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What Healthcare Executives Want From Their Marketing Team?

December 3, 2015


C-suite executives want marketing data that provides relevant financial details.

It’s a classic challenge for the healthcare marketer—how can he or she connect marketing campaigns to the organization’s bottom line. C-suite executives want to know what is the return-on-investment (ROI) of marketing initiatives. Did inpatient or outpatient volumes shift? Did physician referrals change? Are patient satisfaction scores higher? Did brand awareness increase? Fortunately, healthcare marketers are now armed with an arsenal of information, including CRM (customer relationship management) systems, data analytics, and marketing optimization tools that can illustrate how their efforts are supporting the organization’s business goals.

Healthcare marketers need to hone down all of this data before heading to the table with the c-suite, however. Whether you are a healthcare marketing agency or part of an in-house marketing team, it is important to present senior executives with targeted measurement data that shows how marketing is driving tangible results and supporting the organization’s growth strategy. Here are seven guidelines healthcare marketers should follow to ensure they are giving the c-suite the type and amount of information that they truly want.

  1. Show them the money. Executives do not want cool graphics without any financial data. They want to see pertinent financial details, especially around customers and business objectives. Provide marketing measurement data that is rooted in the business plan. For instance, calculate the long-term value of the new patients brought into the system through the marketing program.
  2. Present accurate data. Leaders want concrete marketing metrics that are easy to understand. In order to provide the types of reports that the c-suite wants, you will likely need data from other business units. It is important that you are partnering with other departments to capture relevant marketing data. If a physician office has an increase in volumes after the launch of a new marketing initiative, what types of data do you have to show that correlation? Do you have data from thenew patient questionnaire that asks people why they chose your organizationand included the marketing campaign as an option? It is important for the marketing department to show direct correlations whenever possible so it receives credit when due.
  3. Provide well-researched data. Executives want and need reports or proposals with facts, examples, projections, and the cost. For instance, it is not sufficient to pitch an orthopedic marketing campaign that targets seniors just because your regional competitors launched similar campaigns. Instead, show that seniors are one of your most important demographics, you have superior orthopedic services, the campaign reinforces your brand, and the initiative supports your current growth strategy.The plan should also provide strategies with defined goals for success and quantifiable points of measurement.
  4. Be succinct. C-suite executives are extremely busy. They do not want to sift through pages of data. Instead they want bullet points or summaries of the marketing data. The marketing team should maintain a campaign dashboard that can be easily shared with senior executives. For instance, the dashboard could show the referrals generated by a campaign in real-time, including the sources for those referrals and how many referrals actually turned into patients. Be sure to include the contribution margin for the service or procedure that is being tracked, so executives can easily calculate the short-term ROI of the campaign.
  5. Focus on the big picture. It is important for healthcare marketers to illustrate how the overall marketing strategy supports the business plan. Connect the dots between all of themarketing channels, including advertising, SEO, website, content marketing, and social media, to show the c-suite how these pieces all fit together to achieve the larger goal. For example, illustrate how engaging patients on social media increases patient satisfaction scores or builds brand loyalty and referrals.
  6. Provide analysis. Healthcare marketers should provide analysis along with the data. Just be sure to keep the analysis concise. If a marketing campaign is successful, the C-suite will want to know why. You can also share what isn’t working and how you are adjusting your marketing campaign to address the challenges.
  7. Offer innovative ideas. Yes, c-suite executives want hard data and financial figures. But they also want healthcare marketers who can generate fresh and innovative ideas. Don’t be afraid to offer an out-of-the-box concept for fear of rejection. Just be ready to explain the strategy behind any new marketing initiative and how it fits into the business plan.