Only 2.6% of board members in Standard & Poor’s 1,500 firms have marketing experience. That’s not good news for CMOs, whose average tenure has now fallen to 42 months.
As hospitals continue to embrace marketing, more board members with marketing skills are needed. What can a hospital CMO do to extend his or her longevity and bring credibility to marketing?
There are actions healthcare CMOs can take to build trust and communications with their decision-makers. The 42-month time horizon can be segmented into a pre- and post-launch road map.
Create a marketing literacy game plan. Develop case studies of other healthcare brands explaining their campaign strategies, long-term time horizons, and success metrics. Engage board members and C-level executives in discussions about required investments and results they can expect while educating them on marketing.
Develop a three-year business case with projected media budgets. Framing the conversation around market potential, the competitive share of market, the cost of patient acquisition, and how they align with projected revenue and growth rates will be more effective than relying on marketing buzzwords. Make an effort to include a diverse set of stakeholders in the discovery process.
Continue to merchandize the campaign after the launch. This keeps the initiative top of mind for decision-makers and prolongs the information flow before annual budget meetings. One way to deliver quick quantitative analysis between 30 and 40 days into the program is by conducting a field survey of healthcare pros. Report your findings to the CFO, CEO, and the board.
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In the three to four months post-launch, continue reporting on digital and social, including A/B test results, metrics for sentiment and engagement, and new patient appointments. Over the longer term, a pre-launch versus post-launch brand tracking analysis of key audience segments can provide greater insight.
There are multiple opportunities to bring marketing to the attention of healthcare decision-makers. Having marketers on the board increases shareholder return.
Joe Dessi is managing partner at Interplanetary.