7 big ideas in healthcare marketing

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From their thoughts on when to rebrand to inter-department collaboration to posting patient reviews to hospital websites, here are seven key quotes about healthcare marketing that hospital executives shared with Becker's Hospital Review in the last six weeks:

Jennifer Gilkie. Vice President of Communications & Marketing at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (Lebanon, N.H.). We let collaboration drive our goals, rather than starting from a desired outcome and working backwards. Ultimately, my mantra and my motivation for the entire communications and marketing team continues to be: Think big, innovate and collaborate.

Nick Ragone. Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Ascension (St. Louis). Rebranding a system — particularly one as large as Ascension — is a major undertaking and requires full stakeholder alignment, both internally and externally. It's more than just swapping out signage or changing the color palette; it's about making it easier for consumers and patients to navigate your sites of care, it's about a consistent branded experience, it's about communicating with one voice in advocating for affordable and quality healthcare. And it's an inside-out process. There needs to be consensus, alignment and commitment from internal stakeholders to make it work before it can be fully realized. 

Ryan Younger. Vice President of Marketing at Virtua Health (Marlton, N.J.). In marketing we are not clinicians, but we can make an impact on how we share these stories from a consumer perspective and how we help the operational and clinical teams think about solutions. It’s rewarding.

Kim Accorsi. Director of Digital Services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Lebanon, N.H.). Transparency comes at the cost of potentially having less than five-star reviews. The thing we often forget is consumers are savvy and conditioned nowadays and know how to look for trends in reviews, and a few isolated negative reviews doesn’t necessarily mean they will choose not to see a provider or visit a healthcare location.

Chris Roth. Chief Marketing Officer at UW Health (Madison, Wis.). How do you know whether you’ve outgrown your old brand? Your patients come from all over the world, but your messages sound more like a local hospital. Or, your patient base is growing, but your facilities are a sorted collection of localized and very custom names that don’t travel well.

Lisa Schiller. Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at UNC Health (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Collaboration between marketing and other divisions in the organization is key to developing successful growth marketing and brand marketing strategies and executing them. Marketing has a very close relationship with strategic planning, physician leadership, operational leadership and all the way through other support services and to the clinic level. These relationships have been built over time and have grown stronger through reaching goals and sharing positive outcome metrics.

Sandra Mackey. Chief Marketing Officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati). A brand is so much more than a logo or tagline — it’s a reflection of what your organization stands for and a measure of your reputation. While a logo is a visual expression that represents your organization, it’s also an important wayfinding tool. There are many schools of thought about when and how to rebrand. It’s my belief that brands are created from the inside out and should tell a story that reflects who you are and what you stand for. 

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