Episode 104 // May 21, 2021

Podcast — Mount Sinai innovating at 170 years young

Featuring Mount Sinai's Karen Wish, CMO, and John Davey, VP Marketing Technology


Who are you, what is your brand promise? 

  • Mount Sinai Health System is different from many academic medical centers because the school was born out of the health system.  
  • Their primary commitments – a defined brand, commitment to growth, organizational excellence – all roll up to facilitating a quality patient experience where the customer journey matches the expectations set by the brand promise.  
  • Brand encompasses more than advertising – it should serve as the "soul" or DNA of an organization, driving each function with purpose.  
  • Mount Sinai committed to an organization-wide rollout to define its brand position, including a series of workshops, one-on-one interviews, coordination with HR, testing, and iteration.  
  • Definitions are critical to the success of brand positioning because not everyone has the same baseline understanding of marketing. Teams must define core concepts like positioning, brand, and logo. 

Organizational feng shui: Centralizing the marketing function 

  • Value-based care, digital health innovation, and consolidation have created a significant debate on centralizing the marketing function in health systems.
  • Mount Sinai saw an opportunity to drive organization-wide efficiencies by centralizing its marketing function. However, to execute, they needed to stay aligned with business goals and develop a scalable strategy while maintaining chair relationships. 
  • The Mount Sinai team needed to demonstrate that decisions made in silos result in disconnect from a larger mission and a loss of efficacy. For instance, some facilities were bidding on the same keywords in their SEM programs, ultimately driving up costs for everyone.   

The real digital front door 

  • Most health systems' real digital front door is google, as 80% of customers start online – even if they've already received a diagnosis and referral. Health systems need to show up with content that meets these research needs. 
  • Once you've assisted the research process, you need to make the decision easy for them with convenient access to your services. Patients with diagnoses will likely be emotional, and a challenging provider selection process makes for a stressful experience.  
  • Each diagnosis is unique, meaning patient research needs per diagnosis are also unique. To accommodate patients, we must build numerous decision-making pathways based on diagnosis without overwhelming the patient. 
  • Technology is valuable because it offers a virtual experience. It's valuable because it's convenient. But don't over-invest in technology that doesn't serve the goal of a convenient patient experience. 


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