Are you ready for A New Healthcare Experience™?
Our point of view and our approach to healthcare brand development and marketing communications are rather unique in our business. To us, communications planning and marketing communications are inseparable from brand development. And vice versa. To be sustainably effective today requires more than just talking the talk. There has to be a strong connection among your mission, your vision, your strategic plan and your communications to all stakeholders and publics. There has to be a meaningful connection. There has to be real substance.
We call our approach to thinking on this issue A New Healthcare Experience™.
At the heart of our A New Healthcare Experience™ philosophy and approach is that brand development is really about defining and delivering on an experiential expectation. It’s about earning trust and living the brand and the brand promise every day. That’s particularly important in healthcare.
With brand development focused only outward—to the market—the brand becomes nothing more than a fragile facade, a balloon, easily punctured and deflated. At the same time, the outward is important for it represents your manageable opportunity to differentiate, persuade and shape the story.
Still, for brand development to be truly advantageous—profitable, valuable and sustainable—the brand development effort must permeate the organization and the experience to the core. The brand, that experiential expectation, must become indistinguishable from the very fabric and face of the organization itself.
Again, to be sustainably effective today requires more than just talking the talk. There has to be a strong connection among your mission, your vision, your strategic plan and your communications to all stakeholders and publics. There has to be a meaningful connection with your nurses, your physicians, your associates, your managers, your patients, your prospective patients, your referral chain, your donors and the community at large—every hospital employee, affiliate and stakeholder. There has to be real substance. It really is, and must be, A New Healthcare Experience™.
Critically, A New Healthcare Experience™ is not some stock program, not a one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf solution. Rather, A New Healthcare Experience™ is a way of looking at things—a considered process, a strategically driven framework and approach for applying strategic thought and communication to drive and effect brand development and improvement in condition.
In that process—from strategizing, planning and concepting, through development, through deployment, through measurement—effective, meaningful, strategic communication is absolutely imperative and key to the success of the process. Every physician, employee, affiliate and stakeholder must understand the promise and deliver on the experiential expectation, and to do that, there needs to be a leveraging of strategy and resources to create full engagement and commitment—top-down and bottom-up; inside-out and outside-in.
The core of A New Healthcare Experience™ is a communications framework designed to get the right information in the right hands at the right time. Broadly, it’s built on four inter-related and inter-dependent areas of focus, applicable to every communication you undertake, directed at four broad classes of stakeholder: Best Informed Patient™; Best Informed Physician™; Best Informed Employee™; and Best Informed Community™.
Importantly, because people are over loaded with information today, it’s important to determine and prioritize what strategic information each stakeholder group wants to know, what they need to know, what is expected or desired of them, and finally how best get that information to them efficiently and consistently. Additionally, to be effective communication requires more than mere transfer of information. It requires dialog. There are no cookie cutter solutions; rather the dynamics and situation of each organization must determine and drive the best fit and best practice.
While all media are fair game, depending on the message and delivery metrics, the power of face-to-face (direct word of mouth, viral communications, social media, Web 2.0, etc.) must not be under valued. The vision, described with passion and expressed with genuine evangelistic conviction, motivates more effectively than a thousand staff meetings or television commercials.
Further, the brand must be built on the back of valuable metrics, among them: patient visits, facility and service line utilization, patient satisfaction, employee engagement and profitability. Profitability? Yes. Ultimately, no matter how noble the mission or how enlightened the vision, no margin means no mission.
That thinking and opinion, that definition of, and delivery on, A New Healthcare Experience™, shapes our approach to brand development, communications planning and marketing communications execution for all of our healthcare clients.
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