Welcome healthcare marketers to 2013! What will you be doing this year?


Goodbye 2012; thanks for the healthcare marketing memories.

It’s that time of the year again. But before we look in the crystal ball to see what 2013 holds in store for healthcare marketing executives, I wanted to reflect briefly on the issues that kept our healthcare clients busy this past twelve months.  A quick poll of our consultants found that three major themes dominated marketing officers’ agendas in 2012.

First and foremost, many marketers spent this past year addressing new competitive dynamics.  Reform mandates are driving fundamental changes to payment models, care processes and delivery system structures.  Consolidation and alignment among health systems, hospitals, physician groups and post acute care providers are on the rise.  Health systems are adjusting cost structures and developing the means to go at risk for cost and clinical outcomes.

Secondly, marketers found themselves under increasing pressure to produce short term financial results by building volume for core clinical programs and improving bottom line performance through payor mix optimization.  Marketers had to become more strategic, develop a strong P&L mindset, and create greater ownership and co-accountability with operations for marketing, service delivery and performance outcomes.

The third theme that kept our clients busy this past year was transformation of marketing practice driven by web, social, search and mobile technologies. Digital technologies are revolutionizing business processes everywhere – and fundamentally changing the way patients and providers interact.  More than ever, patients are seeking healthcare information, sharing experiences and selecting treatments and providers online.  The scope and pace of change is daunting to many organizations, and will continue to be a dominating theme in 2013.

Hello 2013.  Buckle your seat belts, it’s going to be a wild ride.

So here’s our quick list of the coming year’s hot topics for healthcare CMOs.

  • Restructuring to build future-ready, high-performing marketing organizations
  • Developing new skills in revenue generation, digital marketing and  business analytics
  • Transitioning from dependency on traditional mass media to targeted digital marketing
  • Building competencies in ambulatory, post acute and retail marketing
  • Brand positioning and differentiation, with a new emphasis on internal brand alignment
  • Brand building across physical and virtual environments
  • Integrating and optimizing social engagement, SEO/SEM, and content marketing
  • Partnering with operations and service line leaders for strategic business growth
  • Developing competencies in physician and medical group marketing and branding
  • Investing in CRM; and optimizing investments in CRM (e.g., new skills)
  • Assessing the impact of corporate expansion and restructuring on the marketing business model (e.g., corporate vs. local roles, accountabilities, capabilities and services, etc.)
  • Marketing resource allocation modeling; measuring and reporting marketing ROI

In future posts, we’ll share additional thoughts about marketing trends, opportunities and challenges for the New Year.  What are your priorities for 2013?

1 Comment

Filed under Marketing Management, Trends in Marketing

One response to “Welcome healthcare marketers to 2013! What will you be doing this year?

  1. As usual, Karen, you hit the nail on the head! We all have a big job ahead in 2013.

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