Healthcare Marketing: It’s Time to Transform

Modern Marketing


In healthcare, extraordinary technology and innovative strategies exist side-by-side with last century’s tools, systems, and out-of-date status quo. This old world/new world dichotomy makes healthcare operations difficult and confusing. And it’s the same with healthcare marketing.

The promise and payoff of modern marketing often seems out of reach to healthcare marketers. It’s easy to buy software, but it’s difficult to transform. How do you navigate the regulatory waters? How do you overcome your legacy systems and processes? How do you convey value propositions that are deeper than ROI? How do you maintain relationships throughout years-long healthcare buying cycles? How do you implement and scale an integrated program?

I lead an organization and team that works with healthcare marketers to help them transform to become essential to their organization’s revenue program. My team and I work closely with payers, providers, healthcare IT, wellness platforms, fitness, medical device manufacturers, and clinical service providers as their partner to grow awareness, engagement, sales pipeline, and revenue. And one thing is clear: every healthcare marketing team feels overwhelmed to some degree. 

Recent research from SiriusDecisions confirms that healthcare marketers are struggling with these key issues:

  • Legacy marketing roles are being stretched by new business models
  • The effect of working in silos within highly matrixed, complex organizations
  • The need to dramatically up their game in order to be relevant and strategic partners within their organizations

Healthcare marketing needs to transform. It’s that simple. And successful transformation begins by making an accurate, dispassionate diagnosis.

That’s where a diagnostic tool comes in. While there may be other diagnostic assessments that you can find or use to help identify the areas of your business that need to transform, for the purposes of this blog, I will cover the assessment I’m most familiar with—my team’s—The Revenue Transformation Assessment for Healthcare Marketers.

Implement a Diagnostic Tool

As you look to implement a diagnostic tool there are a variety of attributes you’ll want to look for. Look for one that was designed to help you honestly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your healthcare marketing function. Your assessment should also give practical next step recommendations for how you can take your program to the next level. These recommendations can help you understand, in detail, not only where you’re at, but also where you’re going – and help you get there.

Different people in different roles and levels might also have contrasting views on where your organization is. This assessment, when taken by a variety of people on your team—your manager, your teammates, your employees—can help you consolidate the disparate views across your marketing organization, and can be truly revealing. When taken by a large group of people, the insights your assessment provides should give you a wider perspective on where your marketing organization is in its marketing journey (our does!).

The 12 Capabilities of a High-Functioning Marketing Team

Ideally, any diagnostic tool you implement will give you a well-rounded perspective of your marketing and marketing team. Our assessment, for example, addresses all twelve capabilities that any high-functioning marketing team needs:

  1. Brand and Value Proposition

What do you stand for? What makes you unique in your space? Your brand and value proposition help define your organization and stick out from your competitors in a crowded market.

  1. Goals and Metrics

What business objectives are your marketing programs driving toward? Knowing what success looks like, and how to measure it will determine what path you take to get there.

  1. Target Audience Definition 

Do you know the profile of your best customers at the segment, account, and persona levels? Do you know their customer journeys? Understanding what makes your best customers the best will help you reach out to and find more customers like them.

  1. Messaging and Content

Is your messaging and content engaging and converting? You can churn out content all day, but it won’t be engaging if the messaging isn’t compelling, personalized, and relevant in your target audience’s eyes.

  1. Marketing Program Strategy 

Connecting the dots that support your end-to-end revenue process of your marketing in a strategic way makes for a better oiled, more efficient revenue machine than random acts of sporadic marketing.

  1. Lead Management 

Capturing, tracking, scoring, monitoring, reacting to and progressing leads and accounts are important steps to making sure each lead gets taken care of by the right stakeholders at the right time.

  1. Marketing and Sales Technology 

The number of sales and marketing tech solutions is mind boggling. Implementing and integrating your marketing and sales technology (like marketing automation, CRM, website, analytics, testing, interactive content, predictive, adtech, and ABM technology—just to name a few!) can seem like a lot of work, but it’s imperative to driving demonstrable ROI.

  1. Data

Stale and incomplete data can run an otherwise efficient, smooth marketing program right off its tracks. Even just getting started on cleaning up your data—making it current, non-duplicative, and integrated—can make a huge difference.

  1. Media and Channels

Engaging your target audience in the right channel at the right cost—across paid, earned, and owned can be the difference in your lead generation and nurturing programs sinking or swimming.

  1. Stakeholder Alignment

Collaboration between your revenue stakeholders is key—how effectively your product, brand, demand, sales, and customer success teams are aligned is a fundamental part of driving revenue at any organization.

  1. Reporting and Analytics

Are you measuring activity or impact? If your budget went up 20% where would you invest it and why? If your budget went down 20% where would you reduce it and why? Regularly reporting on your programs and how they’re performing allows you to optimize and improve—tying your results to revenue impact makes your reporting even more powerful.

  1. People

Having the right people with the right knowledge on your team can make a world of difference in achieving your revenue goals.  Making sure you manage the many resources, skills, capabilities, and experience needed to fully deliver on your marketing programs can be a challenge—having the right agency partners to fill any gaps can help.

Are you healthcare marketer that’s seen marketing transform in your organization? Or, does it need to? I’d love to hear more about your experiences and how you’re thinking about transformation in the comments below. Looking for a diagnostic tool to help you start to transform your revenue? Here’s the one I talked about in this blog.