The mottos that guide the marketing strategies at 9 health systems

Oftentimes, hospital marketers adhere to deeply held maxims — whether personal or as an organization — when strategizing communication. Here, leaders from nine health systems share the mottos on which they base their messaging strategies.

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

Alexandra Morehouse. Chief Marketing Officer at Banner Health (Phoenix): We have a very explicit strategy around marketing and communications. We have positioned Banner as the "Wise Guide," meaning we aspire to be an impartial source of timely, accurate information. The average patient or consumer is overwhelmed with too much messaging and is also deeply distrustful of what they see on the news and from the government.

Our "Wise Guide" positioning seems to cut through the clutter quite effectively. We are in the top 10 most visited health websites in the U.S., out of 9,800, because we focus on highly valuable and unbiased content.

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.

Matthew Pinzur. Chief Marketing Officer​ at Jackson Health System (Miami): I'd summarize our guiding principle as this: We have the privilege of telling remarkable stories about touching people's lives, so our joy and our job is to tell them in remarkable ways and have them touch the largest possible audience. The rest is just details and teamwork marinated in a strong sense of urgency.

Sheila Champlin at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston): Our brand essence revolves around "changing what's possible." Over the years, some of our most memorable marketing campaigns have featured our own care team members as they fulfill the brand promise, whether they are working with patients and families, in the community or in collaboration internally with other MUSC teams. When our team members share how they individually live the brand essence, the energy and power of the brand radiates, reaching a wide range of internal and external constituents. High-impact campaigns share personal stories and evoke heartfelt connections to others. That's how you build and support communities. 

Early in the pandemic, we rapidly planned and executed marketing and communications outreach that specifically targeted the underserved, the vulnerable and the underrepresented, including African American and Latinx populations statewide. Being able to stay connected with these communities allowed our faculty and providers to deliver the most up-to-date, verified information through multiple channels, while simultaneously working to dispel erroneous points that were continually swirling. Deploying efforts to connect these communities with our free telehealth diagnostics, coupled with our drive-thru testing in locations across our state, was a tremendous pride point for our entire organization. That's "changing what's possible" in action. 

Cynthia Neiman. Chief Marketing Officer at Children's Hospital of Orange County (Calif.): At CHOC, our mission is to "nurture, advance and protect the health and well-being of children." As a result of a marketing campaign we launched a few years ago, our rallying cry became "Long Live Childhood." We work together to prevent illness or injury from interrupting the magic of childhood, and the "Long Live Childhood" tagline has become so popular that it is featured on many of the items sold in our gift shop from t-shirts to water bottles.

Susan Milford. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication at OSF HealthCare (Peoria, Ill.): The Mission of OSF HealthCare, "to serve with the greatest care and love," is the guiding light of our marketing and communications strategy. Our branding work and each of our campaigns must support this purpose from our sisters (of the Third Order of St. Francis), who founded our Catholic health system 144 years ago and still lead it today. 

Every campaign includes a distinct marketing strategy that provides a unique value to our community. The value hones the messaging and creative to those who will most benefit from the service we are offering: our targeted personas, based on the thoughts and feelings behind how they make healthcare decisions and where those personas are in their stage of life. For instance, a young couple has different health needs than a newly retired widower. 

Critical to any marketing strategy is that the expectation shared in advertising is realized in the customer experience. This is why our marketing is more than promotion. It must encompass all areas of our healthcare team who touch every step of the patient's journey — from ease of access to wellness to care. In this way, we are delivering on our brand promise and putting our patients' needs first.

Gulden Mesara. Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at City of Hope (Duarte, Calif.): The credo that guides City of Hope's marketing and communications strategy is, "There is no profit in curing the body if, in the process, we destroy the soul." This phrase was coined by Samuel H. Golter, one of our early leaders. In promoting City of Hope — a National Cancer-Institute-designated, nationally recognized cancer leader — we share heartwarming stories that showcase City of Hope as an enterprise with a track record of leadership in compassionate patient care. By combining science with humanity, City of Hope is reinventing the future of patient care.

Tyra Palmer. Chief Marketing Officer at Ardent Health Services (Nashville, Tenn.): Right information, at the right time, at the right location and at right price for our patients.

Right information: Is it easy to understand and find? At the right time: How can we remain connected when patients need us? Right location: Are we helping guide to the most appropriate level of care and is it convenient? Right price: Are we supporting transparency and education?

Commonwealth Care Alliance (Boston): At the core of our mission and marketing strategy is our comprehensive model of uncommon care. This unique model delivers better health outcomes through seamless integration, a community focus and an emphasis on the behavioral and social determinants of health that account for so many critical gaps in care. It is based on our deep understanding of what puts people at risk, together with our unmatched ability to find and engage hard-to-reach individuals.

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