At the annual SHSMD conference in October, Greystone.Net’s president Kathy Divis, along with Carla Bryant, EVP at Corrigan Consulting and Megan Yore, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Lakeland Health, presented a pre-conference session titled “The Journey to MarTech: Developing, Growing and Inspiring Marketing Leaders and Their Teams of Marketers-Scientists.”
During their presentation, the speakers discussed:
- The attributes of a marketer-scientist and their role in the future success of healthcare organizations
- Prioritizing skills needed to build and mentor contemporary marketing professionals
- Examples of how to organize a contemporary marketing and communications team
- Methods to supercharge and engage your creative team with analytic insight and enhanced critical thinking.
The following is a synopsis of parts of the 2½ hour presentation.
The current “amazing time” in marketing means that healthcare marketers have to catch-up with all the rapid changes in technology and consumer behavior. This has spurred-on a change from MarCom to MarTech, which requires the use of data to guide and execute marketing decisions. With this focus now on MarTech, 22% of marketing budgets are now allocated to marketing technologies and marketing tech budgets are now larger than advertising budgets.
To best serve customers’ wishes for improved customer experience, marketers must infuse technical capabilities into their DNA in both marketing and operations, as marketing and operations roles have become intertwined.
What must marketers do to meet the MarTech challenge?
- Don’t beat themselves up. Embrace the pace of change in marketing technology. It’s impossible for any one marketer or firm to keep up with everything. Over half of marketers think MarTech is evolving faster than their organization’s use of the technology.
- Embrace the changes being brought about by the MarTech evolution. Traditional marketing titles and functions are giving way to new titles and functions.
- Become a marketer-scientist – a hybrid entity like a scholar-athlete or a warrior-poet. The marketer-scientist blends the marketing ingredients of storyteller, brand champion, experience designer and change agent with the scientist ingredients of data analyst, experimentalist, technologist and systems thinker.
- Build the ideal team. The qualities of a digitally-agile team include:
- Flexibility – shift from an advertising mentality to a brand experience mentality.
- Being open to change
- Being comfortable with ambiguity
- Willingness to learn new skills – your team needs strategic thinkers to adapt your strategy and tactics.
- Being able to generate ideas
- Ability to try, learn and iterate
- The new key attributes of marketers: agility, attitude and aptitude!
- When moving from traditional to digital marketing, keep in mind:
- Digital marketing is no longer a separate practice.
- Healthcare is still behind most other industries.
- Use trial and pilot efforts to show positive outcomes.
- Reduce traditional budget.
- Request more resources.
- Start with one service line, then grow.
Strategic concepts to keep in mind
- US consumers are exposed to 3-5K commercial messages daily, so it’s hard to get noticed.
- Consumers are shifting away from real-time TV, newspapers and magazines and the associated advertising.
- The rise of consumerism and the empowered consumer impacts marketing because:
- Previously passive patients have become empowered consumers.
- Competition has expanded from the “colleague down the road” to the “retail store across the street” to “competitors disintermediating your patients virtually.”
- Convenience and self service is paramount.
- 80% of US consumers prefer providers with online scheduling. 67% choose online scheduling over location and 33% say online scheduling will increase their likelihood of making an appointment. Self-scheduling is Ground Zero for health systems.