Posted By Mercury Healthcare (formerly Healthgrades) on 10/20/2020

4 Strategies for Healthcare Marketers to Prove Value to the C-Suite

4 Strategies for Healthcare Marketers to Prove Value to the C-Suite

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing segments in the world of digital data, boasting a growth of 48 percent year-over-year. As the value of data comes to the forefront for consumer acquisition and patient engagement, it’s important to learn not only how to understand and analyze data, but also know how to communicate the meaning of data. This is especially important when presenting to C-suite executives.

Unfortunately, the majority of healthcare organizations today struggle with analyzing and presenting data effectively. Take advantage of metrics captured with a healthcare CRM combined with cross-departmental data, to get a complete view of how patients interact with your organization.

With strong communication and a data-backed strategy, most hospital partners working with us average 7:1 ROI on contribution margin with a 25%+ improvement in commercial mix and more than a 36% improvement in new patient retention.

Effectively communicating data insights and results to senior executives is critical to generating alignment for future campaigns. Healthcare marketers will be more successful at justifying the investment and establishing their department as a revenue-driver by taking a data-driven approach. Let’s take a look at four key strategies to establish value:

1. Less vanity metrics – more financial metrics

To get buy-in from C-level executives, it’s essential to communicate exactly how marketing performance correlates to financial success at a high level. Don’t spend time informing executives about menial metrics like open rates or click-throughs. Instead, focus on how these metrics relate to the business' overall financial performance – otherwise, upper level management may fail to ascertain how your campaigns impact their bottom line. 

In addition, marketers must focus on presenting information in a way that’s simple to understand. Since translating click-throughs to ROI can be a bit complicated, consider visualizing the data using a reporting dashboard with a customizable interface. Keep the design streamlined and focused on key takeaways so executives clearly understand results.

2. Ongoing performance objectives

Before a campaign even begins, set objectives and KPIs. Once these objectives and key marketing metrics are outlined, measure and communicate progress towards these goals. Be sure to clearly show progress on at least a quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year basis. Again, use data visualization to clearly showcase growth over time.

Along with measuring successes, it’s equally as important for marketers to identify and evaluate potential setbacks. In today’s dynamic marketing environment, our failures often teach us more than our successes. Establishing a culture of failing fast is important. By leveraging a healthcare CRM that summarizes and centralizes these insights in real-time, marketers can quickly evaluate where successes can be elevated, and failures corrected.

Whether executing marketing campaigns with your internal team, or working with a marketing services agency, ongoing optimizations based on data should be table stakes. These four strategies will help you make the most of your healthcare marketing budget.


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3. Lead insights and analytics

While it’s important to convey campaign results, it’s equally important to communicate how your most valuable leads enter the care funnel. Identify which channel acts as an effective first touch – is it social media, paid advertisements, or your call center? Then, determine which channels actually contribute to conversions and encounters. With this analysis, deploy a light, experimental budget to the proper channels and tactics.

When identifying valuable leads, keep payer-mix in mind. Identify and report on the volume of commercially insured leads and patients compared to those with Medicare and Medicaid. This analysis further demonstrates the quality of marketing’s impact on the bottom line.

The key is to establish the marketing department as an investment center, not a cost center.

Before meeting with senior executives, anticipate which metrics they will be most interested in. Typically, the C-suite is interested in the lead breakdown by region, conversion rate, and payments received versus media investments (ROI). This helps your team measure marketing effectiveness and ensures every conversion is captured. Check out some of the metrics other health systems share.

4. Investment vs. return on investment

When a hospital spends money on media exposure and other activities, it’s crucial to show what the hospital will receive in return. To illustrate this, create a comparison between the average quarterly investment versus the number of campaigns, then highlight the campaigns with the most return on investment.

To get a full picture of what is driving marketing’s ROI, consider the following key metrics:

  • Total leads versus target leads – and current percent to goal

  • Clinical conversions from leads

  • New patient conversion figures

  • Cost per acquisition

When beginning this process, loop in the finance team. They will have invaluable insights into how the organization measures ROI (net patient revenue, total payments, contribution margin, etc.), as well as the ability to help vet the results. The importance of having the finance team involved throughout this process cannot be overstated. Skipping this step could have a disastrous effect on the credibility of your results. 

Final thoughts

Ensure that the data presented is sourced from a range of departments - including IT, finance, and the contact center. By comprehensively analyzing disparate sources of data, marketers can effectively communicate and report on holistic campaign performance. 

Beyond performance reporting, marketing also proves its value by recommending the future focus and growth opportunities. Let’s say you’re running marketing campaigns in support of pre-established organizational goals and you’re meeting with the executive team to communicate key findings and results. With the right business intelligence insights, your team will be better equipped to analyze market dynamics and recommend opportunities for additional growth. 

Similarly, marketing has the opportunity to drive operational efficiency. Should conversations suddenly fall below the organizational benchmark, the marketing team has two choices: turn the campaign off (as to not waste budget) or explore the underlying cause. If there's a sudden drop in conversation rates, there are likely capacity and access issues that should be addressed. These real-time insights introduce marketing into new territory, and lead marketers to a bigger strategic role.

Ultimately, this sort of forward-thinking analysis proves to the C-Suite that marketing is a strategic revenue driver.

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