Episode 111 // Jul 09, 2021

Podcast — Health system marketing through fresh eyes

Featuring Heather Geisler, Chief Marketing, Communications, & Experience Officer, Henry Ford Health System


The viewpoint of someone new to healthcare  

  • Heather transitioned from her role as SVP of Global Brands at Hyatt Hotels Corp to Chief Marketing, Communications, and Experience officer at Henry Ford at the beginning of 2020.  

  • While differences were apparent between industries – particularly regulation – she found that the value of experience is similar between healthcare and hospitality.   

  • Healthcare has a huge opportunity to think more broadly about experience beyond in-patient care.   

Could healthcare be more similar to hospitality than we think?  

  • Loyalty is about driving increased engagement, preference, and choice to maximize lifetime value. We can increase loyalty by catering to the consumer’s experience of our brand.   

  • In healthcare, lifetime value could encompass a 50-60-year relationship with a patient and everyone they influence. Considering the power of word-of-mouth referrals in healthcare, that’s a tremendous lifetime value opportunity.    

  • We don’t need a tiered approach like hospitality, but what we do need is a way to retain consumers by recognizing their loyalty with value. In our space, rewards can include things like remembering preferences or proactive scheduling.    

Your brand is your greatest asset  

  • To build our brand, we have to ask ourselves how we can create an experience that differentiates us, matches what people are looking for in their experience, and ensures that we’re delivering on that experience from an operations perspective.  

  • Henry Ford is a 105-year-old brand with an international presence. That comes with great opportunity and responsibility because its team must maintain brand equity earned over time while also building its brand to be relevant in the future.   

  • A brand promise that is understood and executed organization-wide is the key to staying relevant in the present and future.   

How control fits into the healthcare consumer experience  

  • We all have an inherent need to control the things we can’t control. When we feel out of control, it creates stressors and anxieties which negatively impact the experience.   

  • The way our health system is structured now doesn’t give patients much control, offering health system marketers the opportunity to differentiate their brands by placing control back in the hands of the patients.   

  • For example, we can help patients navigate decisions by anticipating their next actions and understanding their stressors and feelings. This understanding ultimately allows physicians to focus on what they do best – healing people.   

More Episodes