I have a new benchmark for “exhausted but inspired,” which is how I felt after this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit in Orlando. Now that I’ve had time to consider the specific implications of this year’s sessions for healthcare marketing leaders, here are my key takeaways:
- Collectively, we in healthcare marketing are behind in the creation and operationalization of demand centers. Because many of us have historically relied on a relationship-based sales process, we’ve under-resourced key areas that would make our demand generation more efficient. Case in point: Of all the individuals I spoke with during Summit that represented healthcare organizations, most had not yet implemented and formalized the demand waterfall. So what are the key elements to getting our demand engines back on track? Building trust, collaborating with our sales partners and establishing common and consistent handoffs.
- To quote Jay Gaines, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions, organizations are guilty of putting “ridiculous” expectations on field marketing units. In most cases, overwhelmed healthcare marketers are too busy being PowerPoint gurus to do the strategic work we need our field teams to do. Instead of just letting them briefly lift their heads from day-to-day tasks, we must build their insights into strategic planning efforts. After all, we put them in the field so they could keep their fingers on the collective pulse of our clients.
- We take far too many “selfies,” says Marisa Kopec, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions. That is, our collateral and messaging concentrate on our products, not the challenges our clients are faced with. Because healthcare products and services are so complex, my hypothesis is that we feel pressure to get it all in a single product spec sheet – but that doesn’t mean our messaging is resonating with our audience.
- Many of us have underexplored teleprospecting as an integral part of our marketing process, and yet our sales teams are overwhelmed. As we continue to build strategic blueprints with our sales counterparts, constructing a teleprospecting “bridge” is worth considering.