In today’s economy, all of us are at risk for serious information overload. The typical consumer must now process more information in a day than people in the Middle Ages had to process in a lifetime. For healthcare marketers—who need to keep themselves abreast of technology trends, marketing trends, the latest ad campaigns, the Affordable Care Act, treatment breakthroughs and hundreds of client e-mails—the information flow each day feels like several lifetimes’ worth!
This onslaught of information consumes our attention at a relentless pace. Attention deficit is not a disorder for healthcare marketers; it is an occupational reality. Fortunately, there are a handful of powerful and simple ways to stay ahead of the information curve.
1. Results Rule the Day
Stephen Covey may have said it best: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” In order to win the battle over information overload, marketers need to stay constantly focused on the main thing, which is to reach patients and drive business results for the brand. In the midst of dozens of overlapping priorities, the number one priority always needs to be taking those actions which are going to drive valued brand results. A results-focused mindset helps to quickly prioritize between competing e-mails, competing meetings and competing projects.
2. The Serendipity Solution
When people are clearly focused on their “main thing” and know what they are looking for, flea markets, eBay and even Twitter feeds are all a constant source of inspiration, serendipity and surprise. This principle holds true whether you are trying to redesign your living room or your brand website—some of the best items are those found while you are out and about with your eyes wide open for “just the right thing.” Healthcare marketers who wade into the information stream with this sense of concentrated purpose and expectation will bring back countless treasures that can move the brand forward. There are countless ways to benchmark and incorporate the success of other campaigns in ways that are truly unique and powerful. Of course, the goal of benchmarking is not to lazily regurgitate and mimic what everyone else is doing—but instead, quickly gain inspiration from the best of the best, and then take things to a whole new level!
3. Do the Next Small Thing—Right Now!
Often times, one of the most debilitating symptoms of information overload is analysis paralysis: There is so much information coming in we simply don’t know what to do next, so we just keep gathering more information, and don’t actually do anything. The way to break this logjam is to get in the habit of always doing the next small thing. Vincent Van Gogh noted that, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Keep doing the small things that need doing, and marketing greatness will inevitably emerge. So, stop reading this article and go do the next small thing you need to do, and be sure to keep your main thing the main thing!