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What Marketers are Experiencing During the Pandemic: Results from a New Survey

by Sara Foster | May 19, 2020

As part of a survey conducted in early April, 2020, Greystone.Net asked how marketers themselves were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey respondents also replied to questions about how their work has changed – you can read about that heresurvey results

The survey was conducted as part of Greystone Engage, a membership group for healthcare professionals with responsibility for web development, web management, social media, digital marketing, data management, CRM, analytics, communications, public relations, market research, business development and other related areas. Engage provides an aggregate perspective of what’s going on in healthcare marketing across the country, across various types of provider settings.

Survey respondents answered two questions about their personal experiences with verbatim responses. Here is a representative sample of their responses.

What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic? 

  • Working from Home (WFM). In general, respondents described these issues related to WFM:
    • Balancing work from home with all other family members/working from home with kids
    • Technical hurdles of getting large teams working remotely image of a list of verbatim replies from the survey
  • Anxiety/Concerns about Work. General issues included:
    • The uncertainty of when things can begin to return to "normal" and the isolation felt - both by the staff working remotely and those remaining on site.
    • Many team members being furloughed
    • Disparity in workloads, with some people “crazy busy” and others not busy at all
  • Managing all the Work on my Plate/Job/Time. Respondents discussed:
    • Managing all the work on their plates
    • Being overwhelmed with new things, new responsibilities, a wide variety of communications needs and how to get it all done in the time available
  • Managing Internal Communications. Issues included:
    • Determining what internal communications can be shared externally
    • Managing teams while effectively communicating with senior leadership
  • Hospital Operations/Clinical Concerns. Issues included:
    • Organization not being able to pivot effectively
    • Difficulty taking care of patients and how the hospital would continue to operate
  • Concerns about Healthcare Marketing. Issues included:
    • How to contribute while not marketing non-pandemic related services
    • How to get out information about non-pandemic services if they’re still being offered

What has been your most important lesson learned from the pandemic so far?

  • Working from home/Using new technology
  • Learning to work together as a team/having better teamwork slide-17 verbatim 2
  • Improved flexibility/ability to pivot in a crisis environment
  • Internal organizational communications
  • Clinical improvements – everything from improving the way we communicate about clinic offerings available at the hospital to needing to improve the way that our clinical operations work
  • Great team – feeling thankful to have a team with people who are flexible and able to pivot at a difficult time
  • Difficulties/issues internally that provided a learning opportunity to deal with the unexpected
  • Disappointment in government support at various levels.

And finally, when asked their prediction of when their daily activities would largely be returning to “normal” once the pandemic passes, the respondents said: 

  • Almost immediately (7.69%)
  • slide 13 return to normal
  • A few weeks (34%)
  • More than a month (25.27%)
  • More than 3 months (15.38%)
  • More than a year (5.49%)
  • We’ll never go back to pre-COVID (5.49%)

Respondents from children’s hospitals, cancer centers and rural hospitals tended to be more optimistic about the speed of a return to a pre-COVID status, while academic medical centers and health systems – regardless of size – predicted a slower return to “normal.”

If you would like more detailed information about the results from Part I of our survey on the Pandemic Effect on Healthcare Marketers, you can download the report here. Part II of the survey looks at healthcare marketing efforts in early May 2020, one month after Part I. The survey is now available here.

If you would like more information about the survey or other information from Greystone, contact us at info@greystone.net or 770-407-7670.

  • healthcare trends
  • HealthCare Marketing
  • COVID-19

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