Introducing: Healthcare Idea Email from Hammock | Like Hammock Inc.’s popular Idea Email, the new Healthcare Idea Email briefly explores one topic, every other week. Learn more about the new Healthcare Idea Email at the bottom of the page.

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Idea: Thought Leadership: I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Often in a first meeting, I sit with a pad and a pen, listening and taking notes. Paging back through my notes, two words emerge from first conversations with healthcare business-to-business marketers more than any other: “thought leadership.”

Marketing to healthcare providers—which might have the entire C-suite of a hospital involved in a purchasing decision over the course of a sales cycle—means trying to compete with a lot of other voices. Thought leadership appeals to marketers who want to transcend a product-centered message (“let me tell you about the features of our product”) and cut through the noise to connect with their prospects.

It’s a worthy goal, to be sure, but what does thought leadership mean? To borrow a quote from the classic film, “Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Here’s what thought leadership doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean a blog post written by your CEO. It doesn’t mean filling your website with a certain amount of content and then moving on to the next sales and marketing priority.

What Being a Healthcare Thought Leader Means: Before the creation of the web and blog posts, “thought leader” was a term reserved for consultants, analysts and academics whose jobs focused entirely on researching one topic, analyzing the data of that research and using it to provide their audience with actionable insights given the context of the topic.

You likely have a thought leader in your organization. But they may not be in the C-Suite. They are likely an expert on a very narrow topic they’ve studied for decades. They are already asked to appear on industry panels and regularly have papers accepted to professional journals. Rather than attempting to create or package up someone you’d like to be a thought leader, it’s time to support your existing thought leaders with better tools and support that help them reach the wider audiences they—and your company—deserve.






Photo: Thinkstock

About the new Healthcare Idea Email |
As our popular Idea Email has a large number of healthcare marketers who subscribe, it did not surprise us that the No. 1 request we’ve received is to “offer more ideas about healthcare.” So we have. In addition to Idea Email, on other weeks you can receive the Healthcare Idea Email that is focused exclusively on healthcare-related marketing, media and content trends and topics. You can visit the Healthcare Idea Email archive and subscribe for your own copy here.