Marketing role models: 4 health system marketing execs share the brands they admire

Even though healthcare marketing is a rather specific sect of the marketing field, hospital and health system marketers draw inspiration from a variety of brands when they're creating messaging strategies.

Here, four health system marketing leads discuss the brands they look up to when developing campaigns.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Suzanne Hendery, chief marketing and customer officer at Renown Health (Reno, Nev.): I admire those companies and organizations that go beyond satisfaction, to create lifetime loyalty with their customers by delighting them with both the online and in-person experience. Organizations like MD Anderson, Dana-Farber Cancer, Piedmont, Ochsner and Geisinger always come to mind. Outside of healthcare, I am impressed with getroman.com for their online experience and southwest.com for social media and service recovery.

Sarah Garrity, chief marketing officer at Commonwealth Care Alliance (Boston): At Commonwealth Care Alliance, we look beyond the traditional healthcare landscape to consumer-centered market leaders raising the bar on customer engagement and experience, brands such as Amazon or Apple. The authentic voice of our consumer is embedded within our marketing campaigns; in fact, our own health plan members are featured prominently throughout all of our efforts. All our communications are yet another demonstration of how CCA delivers on its mission to improve the health and well-being of people with significant needs.

Sandra Mackey, chief marketing officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati): With the breadth of healthcare systems and brands beyond healthcare that provide products or services to consumers, it is difficult to identify a single company that checks every box related to campaign effectiveness. Rather, there is much to be learned from a variety of organizations that hit different chords with their target audience.

Organizations that I most respect clearly deliver on a brand promise, and their campaigns authentically represent who they are. Whether in healthcare or any other industry, companies like Amazon, American Express or Delta Airlines that leverage data to better understand consumer behaviors and drive action are high on my list of most-admired brands.

Katy Rigsby, vice president of marketing and communications at OhioHealth (Columbus): We aspire to have our brand come across in a human way to people so that our brand feels and sounds human, not like a bunch of corporate speak. The brands we most admire have a great ability to do that in their marketing campaigns — brands like Southwest. Similar to healthcare, they have a big focus on customer service and efficiency. Their brand and their people communicate reliability mixed with fun in everything they do, and their marketing connects in real terms with slogans such as "transFAREncy," "Wanna' get away?" and, "You're free to move around the country." We all know and recall the benefits of their brand because they make it so relatable to us.

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