The importance of governance in healthcare marketing

The importance of governance in healthcare marketing

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | Andy Pollock

I recently returned from the 2019 Joe Public Retreat, hosted by ReviveHealth in Charleston, South Carolina and WOW – what a great event it was!  Having attended this event multiple times over the last few years, it is very clear to me that something special is developing here.  This conference brings together the top marketing and communication leaders at many of the leading healthcare organizations and hospital systems throughout the US in a unique and warm setting. I am beyond impressed that ReviveHealth has created such a special conference over the years — a meeting of minds, marked by exceptional setting, outstanding organization, and, of course, excellent food. It was wonderful to be able to chat with folks like Matt Gove, Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Healthcare, who shared this about the conference, “The Joe Public Retreat was excellent. Thanks for putting on the only conference I would actually encourage others to attend.

This two-day conference was filled to the brim with insightful conversations with top healthcare marketing leaders. One session in particular sparked engrossed attendees in conversation and it was clear that brand and marketing governance are of paramount importance among successful healthcare systems and hospitals. They must evolve their marketing strategies in order to keep up with patient demand for responsiveness and accessibility, and to extend the brand experience beyond the four walls of their locations.

Participants talked about new initiatives to share big-picture marketing ideas and cultivate strategic influence for brands. A particular focus was the use of brand and marketing governance councils to cultivate a cohesive brand strategy within healthcare organizations and afford marketers the opportunity to align with senior leadership on topics that range from the influence of wayfinding signage on the patient experience to the impact of website development on various stakeholder groups.

Three other topics also piqued the interest of attendees:

  1. Data, data and more data. It should come as no surprise that digital mindsets are beginning to shape healthcare marketing. And rightly so. Patient search terms should be evaluated by marketing departments and used to fine tune landing pages and web content to ensure they are reflective of what people are searching for. Consider segmenting your audience to better address the needs of specific groups and reflect these in your digital approach. Once you’ve identified the content/key word strategy, look to your marketing department to leverage tools and technology platforms to make important information more visual and accessible for patients once they arrive on your site.
  2. Everyone contributes to the perfect patient experience. There was a lot of lively discussion around how patient experience is impacted not just by doctors, but by each and every person that a patient comes in contact with. In this day and age, with countless comments left online about interactions with staff, even patients that have not yet entered the doors of your system can be negatively impacted by an unfavorable encounter. Educating and empowering all internal groups to improve patient experience is essential to achieve measurable results in this important dimension of healthcare delivery.
  3. Technology can help! Website design and chatbots can be positive influencers for building your healthcare brand and improving patient experience. Think smart, AI-enabled chatbots that give patients real-time answers to their questions and help facilitate appointment scheduling. How’s that for patient experience?

At BrandActive, we get to take part in the conversations as companies are preparing to rebrand and reposition themselves in the market. Beyond helping companies accurately scope, cost, and manage the logistics of implementing these ideas alongside their rebrand, we find it is of utmost importance to organize all key stakeholders around the initiative for feedback and engagement. Having a brand governance model that includes clear strategic direction and allows for input from stakeholders across the organization will ensure success in delivering a consistent, innovative and positive brand experience for customers.

Everyone I talked to at the conference agreed that all facets of the healthcare industry continue to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. And kudos to the Joe Public Retreat for creating a space where health systems feel comfortable sharing ideas and marketing strategies, even when their competitors are in the room.  I’m looking forward to continuing to compare notes as all of us involved in this dynamic industry respond to the opportunities we can expect to encounter in 2019.

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