How data has helped chief marketing officers 'earn a seat' at the executive table

Data has been one of the most transformational drivers in improving precision and accuracy of marketing efforts, but most importantly, the role of data has changed health system chief marketing officer's overall roles within their facilities. The chief marketing officer, who once simply voiced marketing plans and how they support those priorities, is now becoming more business focused with data being at the center of marketing success. 

Becker's asked three chief marketing officers about the impact data has had on marketing efforts and the chief marketing role.  

Sue Jablonski, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of OhioHealth (Columbus): Data must be center stage in virtually all marketing decisions in today's world. The challenge is we've had siloed data in healthcare and we are definitely in a catch-up mode compared to other categories like retail and banking. I also believe that we can't hide behind regulatory challenges. Banking has figured it out and we need to as well. With limited resources we have to be smarter and data is the key. Whether it's the voice of the customer, campaign strategy or campaign execution, we need to know how to link our efforts to organizational priorities and adapt as we implement them. That requires data and a willingness to pivot.

Shweta Ponnappa, Chief Marketing and Digital Experience Officer of Providence (Renton, Wash.): As health systems weather our current COVID-induced financial and workforce crisis, data has never been more important to marketing and digital experience efforts. 

The need is two-sided — health consumers expect highly personalized and meaningful experiences and communications, and health systems need a strong return on marketing investment to justify spending. 

Data is at the center of our success — a requirement for delivering highly personalized campaigns and experiences at scale.

Amy Stevens, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Tidelands Health (Murrells Inlet, S.C.): There has been an incredible evolution of the healthcare marketing function since I began working in this industry nearly 25 years ago. It's hard to believe now, but at one time marketing in many hospitals was relegated to party planning, photo taking and newsletter production. 

Today, healthcare marketers are essential members of the senior team, bringing invaluable insight into consumer behavior and market positioning. 

The single biggest driver of this role transformation? Data. By leaning into the science of marketing, healthcare marketers can better understand their market, identify opportunities, act upon those opportunities and measure performance. Data has helped marketing earn a seat at the executive table.

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