The tools that every hospital marketing specialist must master, by 6 executives


Hospital marketers can choose from a wide range of digital tools to help them better engage with their audiences, but not everyone can decipher what is essential versus what is superfluous. Below, six hospital marketing managers explain what tools they think every marketer should know how to use.

Editor’s Note: Answers have been edited slightly for clarity and style.

Suzanne Bharati Hendery. Head of Marketing and Customer Service at Renown Health (Reno, Nevada). I think the most important tool a hospital marketing manager should know how to use is their voice. As the designated spokesperson for our clients and their needs and wishes – whether they are patients or supporters, providers, community members or other key stakeholders – our role is to amplify the voice of clients as needed and with the appropriate research to back it up – in the boardroom or breakout room – to help influence decisions on strategy, culture, policy and communications / messaging.

Alexandra Morehouse. Marketing Director at Banner Health (Phoenix). Healthcare marketers need a customer database that includes clinical EMR data and all other patient service, billing, and demographic data; customer analysis tools for use with the customer database; a customer relationship management tool and associated analyzes; and a customer survey and feedback tool.

This list is what pretty much every other business in other industries has in place – airlines, banks, retail, etc. It is the basic toolkit for increasing revenue and managing customers; health is only 20 years behind other sectors.

Brian Deffaa. Marketing Director of LifeBridge Health (Baltimore). While it sounds like a no-brainer, the world of marketing and branding is changing rapidly in healthcare; it’s deploying long-used tools where ROI is the currency of commerce (think retail). This is no more evident than in the way that clients (I don’t intentionally call them “patients” – too narrow a target) engage with a wide variety of content along a journey that ultimately leads. at your front door – digital or otherwise.

With all this content floating around, from algorithmic digital ads to direct mail and bus shelters, any marketer worth their salt must answer the basic question: does this drive engagement? Usually in the form of clicks, likes, shares, downloads, webforms, nominations, or proven phone calls, engagement is too expensive a term for ‘did that make someone to do what we wanted him to do? “

In most cases, getting this answer starts with a CRM platform like Salesforce, a trackable call platform (we use Invoca), and a good media team or company to place, monitor, and track. digital investments and subsequent consumer engagement. The flow of data from these and other tools can then begin to provide a campaign-by-campaign overview of what worked well and what was just “meh”. The more subtle point here is “worked”: did it generate appointments or just traffic? That last mile is where many marketing teams jump headlong into legacy healthcare systems and structures that are not designed for the need for centralized communication, information and ROI.

Scott Weber. Head of Marketing and Design at Fairview Health Services (Minneapolis). The first tool is what is possible in terms of integration with Epic / MyChart. Experience is the hallmark, and unfortunately a lot of our digital experience relies heavily on Epic. This is the key to understanding what can be built on, in and around MyChart. We’re launching our mobile app next month, which has been our biggest hurdle.

The other tool is Salesforce / Customer Relationship Management. Mass marketing is dead. You need to understand how to segment consumers, find and interact with your most valuable or risky prospects. It’s also essential for delivering personalized experiences.

Lori Howley. Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Head of Marketing at MelroseWakefield Healthcare (Medford, Mass.). It’s hard to single out a specific digital resource that healthcare executives should have in their toolbox. What’s great about digital marketing is the synergistic ability it offers to meet your consumers, patients, clients, physicians and donors where they are, and personalize the messages that are meaningful to them.

Digital marketing is about engagement and having the tools and ability to connect – not just talk – to your audience. All digital platforms have something to offer on the consumer journey – from awareness to use to advocacy – and using them together provides the most comprehensive level of awareness and data. This data, we know, in turn, is then extremely useful for planning the future. In addition, for healthcare, digital can be economical.

Gulden Mesara. Senior Vice President and Director of Communications and Marketing at City of Hope (Duarte, CA). With the pandemic changing the way many communicate on a daily basis, social media has been an essential tool, more than ever, in educating our patients, staying in touch with physicians on our research, and improving recruitment efforts. We dive into data tools to assess how our posts resonate on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and constantly evolve content to better suit our audience based on behavior. Ultimately, it’s about connecting and creating a dialogue that will provide top-notch patient care and generate faster solutions for the patient community.

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