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HCIC 2020 Presentation: Crushing The Competition Through Media Ownership

December 16, 2020
Health System, Healthcare, Healthcare Marketing, healthcare marketing trends

This November, BPD CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, Jason Brown, had the opportunity to co-present at the annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC), which like most events in 2020 went virtual and was referred to #HCIC2020atHome.

Jason teamed up with longtime agency client, Sharon Line Clary, Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Communications, AdventHealth, for a session on “The Power of Media Ownership,” which was dedicated to helping health systems around the country understand this approach and learn how to apply it in order to achieve dramatic results.

Thank you to Greystone for organizing and inviting us to participate in this leading healthcare marketing conference. We look forward to participating and hopefully seeing everyone in person for HCIC2021.

Here are highlights and key takeaways from the presentation, Crushing The Competition Through Media Ownership.

How we can, in these amazing times, better compete in our marketplaces through media strategy; to be more accountable for your dollars, get better results, recapture pre-COVID-19 volumes, and push back against hyper-competition.  Let’s examine a few myths…and dispel those myths with some new strategies. And then we’ll look at three key considerations for winning in 2021 and beyond. We’ll really dig into the concept of Media Ownership. We’ll give you a new way to think through challenges. And then we’ll recap it all.

Dispelling Myths

Myth 1: Media should be a well-balanced mix. We want to have a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit this. And if you could achieve that perfect balance, you would get great results.

Better Strategy: Go all-in on what works. When you go all in, you can’t spread across all of the different channels these days. You have to really zero in and target on what works. We call this media ownership.

Myth 2:  The C-suite cares about all our amazing marketing KPIs.

Better Strategy: We have to change our vernacular from marketing speak to really a metrics-based business speak.CEOs don’t really respond to marketing-talk, nor care that much about all that data we’re able to track today. Bottomline, they want to know how we are a growth engine for them. They want volumes. They want market share—revenue through the doors. Making this pivot is how we will be taken more seriously.

Myth 3: Marketing is overhead; a cost center.

Better Strategy: Marketing should be in the room when strategies are crafted. We’re at a pivotal time in healthcare marketing, with so much disruption in our space. As marketers, we can position ourselves right next to that CEO or that operations partner and really bring value that they haven’t seen before. They’re craving ideas and solutions to increase revenue.

Winning in 2021 and Beyond: Understanding A Changed Mindset

To win moving forward, we’re really going to have to be able to view the world through three lenses. Whatever level of marketing you are, whether you’re traditional or digital, we share the same lenses that you need to look through.

Lens 1: The empowered consumer. The healthcare consumer is more empowered and eventually they will drive the majority of the spend. Before COVID-19, the best data we had indicated that consumers controlled or drove about 30% to 40% of healthcare spend. Likely, that number will rise or potentially even be a majority.

Lens 2: The wary consumer. The consumer is more reluctant today than they were six months ago to engage with healthcare. Every single one of us is living with some degree of fear in our lives. There’s a lot of unrest in the world that all bubbles down to all aspects of your life. How long will this last? What will the lingering effects be? How are we going to connect with a consumer that’s more reluctant to engage in our type of healthcare system?

Lens 3: A more open-minded CEO. With all the new variables we are contending with, the huge positive is that CEOs and others in the C-suite are asking for market-moving ideas.They are now more receptiveto listening to marketing,and candidly all areas of theorganization that could come up with answers to their pain points.

Media Ownership

So let’s talk about how our media approach will need to change in this new world. Consider: If you go into most run-of-the-mill restaurants, the menus are usually pretty extensive. If you go into a high-end restaurant with world-class chefs, the menu is always very small. It’s one page. We do just these things great.

Less is so much more. You can do it better. You can really make an impact.

So media ownership essentially means we don’t need balance. We don’t need a big media mix. We don’t have to be great everywhere.

Media ownership is saying, you know what? I’m going to go all in on a few places, whatever I can afford to do amazingly well. And that’s what really gives your campaigns, your media approaches, a sort of exponential viral effect.

Do you ever look out in your marketplace, or in your regular life, and a brand seems to be everywhere? I promise you that brand is probably practicing media ownership. They seem to be everywhere you are because you are in a media channel where they have ownership.

So media ownership is not just about buying out media. No healthcare system in the country can just afford to buy all media in their marketplace. That’s not reality. You can establish media ownership in a lot of different ways.

You can go into a marketplace and say you know what? We’re going to be dominant in billboards.

Or you know what? We’re going to be dominant in a specific digital channel.

Or you know what? We’re going to own this specific geography for all of our consumers.

Or a specific time slot.

Or it could even be a content type.

That is what media ownership is.

But think about it simply; instead of trying to balance yourself out by doing 10 different things, do two or three things really well.

That’s what moves the needle.

When in doubt…

There’s a tendency to get in your own head sometimes strategically, and we have a saying that has worked for us almost every single time. If you’re in a tough spot and everything else seems to not be working, we have a very simple solution. Ask yourselves, “What would the competition least like to see us do?”

And then go and do it.

This helps you reframe and really direct your priorities very quickly. And so you could put aside the things you want to do for the things you really need to do that will be market- making. This has led to some of the best strategies that we’ve ever had.

Key Takeaways

Balance is an illusion. You just need to have the courage to go all in on a few places that you could really own that meets your consumers where they’re at. It’s different and might feel uncomfortable the first time, but this is what works and is actually more fiscally responsible.

Speak business if you want to have more success. You want to be a growth engine? Not only do you have to act like that, you have to speak like that. Historically, we haven’t done a good enough job as marketers. We need to sell marketing as a new paradigm in some instances. Not as overhead, not as a cost center, but as a real growth engine.

Take the time to understand the modern healthcare consumer. Really understand how they’re changing, what they’re feeling, what their needs are, where their pain points are, and understand how where the media intersection comes in. And then zoom in.

Practice media ownership. While always effective, it’s especially important in the current landscape. The old ways don’t work anymore. The consumer has changed. The market has changed. And marketers must change as well.

And then lastly, when in doubt, do the opposite of what the competition wants you to do. Ask that question: What would my competition not want me to do? And then go and do it in that space.

There are no final solutions in our business, but the concept of A, strategically, if you get lost, figure out what the competition doesn’t want you to do and go do it, and B, start practicing media ownership, which will help you pull away from the competition.

It will lead you to spend dollars more wisely, generating a greater return on investment than you’ve seen before.

Take it to your teams; practicing it, living it, and improving on it. And then report back to us!

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