Human resources (HR) managers at hospitals have a ton of weight on their shoulders.
Their recruiting efforts and hiring decisions will affect teams across their organization. Logically, HR managers would only want to bring in the best – the most qualified – talent.
This is where HR managers, or whoever makes the hiring decisions, should highly consider outsourcing their marketing team.
I’m not saying that the CMO you’ve had your eyes on isn’t qualified, she is. I’m talking about the team that will work with her in the marketing department of your hospital.
An in-house marketing team can be extremely useful.
However, a team that actually produces results that matter to your hospital usually calls for mid-six-figure salaries. And, they aren’t as efficient as healthcare marketing agencies. These agencies manage ad spend on a regular basis, two bases ahead of any internal marketing research you will ever conduct.
A good agency is focused on what’s working today, and where the attention of potential patients is today.
How can we provide more value to existing patients at this hospital? Why do patients choose the competitor hospital when they live next to this one? Why isn’t there an easier way for patients to access information about this hospital?
These are all questions a marketing agency that specializes in hospitals will be asking, 365 days a year. They are a part of your hospital’s team, not just another vendor you deal with.
Outsourced is Probably the Wrong Word
Despite the name, the goal of your outsourced marketing department is to feel like anything but outsourced.
Your hospital has a mission, values, traits, and goals that make it unique. Your agency molds itself to fit those with a pre-existing knowledge of how to achieve success alongside those variables.
If an agency you have been considering doesn’t want to build from the inside out and wants you to do the opposite— run. Save yourself the inevitable headache.
What does “building from the inside out” mean?
Well, it’s likely that your hospital already has a pre-existing meeting agenda, a set of goals, and values. The agency is there to create marketing campaigns around how unique your care is, not around what they think it should be.
That is building from the inside out. That is how your “outsourced” marketing partner will feel not outsourced.
Again, to reiterate.
A good agency will align with the following:
- Your Values
- Your Traits
- Your Goals
Your hospital’s uniqueness is what will create unique marketing campaigns
The Best Hiring Decision You Can Make
Every hospital is different. Bringing in a marketing partner is a big decision. It is usually an idea run by the CFO, CMO, CEO, and anyone else that is affected by marketing (which is everyone), as it should be. This isn’t just for your hospital’s HR managers and directors to decide.
Great marketing builds brand equity and achieves sought after business outcomes for your hospital. These affect everyone.
So bringing everyone in on the decision to hire a marketing partner is essential.
Creating concepts and creatives, drafting, producing, media planning, and marketing development are all areas that continuously evolve. There are experts within agencies that stay ahead of those curves.
Those experts understand patient communication, they see that your hospital has unique needs, and they know that trying to build in-house marketing teams is one of your growing vulnerabilities.
I’m not here reciting the benefits of outsourcing your marketing to make the hospitals that already do it look superior. I’m saying that it’s a practical decision.
The problem is that most in-house marketing teams and hospitals have a romantic view of yesterday. To them, it’s all about the marketing techniques that worked for their hospital yesterday: television, print, outdoor. These forms of media just don’t cut it anymore.
It’s not always the marketing department’s fault that their budget isn’t spent properly, they aren’t always the ones making the call. Sometimes it’s the CFO who controls what the budget can be set on (don’t be that CFO that lives in their own head).
An agency is different. They work on platforms where the attention of every patient lives: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. They use paid media possibilities and analyze how you can take a physician no one has ever heard of and make him the most booked in your city.
The agency can create a contextual video for your hospital, get 25,000+ people in your city to see it, then retarget people who watched 2-3 minutes of that video with a call to action.
Have those people in your sales funnel or email list. Or, better yet they create an appointment and choose your hospital the next time they need it most.
That’s what good healthcare marketing is all about, being there for patients.
So, if and when you decide to outsource your hospital’s marketing efforts, consider a healthcare agency that relays your message and goals on platforms where attention lives. Choose one that doesn’t romanticize yesterday, but one that is built for now.
by Joseph Lucero
Director and Founder of Belmar Health