The Times They Are A-Changin’ for Healthcare Marketers

From time to time, we read or see something that challenges our long-held assumptions about healthcare, and especially patient engagement. A recent New York Times article, “When a Health Plan Knows How You Shop,” demonstrates just how much marketing has changed for health systems, and health services in general.

Sophisticated, successful marketing has changed from the days of billboards and broadcast TV advertising. Today’s marketers integrate sophisticated data analytics, predictive modeling, digital engagement, highly targeted and customized direct mail and email, CRM strategies, and content marketing to a mix that has always included more traditional tactics.

In fact, the leading health systems are looking for ways to communicate value, to meet patients where they are instead of waiting for them to get sick or injured, and to create a bond between their organizations and the people they serve. This is the direction healthcare is headed, whether your organization is prepared or not.

There’s no time to waste.

While marketers are challenging their long-held assumptions and radically changing their capabilities to meet the demands of the new competitive environment, boards and C-suite executives must also challenge long-held assumptions about business models and overall strategy. This article, written by Kaufman Hall’s Kenneth Kaufman, highlights the interesting analogy between Wal-Mart’s massive strategic shift and the massive changes needed in the hospital industry.

The common theme is that we must all evolve, grow, challenge ourselves, and utilize new capability and strategic thinking. The healthcare system is changing, fast in some ways and slower in others, yet it is undeniably changing. We all must change with it to meet the needs of tomorrow.

September 24, 2014
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