Lessons from the Shark Tank for Healthcare Marketers

Lessons from the Shark Tank for Healthcare Marketers

I had the pleasure to present at the SHSMD Connections conference in Seattle a few weeks ago.  My co-presenter, and fellow disruptor, Paul Szablowski and I were thrilled to see a full house for our session, as healthcare marketers were eager to learn business lessons from the hit reality television show “Shark Tank.”  And, at a time when marketers are under constant scrutiny from their CEO’s to demonstrate value and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), walking into a shark tank each time budgeting and annual planning rolls around is all too much a reality. Here’s a recap of our presentation, “Lessons from the Shark Tank.”  If it leaves you swimming with questions or additional thoughts, I look forward to hearing from you. The Waters are Murky for Marketers Marketers in all industries are facing intense pressure to perform for their organization.  Many studies suggest that there is definitely a realignment needed between the C-Suite and marketing department in terms of expectations, accountability, and responsibilities.  Nearly three quarters of CEO’s want their marketing department to focus on growth goals and new customer acquisition, and the same percentage of marketers believe their jobs are not designed to let them achieve this for their organizations. Perhaps this is why the average tenure of a Chief Marketing Officer is only four years – the shortest length of any position in the C-Suite. Another reason is that marketers have focused too much on “marketing” and not enough on growth goals.  So before walking into your “shark tank,” this mindset  has to shift or you’ll be quick to sink in your organization. Lesson 1:  Know...
How Social Media Can Benefit Your Healthcare Marketing

How Social Media Can Benefit Your Healthcare Marketing

Today, there are over 3 billion worldwide social media users, and almost 9 out of 10 companies in the United States are using social media for their marketing.  Social media is no longer a place for friends and family to stay in touch or to connect with others.  It’s where people can stay up-to-date with news and current events. Specifically, in the healthcare industry, social media plays a large role.  It can help providers engage with patients, connect with other healthcare providers and companies, and create awareness to the public of relevant and timely information in the industry. Engage with Patients According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, 74% of internet users engage on social media.  About 80% of those internet users specifically look for health-related information, and nearly half are searching for information about a specific doctor or health professional. Patients want the most reliable information possible when searching for information about their health.  Because of a doctor’s knowledge and expertise, about 60% of users say they trust a doctor’s post over a company’s post. Connect with Other Healthcare Providers and Companies Social media connects doctors and physicians to other companies and keeps them up-to-date on the latest medical developments, technology, minimally invasive treatments and more.  About 88% of physicians use social media to research pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical devices. Create Awareness to the Public About 32% of internet users post about their friends and family’s health experiences on social media.  When it comes to health-decision making, people gravitate towards providers who have treated related or experienced similar situations.  Patients care about other patients and they...
B2B Healthcare Brands Need a Heartbeat

B2B Healthcare Brands Need a Heartbeat

Many years ago, when I was on the client side of B2B marketing fence, our messaging beat its chest about how our product was bigger, better, faster, stronger and could make our customers more money. Years later, after time on the agency side of both B2B and B2C marketing, we’re seeing a massive shift in how B2B buyers at various levels need to be engaged. Sure, there’s a procurement officer that’s all about specs and cost, but we’re assuming you’d like to move up the chain a bit. Consider this B2B value pyramid from a Bain & Company study earlier this year. This illustrates from the bottom of the pyramid to the tip top:   The bottom of the pyramid – where many B2B marketers stop. This is where no one wants to be – it’s commodity-land. Living on specs and price will not keep you in business. Neither will simply addressing your buyer’s economic or performance needs with features and functions. As someone recently told us, don’t talk to me about the horsepower and the convertible top – tell me how cool I look driving that car…   The middle of the pyramid – where sustainable and valuable relationships begin. Here, your messaging is centered around benefits that are important to the buyer and enhance their subjective judgments about your product or service. Attributes like decreasing hassles and your expertise help you form this relationship.   The top of the pyramid – deepen your relationship by engaging with a heartbeat message that speaks to personal and career related priorities. Your work here requires empathy and establishes trust –...
Creating a Heartbeat Brand Requires Knowing Your Audience in New, Relevant Ways

Creating a Heartbeat Brand Requires Knowing Your Audience in New, Relevant Ways

Most research studies provide excellent insights into your brand.  For example, knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions people have of your brand, their intent to use, and likelihood to recommend.  In addition, there’s data collected on who replied to the survey; gender, age, income, etc.  Yes, this tells you about what people think of your brand, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the people who use it, or want to use it.  Creating the highest level of relevance with your brand requires knowing more about the people you’re targeting than has been customary.  Just like in good advertising practices, it’s about them – not you.  A heartbeat brand is one that appeals to the interests, lifestyle, visions and dreams of your audience.  Use your market research to help you understand these traits so your brand can be more effectively positioned and modified to meet their needs. There should be a section within your questionnaire that asks people about what matters most in their lives.  How they spend their time, activities they enjoy, hobbies they pursue, etc. Armed with this information, you can begin to reflect these passions and interests in your brand communications.  Images become more than design background, they become eye-catching relevant scenarios in which your audience sees themselves and how their life intersects with your brand, not the other way around. Knowing your audience in new, relevant ways will help you create positioning and messaging platforms that break through and become noticed.  Why?  Because you’ve captured the essence of what’s most important to people you’re trying to influence, not trying to influence them with your brand...
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