Two things are constant in healthcare: 1) Change 2) Resistance to Change.
If you are a regular reader of TUYV, you know I constantly harp on two points:
#1 You must tie all your marketing and advertising to high-contribution clinical intake.
#2 There must be tactical support to help the patient take a clearly defined next step to enter the health system (e.g. going online to ask for an appointment, participate in a risk assessment or attending a seminar).
Success with these two points is dependent on the whole organization cooperating and making significant changes- especially physicians.
To do that physicians and other clinicians have to understand some marketing principles so that they are comfortable cooperating and making changes.
Most physicians went to med school and learned the art of healing. Now medicine also requires an understanding of marketing and finance. You must be the one to tutor physician leaders in the methodologies of marketing.
Here is great article in Harvard Business Review on the mostly successful case study of teaching Toyota’s lean managing techniques at a ThedaCare in Wisconsin (a four hospital system). Money, outcomes, and volumes have increased. The big hurdle was physician complaining and discomfort of change.
You don’t need to read the whole article, the main three points as they apply to marketing and advertising are this:
#1 Physician Leaders must be prepared to answer questions from their colleagues about the appropriateness of applying business concepts to their clinical organizations. You must teach them how to answer those questions.
#2 Do not use marketing jargon- you must use language familiar to physicians.
#3 Keep Physicians focused on the overall goal – providing better healthcare to more patients – rather than the minutia of marketing and advertising methodology.
Hospital Marketers forget how necessary, or at least how much easier, successful marketing is if they have great physician support. But you have to recruit and teach physician leaders to get that support.