Marketing in today’s contemporary healthcare space is a complex endeavour. With so many pressures on both brands and budgets, marketers aren’t only challenged to understand all of the new emerging approaches to marketing, but how to extract value from all of them. Often questions like “What does good look like?” and “How do I know my brand is achieving that?” are asked.
One thing is certain in this increasingly complex marketing environment, a new reality exists where you really can have it all (better, faster, and cheaper) at the same time, while generating brilliant innovation and producing results as a marketer of the future.
So, what do you need to achieve success? Here are some considerations to get you started:
1. Curiosity is Key—Challenge the Status Quo
Challenging the status quo requires a natural curiosity to seek out knowledge and stay on top of this new world. Ensuring that your partners do the same is critical. Do they serve as “marketing mentors,” who help you keep up with what’s new and important versus what’s simply cool, trendy, or just a fad? Do they know how to leverage and adapt emerging technologies and platforms and assess what’s working well and what’s not?
Today’s marketing evolution demands that you stay on top of the ever-evolving possibilities. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, and those with a natural curiosity to explore and understand these new possibilities will be the ones that advance their brands with greater success.
2. Constantly Drive for Efficiency and Effectiveness
And not by a little—by a lot!
One way to recognize efficiency is by observing how your marketing initiatives are developed and examining whether they incorporate smart, new ways of working. When ideating and testing new concepts, for instance, are you taking advantage of industry and HCP expert input, ideation workshops, internal hack-a-thons and creative crowdsourcing?
It’s now possible to produce prototype solutions with rapid cycles of iterative testing that efficiently maneuver ideas from ideation to final production allowing for iterative changes along the journey as needed, potentially saving thousands of dollars along the way.
Ask yourself how you and your partners are finding efficiencies? Are you utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive efficiency into the process naturally, or is the efficiency initiative something that folks scramble to prove every year or so?
It’s a brave new world and you’ll recognize it when you see it. Those who have a passion for constantly driving efficiency have it woven into the very fabric of the way they do business.
3. Put Your Customer at the Center of Your Initiatives
Keep your customer at the center of everything you do. If you find yourself being seduced by the latest cool tactic, stop and ask yourself how it benefits or communicates with your customer. Move from a brand-centric approach to a customer-centric one, where the cool factor is generated from insights gathered from data analysis, cultural trends, expert input, and the experience of the target segment.
After all, we are marketing for the good of the patient—not for the wow factor of the latest cool gadget or initiative! And, we all know that today’s patients are more empowered and engaged than ever before. They know and appreciate brands that are working for their greater good.
4. Take an Ecosystem View of Your Marketing
Channel consumption trends have radically evolved in the last decade. Your audience is likely now digital-first, and the reality is that a large percentage of your budget is focused online. The options for reaching your target audience are now vast and sophisticated.
Today you must approach your marketing like a vast ecosystem. Similarly, you need to take an ecosystem approach to measurement and analytics to orchestrate its success. Measurement and analytics need to be core to your marketing budget and not an afterthought in order to truly accomplish this.
5. Look at the “Big Idea” as Measuring Success—Not Creative Genius
Marketing has significantly evolved from the days of having one “big idea” core to the advancement of a brand to one where actual ROI is required and is achieved through prioritization, measurement, optimization, and innovation. Today, the questions asked of you as a marketer and of the partners you work with are much more sophisticated.
Unfortunately, many continue to build brands using the same methodologies of 10, 15, even 20 years ago. They rest solely on big-idea excitement instead of on the real magic of integrating advanced technology, data, and analytics. Frankly, they are doing the brands on which they work a disservice.
The “big idea” of years gone by, simply represents the old ways of marketing. While the digital camera revolutionized picture taking, some still like and appreciate the nostalgia of film. And while there is a place for nostalgic marketing (I guess), I would argue that it is a competitive disadvantage in an era where you can creatively, strategically, and innovatively manage and build your brand in real time using on-demand technology, dynamic media, and automation platforms with advanced data and analytics.
There’s no doubt about it. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer and success will be captured by those who embrace the intersection of creativity, technology, platforms, and data powered by automation to build brands in real time for measurable results.