How Healthcare Marketing and Planning Teams Can Prove Their Value

How Healthcare Marketing and Planning Teams Can Prove Their Value

Become Your Own Best Advocate with Trackable, Data-Based Reporting

By Jennifer Keller

As with any area in business, marketers and strategic planners must be able to prove the value of their work to leadership. Yet with their reputation as a cost center, these teams feel more pressure to demonstrate positive financial impact. Essentially, marketers and planners must be adept at marketing their own achievements if they want to gain approval for new initiatives and see their budgets grow year over year. This is particularly true in healthcare, where budgets are tightening and facing closer scrutiny.

In this post, we’ll discuss tools and strategies that healthcare marketers and planners can employ to show they are valuable contributors to growth. We’ll also cover some real-world examples of teams facing common challenges finding success, proving their worth, and driving growth. Let’s dig into two key ways to make your team indispensable.

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1. Leverage Tapestry Segmentation for Customized, Trackable Marketing Outreach 

Like many other marketing directors, Kelly Meigs of Georgia-based Tanner Health System is often faced with the task of doing more with less while also proving the value of the work she’s producing. “The days of spending marketing money and executing plans that don’t have a reliable measurement system are gone. Marketing teams need fast, reliable, and in-depth information about potential customers in order to build outreach campaigns that have the highest probability of a favorable ROI and that meet specific annual goals,” says Meigs, Tanner’s Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Planning.

Stratasan’s in-depth Micro-Targeting Report, which provides psychographic and demographic information by block group, has opened a whole new world of insights for Meigs—allowing her to track campaign results at a level that was never before possible. Block group analysis alongside Tapestry segmentation—which shows the buying habits, out-migration, and lifestyle choices of her customers—provide critical insights that have equipped her to make decisions based on reliable data. As Kelly puts it, these insights have “modernized Tanner’s approach to market growth.” Tapestry segmentation allows for very targeted marketing outreach and more effective awareness campaigns for specific service lines. With such targeted outreach, marketers can more effectively track what’s working and what didn’t connect. 

Kelly reports that she can deliver concrete, trackable results of her marketing efforts to her leadership. Armed with these results, she can promote the successes of her team and expand her marketing resources.

 

2. Ditch Excel and Start Visualizing Your Strategic Planning Results

For many years, the strategic planning team a Lexington Medical Center (LMC) faced an all-too-common problem. They were working solely with Excel to compile and measure market data. In spite of their best efforts at data-based planning, they were constantly struggling due to their ineffective system. Their process was manual and tedious, and they had no way to visualize their data. Without visualizations, it was difficult to identify market shifts, fluctuations, and opportunities, much less track their outreach and measure results.

Another concern was their data source. They relied on canned reports from the state, which they exported to large Excel files. They were often working from a twenty-page Excel spreadsheet, trying to clean and condense it to be more usable. After manually filtering and processing their data—a time-consuming exercise with high potential for error—they would share findings with their executive team. When new data was released quarterly, they found themselves repeating this process of data cleaning once again. It seemed as soon as they got one-quarter ready for review, it was time to work on the next. The more they did this, the more they recognized the inadequacies of their process.

The more we talk to new and potential partners, the more common the LMC story seems to be. Strategic planning teams are consumed by data crunching and analysis. They long to be more efficient and need to be able to track their results in order to prove value. But their attempts at growth are slowed, if not inhibited altogether, by lack of tools and resources that would enable them to be more effective.

LMC partnered with Stratasan—gaining access to the visual intelligence platform Launch Pathway—in May 2017. For the first time, they were able to visualize their data and identify trends. With Launch Pathway, the LMC team could clearly see where volume was increasing or decreasing and what service lines were being utilized. Launch Pathway removed the roadblocks created by data crunching in Excel and allowed LMC to progress to the more high-value work of growth strategy and planning. The Stratasan team also helped LMC gain access to their entire state dataset, enabling them to broaden their scope of analysis. 

The visualizations available with Launch Pathway combined with more in-depth access to data has opened them to a level of insight that would have been impossible for their two-person team to achieve using their former Excel setup. Even more exciting, this data-based approach is paying off. LMC has seen market share growth over the last three years—from 55.6 percent up to 58.5 percent.

 

The Takeaway

It’s arguable that healthcare marketing and planning teams are under more pressure to prove the value of their work than any other team. The capital required to support these groups can quickly come into question if their work is not backed up by data-based, trackable results. Don’t let your team fall victim to cuts because you’re not equipped to demonstrate how your efforts are paying off and driving growth. Schedule a discovery call today and find out how Stratasan’s software and services can inform your marketing and empower your growth.

Article by Jennifer Keller, Director, Creative Marketing Services at Stratasan

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