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Marketing Triage: Strategies for Supporting Multiple Healthcare Departments
Marketers that service medical institutions rarely get the kind of attention or recognition that big consumer brands enjoy—which is a shame, because they serve more departments in a single week than most marketers do in a decade.
Don’t believe me? Just look at a directory the next time you’re in the hospital and count them: pediatric, dermatology, dentistry, cardiology… the list goes on. That doesn’t even count the external-facing departments like community building and donor relations.
How can an understaffed marketing department possibly keep up?
Strongly defined brand identity
In a medical institution, marketing handles everything from TV ads to treatment information pamphlets to patient registration forms. It’s imperative for marketing to establish strict guidelines on brand usage, design aesthetics and language so that every piece of collateral carries a consistent message.
This level of consistency also makes it faster and easier to create new materials since marketing doesn’t have to come up with a new design for each piece. It’s a simple matter to swap out existing content for a fresher version. If each department had the freedom to make their own design choices, the result would be a confusing hodgepodge.
Adhere to a Strategic Roadmap
A single hospital can easily have a dozen departments vying for marketing’s attention. You get so bogged down taking orders that it’s impossible to do anything strategic.
Marketing should take the opposite approach—work with executive management to define the top strategic goals for the quarter and prioritize the projects that drive them. Everything else gets placed into triage.
Marketing may even need to push back a little and convince departments to do something that gives more value. Instead of creating another pamphlet, for instance, they could host a community education event if that aligns more with the organization’s strategic goals.
Scalable Asset Management
A single hospital clinic can easily have dozens of assets to keep track of: pamphlets, forms, flyers, and more. Multiply that by multiple departments, and you have an avalanche of assets that need to be tracked, managed, and updated. Calling it “overwhelming” is a gross understatement.
Asset management processes and tools are critical for keeping this marketing library organized. They make it easy to find individual assets and identify the latest versions. This simplifies the process of updating old assets, thus leaving more time for strategic priorities.
The Final Diagnosis
Marketers in medical institutions have their work cut out for them; the sheer number of client departments alone sets them apart from peers in other industries. But by combining strategic prioritization and proper asset management, healthcare marketers can keep individual departments satisfied while still addressing the organization’s larger strategic goals.