7 big ideas in healthcare marketing

From the mottos they use to guide their marketing teams to the language and images they avoid using in their campaigns, here are seven key quotes about healthcare marketing that hospital executives shared with Becker's Hospital Review in the last three months.

Garth Graham, MD. Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships at Google and YouTube: We want all folks who are thinking about value-based care to not just think about the trajectory of value-based care that ends beyond the walls of their institution, but rather think about how they can influence health outcomes for people outside along that continuum.

Jigar Shah. Chief Marketing Officer at Providence (Renton, Wash.): Healthcare is very personal, and the key to successful marketing is a relationship-based approach. This means using messaging to build and retain trust, meeting consumers where they are in their healthcare journey and giving them relevant, actionable information to make decisions about their care. 

Suzanne Bharati Hendery. Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at Renown Health (Reno, Nev.): The motto that guides the strategic direction for Renown's marketing and communications team is "create raving fans" — which we do in many ways. The best way to create a fan is to engage them in creating new programs, services and solutions. How do we measure Renown fandom? Engagement scores from our employees and physicians, as well as net promoter and reputation scores from our community, active patients, members of our insurance plan and MyChart active users.

Brian Deffaa. Chief Marketing Officer at LifeBridge Health (Baltimore): The shift from "patient" to healthcare "consumer" really reflects the seismic change taking place — "patients" are acted upon when treated; "consumers" gather information and make self-directed decisions. This approach mirrors the expectations of different generations and their comfort level with information (not just healthcare information), changes which mirror other parts of their lives.

Susan Milford. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication at OSF HealthCare (Peoria, Ill.): We use person-centered language. People are much more than a disorder, disease or disability, so when writing or talking about them, we put people first. Using person-centered language shows that OSF respects the dignity, worth, unique qualities and strengths of every individual.

Laura Young. Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Southeast Georgia Health System (Brunswick): I prefer to use a real patient’s image over a model, regardless of who the patient is or how they appear. Stock images that use male or female models in their 20-30s to depict doctors lack credibility. While these images are attractive, they may be insensitive to older patients who view physicians as authority figures. It is important to represent physicians in a variety of age groups, genders and ethnicities.

Lori Howley. Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Chief Marketing Officer at MelroseWakefield Healthcare (Medford, Mass.): Digital marketing is about engagement and having the tools and ability to connect with — not just talk at — your audiences. All digital platforms have something to offer in the consumer journey — from awareness to use to advocacy — and using them together provides the most comprehensive level of outreach and data. That data, we know, in turn, is then critically helpful in planning what comes next.


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