Suc­cess­ful mar­keters use data and peo­ple

Modern Healthcare - - News - By Rachel Z. Arndt

CHICAGO—Many of UCHealth’s mar­ket­ing cam­paigns have been suc­cess­ful—some­times too suc­cess­ful, some­times over­whelm­ing the sys­tem. Luck­ily, mar­keters keep a close eye on the per­for­mance of their cam­paigns, so they know when to turn them on and off.

That kind of de­tailed mea­sure­ment and nim­ble­ness is cru­cial in to­day’s mar­ket­ing en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to speak­ers at Mod­ern Health­care’s Strate­gic Mar­ket­ing Con­fer­ence last month.

“We’re in the busi­ness of mar­ket­ing some­thing no­body wants,” said Manny Ro­driguez, chief mar­ket­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence of­fi­cer for Den­ver-based UCHealth. “But just be­cause you mar­ket to some­one about on­col­ogy doesn’t mean the per­son’s go­ing to get can­cer to­mor­row,” he said. “We’re cre­at­ing a re­la­tion­ship ver­sus try­ing to sell or pitch some­thing.”

At UCHealth, much of that work de­pends on an­a­lyz­ing data to cre­ate in­sights mar­keters and oth­ers can act on.

But data alone aren’t enough, Ro­driguez said. “Ev­ery­body has data,” he said. “It’s an­a­lyz­ing the data and cre­at­ing ac­tion­able items from the data that mat­ters."

That in­cludes as­sess­ing cam­paigns that go well, not just those that go poorly. “If you fo­cus so much on the neg­a­tive, you might think there’s no way to change it,” he said.

Mar­keters should also ap­ply lessons from out­side of health­care to the in­dus­try.

“I have learned so much in the past 18 months from part­ners in our city that are com­pletely out­side the in­dus­try but do things re­ally well,” said Nikki Moll, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Bay­lor Scott & White Health, in­clud­ing how to stay on the cut­ting edge of so­cial me­dia pro­grams.

Mayo Clinic in­terim chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Mau­reen Bausch used what she’d learned in con­sumer mar­ket­ing to help shape Mayo’s Su­per Bowl cam­paign. “We had to re­brand Min­nesota in order to get peo­ple to come to Min­nesota in Fe­bru­ary.”

But health­care is, nev­er­the­less, a dis­tinct in­dus­try. For in­stance, in­dus­try in­sid­ers want ex­act proof of a process be­fore they im­ple­ment it, said Paul Schrimpf, a part­ner at Prophet. That could be be­cause of how much they spend. Health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions al­lo­cate about the same per­cent­age of their over­all bud­gets into mar­ket­ing as re­tail.

When mar­keters come to meet­ings equipped with data, they set them­selves up for suc­cess, oth­ers

“Ev­ery­body has data. It’s an­a­lyz­ing the data and cre­at­ing ac­tion­able items from the data that mat­ters."

Manny Ro­driguez Chief mar­ket­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence of­fi­cer Den­ver- based UCHealth

“We’re try­ing to get out of be­ing just order-tak­ers and put­ting up a bill­board to re­ally try­ing to build re­la­tion­ships."

Nikki Moll Se­nior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions Bay­lor Scott & White Health

said. For in­stance, when the Cleveland Clinic ran an ar­ti­cle head­line for its May 2018 women’s health cam­paign that used the word “vagina,” some in the C-suite scoffed, say­ing it was off brand. When Cleveland Clinic's di­rec­tor of con­tent mar­ket­ing, Amanda Todor­ovich, pre­sented data show­ing how well the cam­paign per­formed—its click-through rate was the best of the month—they were sold. “We know our au­di­ence and we write for them,” she said. “We don’t write for the C-suite.”

To that end, mar­keters must keep a close eye on pa­tients’ dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence with health sys­tems, pre­sen­ters said at the con­fer­ence. “The on­line ex­pe­ri­ence is some­times more im­por­tant than the phys­i­cal pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence,” Todor­ovich said, “and we some­times for­get that.”

Health sys­tems can use dig­i­tal tools to ad­dress what pa­tients might see as short­com­ings of that phys­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence.

For in­stance, Buf­falo (N.Y.) Med­i­cal Group pushes out con­tent that ad­dresses un­der­per­form­ing ar­eas, such as long wait times. By ex­plain­ing that a de­layed doc­tor could be ad­dress­ing emer­gen­cies, mar­keters can send the mes­sage that the doc­tor will al­ways care about pa­tients in need, said Christie Witt Ber­ardi, the med­i­cal group’s chief mar­ket­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence of­fi­cer. That’s more ef­fec­tive, she said, than

guar­an­tee­ing a cer­tain length wait time. “Your pa­tients will hold you ac­count­able,” she said.

“A brand is noth­ing more than a prom­ise; a great brand is a prom­ise kept,” said Nick Ragone, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer for As­cen­sion, the na­tion’s largest not-for-profit sys­tem. “Mar­ket­ing helps es­tab­lish the prom­ise, but ev­ery physi­cian, clin­i­cian, and as­so­ciate is charged with keep­ing that prom­ise ev­ery day.”

How mar­keters com­mu­ni­cate those mes­sages is cru­cial. “We’re try­ing to get out of be­ing just order-tak­ers and put­ting up a bill­board to re­ally try­ing to build re­la­tion­ships,” Bay­lor Scott & White’s Moll said. The sys­tem’s re­cent brand cam­paign, for in­stance, used mi­cro-sites for in­di­vid­ual ge­o­graphic com­mu­ni­ties. “We’re try­ing to be much more tar­geted,” she said.

But tech­nol­ogy alone isn’t enough for high-qual­ity mar­ket­ing. Tech­nol­ogy, data and ex­per­tise can't cre­ate a hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, said Suzanne Martineau, chief hu­man in­sights of­fi­cer at mar­ket­ing agency SCC and the con­fer­ence’s clos­ing key­note speaker. For a full hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, mar­keters must cre­ate em­pa­thy, and to do that, they can turn to sto­ry­telling. “Hu­mans tell sto­ries,” she said. “It’s how we make sense of our lives.”

“Your pa­tients will hold you ac­count­able.”

Christie Witt Ber­ardi Chief mar­ket­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence of­fi­cer Buf­falo Med­i­cal Group

PHOTOS: SCHRADER PHO­TO­GRAPHS

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