3 Steps to Write a Medical Association’s Value Proposition

3 Steps to Write a Medical Association’s Value Proposition

According to Deepak Chopra in his bestselling book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “How can I help?” is the only question that truly matters. “It coaxes and expands your awareness out toward the service and care of others.” Many medical associations struggle with articulating an effective value proposition that helps their members expand awareness and services. Establishing this in clear and compelling manner is an essential step if you want to communicate how your organization can provide the keys to your members’ success. There are some important steps you must take before embarking upon creating your medical association’s value proposition. It all begins and ends with research. So where do you start? Here’s a brief 3-step plan for medical associations. 1. Refine your target audience First and foremost, you need to determine who your “key” target audience is. You can’t be “all things” to “all people.” Many have tried, and failed. But by clearly defining and refining your true core audience, you can be all the right things to the right people. It’d be easy for medical associations to assume that their target audience is “anyone in a certain specialty and/or those who use those particular services.” But having such a wide audience would make it nearly impossible to tailor its strategy to specific types of individuals for specific purposes. The key to success here is knowing who to target, and why. The increased focus and definition will result in a much more effective strategy. 2. Be the go-to organization for the value you provide in the industry you serve When thinking about the opportunity you provide to that core audience, start by asking, “How can we help?” The number one reason that people don’t join, or renew their memberships in professional organizations, is because of cost and perceived lack of value from their membership. What is it that medical associations provide to members that they can’t get anywhere else? What is the problem you solve for them, and why are you distinctly better than the alternatives? It is imperative that association’s position themselves as the number one resource for education, support, advocacy, information, or whatever it is that your members want and need from your organization. 3. Translate the value proposition to key benefits of membership Members pay dues and join an organization because of the perceived value and benefits that come with the membership. What benefit do you provide to them and how do you do it uniquely well? What can you do better, or what services or resources can you provide to meet the needs that aren’t already being met? You must be the first place your members think of when they are looking for help…their “go-to” source for what they need to be successful. If you do your homework up front, coming up with 2 or 3 potential value propositions for consideration will be much easier. Using the information you uncover during your research, you can use the following template as a starting point to begin crafting your statement. For   ___________________________          (target audience) who ___________________________         (statement of the need or opportunity) _______________________________         (Association name) is the   ______” Go to” _____________ that ____________________________        (benefit/solution) Once you have an option or two, it’s a good idea to go back to the beginning, and test them with your target audience. Developing your value proposition can be a tricky endeavor, but if you start with “How can we help?” it can be an easier endeavor. Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy is here if you need help. After all, what good are the best programs you have to offer, if no one knows they exist? But that’s a subject for another blog. Stay...
“Conquesting” New Patients in Healthcare Marketing

“Conquesting” New Patients in Healthcare Marketing

You probably already have ads out there targeting specific populations based on demographics to promote awareness of your hospital and attract new patients.  Now, let’s take it to the next level and apply that marketing strategy with location.  What if you could target your competitors’ patients and feed them ads about the benefits of switching to healthcare providers or services at your hospital?  Sounds cool, right? Picture this.  A patient is sitting in the ER waiting room at a nearby hospital, anticipating his turn to be seen.  To pass the time, he plays games on his smartphone, looks at his social media feeds, and browses various websites.  An ad pops up promoting your hospital, specifically the short wait times in the E.R.  The patient doesn’t have to think twice about what he should do.  He packs up and makes the trip across town to your hospital for that faster service. Geo-Conquesting Location-based mobile advertising, called geo-conquesting, allows you to specifically target potential patients who are physically located at your competitor’s location.  On average, smartphone users are on their phones more than 150 times a day – making it an easy way to also reach consumers who are interested in the services you offer. With geo-conquesting, you set a virtual perimeter around competitor hospitals, clinics or health centers.  This allows you to target ads to smartphone users who enter within the set perimeter.  Remember, you need to give patients a valid reason to leave your competitor.  Whether you are promoting exercise classes, parenting education courses, webinars or simply wanting to increase volume with new patients, geo-conquesting can help reach people who are already in a healthcare setting. In addition, through this type of advertising, you inform patients that there is an alternative to healthcare services, besides at the facility that they just entered. Enhance your advertising by targeting new patients with geo-conquesting.  They already have a need for healthcare services based on their physical location.  Take it a step further with regular digital advertising and discover how geo-conquesting can help your hospital grow. Contact Springboard for more...
Transition of Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Growth Officer

Transition of Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Growth Officer

Last year brought about many major shifts and conversations in the healthcare industry; from new national health plans to ongoing debates of repeal or reform of the Affordable Care Act. All of these have had an impact on healthcare marketing and most organizations are holding tight on any specific directions until policies are determined. Another trend that healthcare marketers have to watch, based on what has occurred in the land of big brands, is the shift from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to Chief Growth Officer (CGO). Leave it to Coca-Cola, one of the best known and most valuable brands on the globe to lead the way. When its Chief Marketing Officer resigned in 2017, Coca-Cola didn’t replace his position.  This was the first time the company was without a Chief Marketing Officer in a couple of decades. Rather, it hired a CGO and now other big brands have followed suit. This trend will certainly lead to some alterations in hospital marketing departments, too. The rationale for this change at Coke was that it was part of a restructuring to turn the company into a “growth oriented, and consumer-centered   organization.” Wait, what? Coca-Cola replaced its top­ ranked marketing executive with another position that will generate growth and provide a consumer focus. Isn’t that marketing’s job? Shouldn’t a top marketer be doing that? Bottom-line, marketing at Coke and at many global brands, is not seen as a “growth” department; one that adds revenue, new operations, and new customers to the organization. Startling, yes-and here are some supportive statistics: Nearly one-third of CEO’s considered firing their Chief Marketing Officer in 2017 according to Forrester Research The average tenure of CMO’s in the US is four years, the shortest in the C-Suite CMO’s are first in the line of fire if growth targets are not met, according to an Accenture Strategy Study Only 21 percent of companies are able to fully measure marketing’s contribution to revenue (Allocadia) 30 percent of all C-Suite dissatisfaction occurs by incorrectly setting expectations and failing to onboard customers 61 percent of CMO’s cite pressure from CEO’s to provide results; 58 percent say that pressure is increasing (Deloitte) What’s a Chief Marketing Officer to Do? The first change that CMO’s need to make is to shift their own perception of their job function and those of marketing professionals in their departments. Too many still think of their role as traditional marketing; conducting research, determining product position and the other P’s, devising target audience plans, and creating integrated communications to reach, motivate, and shift attitudes of prospective customers. And this is not wrong-but it is not the focus for the top-ranked marketing executive in their respective organization. CMO’s have to take a higher view, and make broader, more disruptive decisions that impact the growth of the organization, not just its perception. These individuals and departments need to: Focus on brand-growing, and not just brand building. Marketers need to shift their attention to the complete brand experience, not just brand promotions. This is especially true for those in healthcare systems where patient experience is having a direct impact on the bottom-line. Develop plans that demonstrate real value to the core growth goals of the organization, not marketing plans that extend what was done in the past. CMO’s and other top marketing executives have to scrap marketing plans and begin to submit market growth plans to their CEO’s. Make monumental shifts in the organization’s marketing DNA, not slight changes that will go unnoticed internally. CMO’s have to be seen as disruptive and taking new paths within their organizations, shaking it up. Shift from the discipline of marketing to the business of marketing operations that directly impacts revenue operations. Develop business solutions, not creative solutions. There are still too many top marketing executives who are in the weeds in terms of creative messaging and executions. Once you’ve weighed in with strategy, it’s time to move out.  Let your internal team and outside resources run with it. Translate their role into money and growth as the “only language” that truly matters to businesses. Share-of-voice, even share-of­ market, is not in today’s Chief Marketing Officer vernacular. Revenue, growth, and income are keywords being searched by CEO’s and boards. Move quickly from “doing” digital to being digital. Today’s CMO’s and tomorrow’s CGO’s are focusing on transitioning their organization into the digital age. Not search terms, social platforms, and SEO-but the entire enterprise. Can you say ”Amazon.” Transformation in the Healthcare Industry Not only do top marketers in hospitals and health systems share the same pressures as their counterparts at big brands, but they also have unique ones. As value-based replaces volume­ based revenue, marketers will have accountability in both patient experience and satisfaction in order to contribute to organizational growth. In addition, health system top marketing executives have to find a role to play in outcomes. Candace Quinn, of Candace Quinn Consulting, believes this shift will occur at the service line delivery level. According to Quinn, “many organizations have morphed to incorporating Chief roles around their Pillar structure, as popularized in the Studer teachings. Chief Quality Officer, Chief People! Talent Officer, Chief Finance Officer, as well as Chief Growth Officer. What we haven’t really started seeing yet is what makes the Chief Growth Officer’s role as powerful and as influential as it might be. How many organizations put more than Strategic Planning, Marketing, PR, Fundraising and Physician Relations within the scope of this role, like including service line leadership? Growth happens at the service line delivery level.  Linking these key leaders even in a matrix relationship would truly give bigger meaning to the ‘growth’ part of the Chief Growth Officer.” Paul Szablowski is a Senior Vice President and Experience Officer for Texas Health Resources in Dallas.  He is the organization’s top-ranked marketing executive, supports this shift toward growth and has witnessed it take place among his peers in hospital systems. He offers this advice. “Today, more than ever, CMO’s need to be submerged in the continuous...
Consumer trends impacting healthcare marketing

Consumer trends impacting healthcare marketing

By now, we have all seen the articles, blog posts, and other content on consumer trends impacting healthcare marketing for 2018.   From Artificial Intelligence and big data to value, there is no doubt the industry will continue to transform. And consumer expectations and behavior will keep pace with the changes.  And, while it’s tough to predict the future, there is a place to look and get an idea as to what will occur down the road; the rearview mirror. According to Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos, this is often the first place he looks when predicting future trends and changes.  Amazon is one of the most innovative companies on the planet. Yet it was (and still is) built on a premise that is very down to earth: focusing on what’s not going to change. Bezos is frequently asked to comment on “what’s going to change in the next ten years?” His answer may surprise you. “While that’s an interesting question, I almost never get the question, what’s not going to change in the next ten years.  And that’s the most important question because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in times and will be true ten years from now.  It’s impossible to imagine a future ten years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘I don’t want great prices, faster delivery, and more selection.’”  So rather than try and predict what will change, he focuses on what will stay the same and makes Amazon’s deliverables even better.  And that’s a model all marketers can follow. So, what’s not going to change in 2018 that healthcare marketers can make even better for consumers? Customer Service – consumers want the ability to see and be seen. From online patient portals and apps to getting an appointment within 24 hours or less, consumers want service from their selected provider.  This demand is only going to increase and challenges marketers to evaluate their customer service programs to meet these needs. Competence – most people have access to “world-class” care. Some might have to travel a little farther for it.  But – according to focus group studies – it is a small inconvenience for excellent care. There are a lot of ways to differentiate your healthcare brand.  But if you’re a provider, the cost of entry is medical and professional competence.  Marketers need to know their brands level of knowledge and distinction in this important area. Compassion – while most consumers will cite “competence” as their number one selection criterion for a provider, a close contender is how they are treated. People still expect to be cared for and that’s not going to change. Convenience – while willing to travel farther for medical excellence, most healthcare interactions are not critical. Consumers want to access their favorite healthcare brand in as many ways as possible.  More than ever, healthcare marketers have greater opportunity to become involved.  Especially in the distribution channels of their brands physically, socially, and technologically. Cost – people are focused and obsessed on healthcare prices. This has been the case for the last 20 years and is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.  Consumers still have out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles regardless of their coverage. They will remain actively involved in trying to figure them out.  It might not influence their selection, but it certainly needs to be transparent and easier to understand. Confidence – studies show that when it comes to their favorite brands, consumers have confidence in them. Things just work and the people associated with the brands are smart.  Healthcare brands, even more so, have to exude this level of trust and dependability with each piece of new technology, diagnosis, and treatment plan. Clarity – healthcare is confusing. Good marketing programs seek to simplify the big words. They also want to reduce confusion around people’s care in terms of who’s associated with what and how they are all linked together. As we enter the New Year, yes it’s important to look ahead and think into the future.  But it’s also important to look behind and get a sense of what’s not going to change. And, how healthcare organizations can better deliver on the tried and true expectations of their customers. Best advice – clean your headlights, but also shine up your rearview mirror. Contact Springboard today for more information on consumer trends impacting healthcare...
The Revival of Direct Mail In Healthcare Marketing

The Revival of Direct Mail In Healthcare Marketing

Direct mail in healthcare advertising as a tactic has undoubtedly declined in volume over the past decade. One of the contributing factors, of course, has been the rise and surge of digital and social media platforms. Both allow healthcare brands to effectively and efficiently deliver their message to consumers where they are; on line, on their phones, and always on demand. As a result, marketers are increasingly putting more of their budget into these new channels to the tune of over $70 Billion, nearly tripling its spend in the last eight years. In the mix, you’ll still find big traditional media such as television, radio, and (magazine) print.  These media are proven brand support and many of the elements can be shared with other platforms whether on line videos, banner ads, Pandora radio, etc. – so, all in all a very cost effective balance of new and old. Under the radar, one very traditional promotional tactic is making a bit of a comeback.  Slowly and surely, direct mail via snail mail is on the move again.  Especially in healthcare marketing. Why the resurgence of direct mail in healthcare?  There are several reasons: There is still a group of readers out there who like to touch and open. Focus groups in many markets support that direct mail is still a preferred medium to reach people with healthcare messages.  They like the detail, the information, and if it includes some sort of keepsake, such as a magnet or card, even better. Even though seniors are becoming Facebook fanatics, they do like the added information that direct mail affords. New technology actually has facilitated the growth of direct mail. No longer stagnant, flat pieces, new direct mail offers embedded videos, sound, even smells into the packaging. Direct mail is a key component of multi-channel marketing. Diversifying your marketing channels greatly increases your chances of engagement. Studies show response rate is 26% higher if you follow a digital display ad with a direct mail follow up! Data suggests direct mail is easier to decipher, requiring 21% less cognitive effort to process and elicits a much higher brand recall. Direct mail is more personal. You can fit more of a message on a direct mail piece than you can on a 250×250 digital banner ad. There is typically lower competition for attention in a real mailbox versus an email inbox. Just like in all communications, the creative messaging has to stand out and be different.  When using direct mail in healthcare marketing, it has to say “open me” to the consumer.  Printers are more able to use interesting shapes, sizes, and formations to entice consumers.  It persuades them to open, read, and retain your direct mail piece. Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy specializes in multi-channel marketing campaigns for health systems, hospitals and health-related associations. If you’re looking for digital and direct strategies to elevate your brand or looking to create a direct mail in healthcare, be sure to contact us for more information...
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