By John Lavey

If you’re like me these days, you’re constantly refreshing Twitter for the very latest news updates on healthcare legislation. Trying to stay current on events I can’t control is making me crazy.

However, a Forbes article this week made me pause and take a bigger perspective of the challenges that face us as healthcare marketers in the days, months and years to come. I found the context helpful to orient me toward things I can change.

So pulling back to more than 30,000 feet, here’s the view: The demographic, technological and legislative shifts that are shaping healthcare in the United States are not unique to our country. These shifts are happening all around the world.

By 2060, the number of Americans age 65 or older is projected to double, which is meaningful to healthcare as this demographic consumes 30–40 percent of healthcare resources. These demographic shifts are even more dramatic in countries like Japan, Germany and South Korea.

How do we respond? Steven Weultjes, founder of Sydney, Australia-based Cura Digital Agency, says it’s critical for healthcare companies to start by examining where their business delivers value, which provides the context of marketing efforts. Ask these questions:

  1. What data tell a relevant story about who your customers are? What data will show how well you deliver on your value proposition?
  2. What systems are needed to execute the value proposition?
  3. What people does the organization partner with?
  4. What processes does the organization have for generating revenue and managing costs?

Weultjes notes that healthcare providers should value their business as the “total value of their customers.” Marketing should add value in three ways:

  1. By helping acquire customers
  2. By increasing loyalty or affinity of existing customers
  3. By helping retain customers

How aligned is your business’ value with your marketing efforts? Need a hand?


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