New Midwest Healthcare Study: Surprise #2

Posted on October 3, 2012

mikem3_biggerBy: Mike Milligan, President Legato Healthcare Marketing

Earlier we shared just one of the eye-opening facts revealed in the 2012 Midwest Healthcare Study conducted by Legato Healthcare Marketing and Matousek & Associates.  But surprise #1 was just the tip of the iceberg.

Here's another surprising fact that has multiple implications. This one shatters a common perception about the technological tenets of Gen Y when it comes to healthcare marketing.

Surprise #2

The Internet isn't the be all and end all marketing tool many think it is - even for younger audiences.

While many marketers assume Gen Y wants to be informed of healthcare information via the Internet, that's not entirely the case. In fact, 24% of respondents age 20-29 ranked "from my doctor" as the best way to receive information, followed by the Internet at 17%.

So what does this mean to healthcare marketers?

  • On the surface, it can help direct (or redirect) the way hospitals communicate with this younger demo. But how?
  • This data also reiterates the importance of building strong physician relationships. Again the question is, "How?"

To learn about the "how's" and additional outcomes of the study, read the article, "Survey Reveals New Opportunities for Rural Healthcare Marketers," featured in the September-October 2012 issue of Spectrum and attend a free webinar that will discuss the implications of the study.

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Think Like a CEO

Posted on October 26, 2012

mikem3_biggerBy: Mike Milligan, President Legato Healthcare Marketing

Recently I gave one of my team members the assignment of preparing an executive summary for a hospital client CEO.

"Think like a CEO," I coached.

Crickets.

The staffer was a bit perplexed.  With all due respect to all our CEO friends out there, when we're working on creative work for our hospital clients, we stay clear of any "administrator speak." No DRGs.  No cost continuum. No performance improvement initiatives.

My point, however, was to stay focused on the business of healthcare.

In other words - even though cleverly designed direct mails and emotionally charged videos are food for the creative soul - they're meaningless if they don't accomplish an agreed upon objective.

When communicating to a CEO or others in the C-Suite, think "big picture" first and don't get bogged in the detail upfront.  Provide a brief summary, free of marketing mumbo jumbo, highlighting each of these four areas:

  1. Objective:  What are we trying to accomplish?  What specific message are we delivering, or what behavior are we seeking to change? How does this initiative support the organization's strategic plan?
  2. Messaging strategy:  What will be our message?  This doesn't mean you need to provide the exact copy.  Rather, just explain in clear language what your approach will be.  For example:  "Provide benefits of why staying local is better for the patient's overall quality of life."   Don't get into tactics at all - keep it at a higher level.  Once you have commitment on objectives and messaging strategy, the tactics will fall into place.
  3. Timing:  When will the campaign be communicated?  Not all the details, but at this point commit to something like: "Employees will receive information on November 15 and the messages will begin to hit the community on November 17. "  Then, keep that commitment.
  4. Measurement:  How will we know if the campaign is successful?  When and how will you report on the results?

Lastly, remember that as important as these topics are to us as healthcare marketers, they're just a small part of what a CEO faces every day.  He or she may have just left a high-pressure board meeting, or he or she may be facing some turmoil at the upcoming medical staff meeting in 15 minutes.

Get to it.  Speak clearly, confidently and directly.  Make eye contact, answer questions concisely, and listen.  Be sure of your position, but not at the risk of appearing arrogant.  Be flexible, but don't agree just to placate the CEO.  Repeat feedback to check for understanding, but don't be afraid to provide support for your recommendations.  It's what CEOs expect - and they'll respect you for your leadership.

And, they'll respect you for thinking like a CEO.

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