Our industry is changing rapidly, with system consolidation, competition, price transparency, changing payment models, and data-driven decision making as some of the key driving forces.
For healthcare marketing, communications, PR and strategy professionals, this means the roles we play are more important to our organization’s success than ever before, and the skill sets required to advance ourselves and our organizations are changing at hyper speed.
Historically, our roles have included developing marketing plans, advertising executions, collateral material and internal communications, to name a few.
But the evolving skill set of today’s (and tomorrow’s) marketing and communications professionals — driven by the needs of our organizations — involves a whole new set of skills.
Seeking new expertise
We must acquire expertise in a variety of areas, including (but certainly not limited to):
- digital marketing tactics and how to effectively target our audiences;
- customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation;
- Google analytics and other analysis platforms;
- embracing and understanding data sources and how to analyze data to our advantage;
- website design, content creation, architecture and SEO;
- customer experience analytics and management; and
- demonstrating, in a meaningful way, return-on-investment (ROI).
After attending the Tri-State Conference: Adventures in Healthcare Marketing and PR, I drove home convinced that if we are to accept and embrace a new and vital role in our organizations, we must commit ourselves to change and continued advancement of our professional skills.
Events, like this conference, help us share knowledge and ideas as a community and build our collective ability to respond to the challenges we face.
We have other partners in this journey. The exhibitors and corporate sponsors of the conference, as well as our MHSCN sponsors, have deep expertise and insight into the challenges we face. They can offer elegant solutions to help us achieve our objectives.
Evolving our to-do list for professional development
The conference closed with a keynote presentation from Joe Public III: The End of Hospital Marketing. (A copy is on the way to my door from Amazon.)
Chris presented key insights from the book, based on interviews with 12 of the top marketing innovators in our field. He explores the premise that hospital and healthcare marketing has finally arrived, and the best practices in our field have advanced to a level equal to other industries. In essence, great hospital marketing should simply be considered great marketing.
Chris offered six new imperatives for marketing success:
- digital dominates
- marketing as a business driver
- data-driven marketing
- owning the patient experience
- building “health” brands
- low-threshold leadership and the willingness to adapt and change
I came away from the conference with a long to-do list for professional development. And, fortunately, MHSCN is directing significant attention to helping our members acquire knowledge and master new skill.
Wanted: Spring conference input
In fact, we’re already talking about our Spring 2019 MHSCN conference. So, as we think about topic areas and speakers, I’m asking for your input.
If you have a content area that’s on your professional development to-do list, or a speaker you’d love to hear, send me an e-mail.
MHSCN president-elect, 2018