This article first appeared on the HITMC website.
The need to centralize more marketing functions is a hot topic these days, and for good reasons. Healthcare marketers see more centralization at the corporate level as a way to improve the patient experience, reduce costs, and increase speed to market.
There’s also lot of agreement on how healthcare marketing got to the point where operating inefficiently and promoting fragmented patient experiences is almost the norm. For years, healthcare systems have been consolidating through widespread M&A. The post-M&A integration process doesn’t usually include how to best optimize new and legacy marketing and brand operations. As a result, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and brand consistency suffer.
Left unaddressed, a decentralized structure will continue to impede the marketing effectiveness of a healthcare system. And that appears to be a likely scenario. Even amid recent regulatory rumblings and the devastation of the COVID pandemic, M&A activity didn’t significantly decrease. In fact, Kaufman Hall reports that during 2020, healthcare M&A “stayed within the historic range of activity seen in the past ten years.” Most industry prognosticators expect a significant uptick in 2021.
Agreeing that centralized marketing is needed is one thing. But actually figuring out how to move from the decentralized marketing or “home rule” model to a more efficient, centralized model is another matter altogether. It’s not always intuitive or without pitfalls. Here’s what we’ve learned.
Read the theee steps involved in developing a more efficient, centralized marketing function here on HITMC.com.