Hospital Stakeholders Aren't All Marketers, But They All Believe in Science (Part 1)

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Hospital stakeholders aren’t necessarily marketers, but marketing is inherent to the growth of their organization. When planning an advertising budget becomes more objective and scientific it’s easier to align cross functional stakeholders and ensure that marketing is a business driver vs. a cost of doing business.

Marketing Mix Modelling (MMM) is an established tool across a broad range of industries. It is used to quantify the impact of marketing activity and then to use this learning to improve the efficiency of future spend, to forecast, and to identify the optimal support plan.

MMM in Hospitals

What’s newer is the application within a hospital system. Adopting new methodologies within any institution is not a small feat, and hospitals are no exception. Winning stakeholder buy-in to perform the analysis , while not always easy, pays off in the end because it improves stake holder buy in for future media spending.

Hospital stakeholders account for a wide range of interests, investments and expectations. Their long list of responsibilities and values can include compassion, social responsibility, quality of life, community service and of course, a strong belief in science.

But effective marketing requires the use of science. To develop a data driven marketing plan one must identify the intended outcome, such as to drive patient inquiries or procedure volumes and then to objectively estimate what drives these outcomes, which in nearly all cases will include the marketing activity - advertising, public relations, and sponsorships are all measures that influence how a hospital can reach prospective patients and these relationships can be objectively measured.

Quantify business impact

Marketing Mix Modeling is an embodiment of this science. It involves the process of harnessing patient data and quantifying the business impact of each marketing initiative. Much like science, modeling is deeply analytical.

Modeling helps marketers find evidence-backed answers to important business questions about goals setting, timeline and budget - questions that are relevant to any stakeholder. Realizing business goals is a complicated, necessary, and multi-faceted objective for most hospitals. In addition to fundamental business needs, hospitals must also consider patient privacy and responsible use of data, unique measures of success, and spending constraints on research and investments.

Implementing MMM at a regional hospital

ScanmarQED has been down the road of implementing an MMM strategy within an integrated healthcare system. Our software tools allow the option for our clients to either perform their own analysis or be assisted by our team of experts. For the last several years, a regional hospital system has used our platform to better understand their marketing activity and make smarter investment decisions that drove growth. In 2018 our Managed Services Team helped a leading mid-western hospital with the initial implementation and is now transitioning parts of the work to be an internal capability. The MMM helps these hospital networks understand exactly how marketing and communications activities contributed to patient volume. Those insights inform decisions on how each facility should spend their marketing dollars, what media channel they should focus on and how they should craft their messaging. Not only does this process increase the ROI (return on investment) of each marketing dollar, but it aligns stakeholder interests with the hospital’s overall marketing objectives.

In both cases the hospitals saw remarkable return on their investment in the measurement technology itself. They put in the work to align stakeholders, identify their goals, gather data, and made a commitment to data-driven marketing planning. And although their struggle was a familiar one, their success should not be the exception.