“Pack it up, pack it in. Let me begin. I came here to win … but in healthcare marketing winning is harder than it looks!” Sound familiar? Sometimes getting the job done, among all of modern marketing’s competing priorities, struggles for budget, and buy-in can seem like you’re working in a house of pain.

If you saw us at HMPSS 2018, hopefully you noticed our #houseofHITpain board where we invited everyone to add their biggest healthcare marketing pains, share their most common struggles, and where we could all commiserate that we’re not alone in feeling these pains on the path to success. #thestruggleisreal y’all. But, if you didn’t get to participate, we hope to see you next year, because we learned a ton! But more importantly, we wanted to share some of the common themes we noticed, pains that marketers just like you are experiencing, in their job with hospitals and health systems of all sizes.

You’re the cream of the crop, you’ll rise to the top, but these are your most common issues:

  • Budget
    • Budgets are shrinking or expected to stretch further. You may have to choose to only execute on some of your goals or part of your strategy to move forward. Proof that your efforts positively affect the bottom line might free up some budget in the future. You’re going to have to answer - Which marketing activities directly contribute to revenue and what exactly is the revenue impact
  • Lack of time
    • Finding or making time to accomplish your goals is a struggle, along with money. You need extra hands, a clone, more time in the day, or just simply some help. Finding solutions that act like an extension of your team or help automate tasks and reporting could give you that precious gift of time. 
  • Competing priorities
    • What do you focus on first? Which fire deserves your biggest bucket of water? This ties right into your needs for time and budget. When everything is a priority, how can anything get your focus? Here are 4 questions I implore you, at a minimum, to ask when starting your next service line campaign:
    • Do data analytics support a digital campaign opportunity?
    • What is the payer mix today and what’s needed for this to be successful?
    • Is there access to whatever we’re supporting?
    • WHAT IS THE GOAL # SURGERIES/ENCOUNTERS?
  • Data – integration of, access to, ease of use, real-time updates
    • The data is there, but does it talk to data from other systems? How long do you have to wait to see the data that shows your campaigns are working? Can you easily view what you have and glean the insights you need to make smart decisions? Does your data help you tell a story about what you need to do, what’s working, and where your focus could make the biggest impact? This isn’t a problem that’s going away – it’s only getting bigger as more and more data sources come online. Evaluating your data sources and tools for how they solve these problems could be one of the most important tools in your arsenal.
  • Proving ROI
    • In healthcare, there isn’t one simple formula for proving your marketing efforts drive revenue. Long lead times, complicated payment models, and a lack of true data insights make showing meaningful ROI difficult. If you can find a solution to help you track leads across multiple channels and manage consumers throughout their entire journey – from a first encounter with an HRA on Facebook, to a seminar signup on your website, to a scheduled appointment, and all the way to payment – showing ROI will be much easier.
  • Credibility
    • This one is tricky, because it involves making a case for yourself and for your own expertise. - often to people who think marketing is just “pretty pictures” people. The most common language you share with your c-suite is DATA. We’re not the group that only has unbelievable, hyperbolic results. But to that end, marketing data MUST ALWAYS be credible.
    • If you can get to the ROI story, you’ll have data to explain what you do and prove you and your team’s worth to any non-digital or non-marketing people.
  • Getting doctors on board with tools and strategy
    • Just like other internal stakeholders, physicians want proof that something will work or benefit them. You’ll need to get physician buy-in before they agree to use a new tool, share information you need to market their services, or invest in a local search strategy that will make a difference to them. Data and ROI will help here as well, along with some good, old-fashioned buttering up.

Clearly, the road ahead is challenging, but we believe the right tools and services can help ease the majority of these pains, giving you an extension of your time, team, and expertise. Want to learn more about building a business case for getting the help you need? Check out these chapters from our guides to CRM and CMS, or view our Sample RFPs.

Have a healthcare marketing pain you’d like to add to the list? Tweet us @InfluenceHlth with the hashtag #houseofHITpain.