.

Hospital C-Suite members expect to leave their current organization within:


New hospital leadership roles are hybridized — each designed to usher the organization into a more integrated state to address the changes happening in their industry. They connect historically disparate functions like clinical operations and finance, information and innovation, or clinical care and technology. Each of these new hybrid roles introduces opportunities for health technology and services companies to create more targeted positioning. Even among long-standing positions, the winds of change have been blowing for years. Chief marketing officers, chief medical officers, chief technology officers and many others are updating their practices with the changing landscape — so if technology and services companies remain static in their expression of value to these buyers, they will miss the mark. Evolution is a requirement.

At the core of hospital operations are two key tensions:

  1. Between clinical priorities and business goals: This tension is absolutely necessary and healthy, but it has implications for selling products to the hospital C-suite. With well-established positions, it’s easy to guess where they’ll land on the clinical/business scale. The chief financial officer is focused on business, and the chief medical officer is focused on clinical — though even these roles are morphing as clinical quality becomes more integrated with business outcomes. And as hybrid roles mature, the lines between objectives are blurring.
  2. Between enhancing the core business and disrupting the status quo: Harvard Business Review created a framework for these two fronts, calling them “transformation A” and “transformation B.” Transformation A involves building the strongest competitive advantage your current model can sustain in the disrupted marketplace, while transformation B embraces the possibilities of the new marketplace as energetically as the disrupters do. For example, Blockbuster had an impeccable transformation A strategy. They created a supply chain and demand that rented and sold VHS and DVD better than anyone else. However, they got stomped by Netflix because they failed to develop a transformation B strategy. They missed the digital revolution, as well as the trend toward subscription-based entertainment, so they missed the boat.

Selling into today’s hospital C-suite requires an understanding of these tensions — and each audience’s specific nuances. In this guide, we map the new hospital leadership positions according to these two tensions on our hospital-hybridization model, and share our insights on how to sell products to this increasingly complex buyer set. Though we don’t directly address legacy C-suite members in this graphic, we encourage you to use this model with any hospital buyers, applying key takeaways from each quadrant to your sales and marketing strategy.


Introducing the Hospital Hybridization Model

The Hospital-Hybridization Model segments new hospital C-suite members into four distinct quadrants, based on their tendencies toward business or clinical, and transformation A or transformation B.

Each of the four quadrants of this map carries a specific, ideal message. For example, the chief information security officer and the chief analytics officer are both in the business/transformation A quadrant, so they will be most receptive to products that provide measurable ROI, inside the confines of their existing business goals. Over the course of this five-part blog series, we will dive into what makes each quadrant tick and how you can custom-build your marketing and sales materials to hit each quadrant in a hyper-relevant manner — from content marketing to RFP responses.

November 16, 2017
The hospital C-suite is a complex target audience.
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