The healthcare marketing challenge consists of 8 steps

The healthcare marketing challenge consists of 8 steps

As healthcare marketing professionals, we notice that more and more administrators in the healthcare sector are of the opinion that marketing is badly needed. Investing in marketing means investing in the future, in the existence of your organization and in the added value you provide to all parties involved.

Continuous tuning process

There are many marketing definitions in circulation, resulting in Babylonian confusion of tongues. If we follow the developments in marketing science and healthcare, marketing can be defined as follows:

“Marketing is a continuous tuning process in which an organization continuously tries to adapt its offer to the (changing) demand from the market and the (changing) needs of customers (care recipients, referrers, care purchasers). The more turbulent the environment and the more dynamic the market, the more important this alignment process is.”

Marketing is thus an organization-wide coordination process between outside and inside. What is going on in the market and what is going on with customers? What opportunities and threats loom? Which changes should we anticipate in what way and which signals should we respond to in what way?

According to this definition, marketing is not so much a department or position, but a business competence for market-oriented and customer-oriented business in the broadest sense. This business competence therefore comprises four essential building blocks, namely marketing, communication, sales and care and services. Marketing is not something from there, but from all of us, because everyone is a marketer. From top to shop floor.

Market and customer driven

The healthcare organization of the future has an external view and is extremely market and customer driven.
They are strategically agile, work customer-driven, take the lead in networking and cooperation and form a platform for customers, employees and stakeholders, making smart use of new technological possibilities.

Marketing is a critical success factor in this. Based on this vision, Digital Ananth has formulated a marketing challenge for administrators, directors, managers and marketing and communication professionals in healthcare, to jointly increase the market orientation, customer orientation and innovative capacity of healthcare.

Eight steps that make a difference

The healthcare marketing challenge consists of the following eight steps:

  1. Develop a marketing vision.
  2. Provide a structured marketing approach, with goals and (annual) plan.
  3. Make the role/tasks of marketing clear to the organization.
  4. Ensure direct representation of ‘marketing’ in board and management team.
  5. Involve marketing proactively in policy, strategy and development.
  6. Give more priority to ‘customer’ and ‘innovation’ activities.
  7. Organize structural consultation between marketing, communication, sales, service and care.
  8. Free up more time, capacity and budget for the marketing organization and activities.

Integrated multidisciplinary approach

Successful entrepreneurship is only possible with an integrated multidisciplinary approach in which all the required knowledge and skills are cleverly deployed, including marketing. This is in line with the trends of integrated management and self-organization in healthcare. In the most ideal situation, market-oriented and customer-oriented thinking and working are in the DNA of the organization. In practice, this is often not or insufficiently the case.

Marketing can then play a crucial role. Not only because marketing is a profession in its own right, but also because it is precisely in these rapidly changing times that marketing can act as a driver, coordinator and implementer at all levels of the organization for everything that has to do with market and customer-oriented thinking. The result will be there, because the more market and customer-oriented organizations are, the more successful they are.


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