Career Advice for Entering Healthcare Marketing

by | Nov 28, 2018 | Healthcare Industry Insights

Healthcare marketing industry veterans offer up their best career advice for eager new faces entering the marketing world and looking to create big wins for their clients.

In case you missed the recent episode of the Health­care Rap pod­cast titled “What’s Your Best Career Advice for New Mar­keters,” we’ve curat­ed some of the most salient ideas for vet­er­ans and neo­phytes alike.

For those enter­ing the health­care mar­ket­ing indus­try for the first time, career advice from expe­ri­enced peers can help carve out a path to suc­cess. The excerpts below fea­ture some of our favorite quotes on pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, net­work­ing, and oth­er crit­i­cal skills for the mod­ern marketer.

Step Away from the Desk

“The heart of mar­ket­ing is build­ing rela­tion­ships and under­stand­ing peo­ple, not learn­ing the lat­est algo­rithm for Snapchat or Insta­gram or the best time of day to post some­thing on Face­book. It’s about build­ing rela­tion­ships not check­ing box­es, and you can only do that by get­ting out from behind your com­put­er screen and get­ting to know the peo­ple you’re serving—your cus­tomers and your col­leagues. Also, learn how to use both sides of your brain: the cre­ative and the data-dri­ven side. Mod­ern mar­ket­ing com­bines art and sci­ence so you can’t focus on one and ignore the other.”

—Jared John­son, Man­ag­er of Mar­ket­ing Tech­nol­o­gy and Ana­lyt­ics at Phoenix Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and Health­care Rap Co-Host (@jaredpiano)

Know Your Audience and Speak Their Language

“Any­thing I’ve ever done suc­cess­ful­ly in health­care mar­ket­ing came from face-to-face con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple. I’ve tak­en the time to reach out to doc­tors and oth­er stake­hold­ers, learn and syn­the­size what I’m hear­ing, and then trans­late those insights into mes­sag­ing that my audi­ence will ben­e­fit from. By tak­ing that approach and edu­cat­ing the pub­lic in terms that they can under­stand, you will make a con­nec­tion with the audience.”

—Peter Bal­istri­eri, Senior Brand Man­ag­er at Phoenix Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and Health­care Rap Co-Host (@mood481)

Seek Diverse Experiences

“Seek out career oppor­tu­ni­ties ear­ly on where you have a vari­ety of respon­si­bil­i­ties. It’s very easy to get pigeon­holed in today’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing world where more and more peo­ple are focused on spe­cif­ic aspects of the role, such as SCO or SCM, user expe­ri­ence, etc. The more you under­stand each piece of the pie, the more valu­able you’ll be to any organization.”

—Andy Gradel, Sys­tem Direc­tor of Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing at Main Line Health (@andygradel)

Align with Innovators

“The best advice for entry-lev­el mar­keters is to stay away from health care! You can’t learn enough here. Latch onto an agency doing inno­v­a­tive, data-dri­ven work for a range of clients, and then spend as much time as you pos­si­bly can under­stand­ing con­sumer and cus­tomer behav­ior. The two most valu­able skills we have on our team at Pied­mont or the agen­cies we hire are the abil­i­ty to use data to dri­ve insight and, there­fore, strat­e­gy, and the flex­i­bil­i­ty to change tac­tics based on how your cus­tomers react. As for what’s changed, it’s the pri­ma­cy of data and strat­e­gy over cre­ative excel­lence and the inte­gra­tion of per­son­al­iza­tion and expe­ri­ence in the brand.”

—Matt Gove, Chief Con­sumer Offi­cer at Pied­mont Health­care (@gove)

Get Connected

“Same advice for entry-lev­el mar­keters in all fields: net­work, build rela­tion­ships and don’t burn bridges.”

—Jo Anna Shu­ba, Vice Pres­i­dent and Seg­ment Lead of Trav­el & Enter­tain­ment at Barclays

Foster Curiosity

“Lis­ten more than you talk. Ask ques­tions if you don’t under­stand some­thing. Be respect­ful and inquis­i­tive, and don’t stop learn­ing! Think about both today and down the road. Make sure you main­tain a work-life bal­ance, and most impor­tant­ly, just have fun! If you aren’t pas­sion­ate about health­care mar­ket­ing, find some­thing that you are pas­sion­ate about. Life is too short to spend time at a job that you don’t love, isn’t feed­ing your soul and doesn’t make you feel hap­py and ful­filled. Health­care mar­ket­ing can be frus­trat­ing at times, but it’s the com­pli­cat­ed and chal­leng­ing nature that makes it so reward­ing. Enjoy!”

—Kathy Divis, Pres­i­dent and Co-Founder at Greystone.net (@KathyDivis)

Find and Fuel Your Passion

“First, find your why. We all have an inter­nal gnaw­ing to do some­thing sig­nif­i­cant with our lives. All great accom­plish­ments begin with a why. So will your career. Next, spend time under­stand­ing the indus­try and the peo­ple. Mar­ket­ing has too much of a divide from the indus­try it serves today. Inside orga­ni­za­tions, providers often view mar­ket­ing as an annoy­ing neces­si­ty, and many exec­u­tives see it as a cost cen­ter to be cut as much as pos­si­ble. So, to build the kind of rep­u­ta­tion you want, make sure you under­stand the indus­try. What are the dri­vers, the cur­rent influ­ences, the big play­ers and their impact, the trends in how peo­ple are seek­ing health care and how clin­i­cians are deliv­er­ing that care, and spend time with the peo­ple. Spend time round­ing with providers in the clin­ics, con­nect­ing with the peo­ple both giv­ing and receiv­ing care. Not only will you bet­ter under­stand your job, you’ll find the heart­beat of your place in the indus­try. Great careers are built with keen minds when those keen minds are fueled with con­nect­ed hearts.”

—Noel Cole­man, Pres­i­dent at Doctor.com Enter­prise (@NoelColeman)

Cultivate Empathy

“I joined the dig­i­tal world in 1993, so the changes I’ve seen would fill a book (or a large Wiki). My advice for entry-lev­el health­care mar­keters is: Be patient with your clin­i­cal lead­ers, be an edu­ca­tor and not a manda­tor, be nim­ble when they jump on this week’s shiny object or bauble and guide them to bet­ter solu­tions that fit your over­all dig­i­tal strat­e­gy. Expand your def­i­n­i­tion of mar­ket­ing. It’s more than get­ting new patients; it’s meet­ing the needs of exist­ing patients and using tech­nol­o­gy to improve their over­all expe­ri­ence. If you believe that word of mouth is your most impor­tant mar­ket­ing tool (and you should), then get involved with sched­ul­ing sys­tems, patient por­tals, phone mes­sag­ing, way-find­ing, print­ed appoint­ment reminders, patient nav­i­ga­tion, and real-time and fol­low-up sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys, like HCAHPS and CAHPS. Almost every touch point of our patient encounter would be improved with bet­ter dig­i­tal ser­vices, and that’s plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ty to deliv­er a bet­ter expe­ri­ence. It’s your job and you should lead the way.”

—Ed Ben­nett, Founder of MarTech.Health (@EdBennett)

Look­ing for more career advice for enter­ing the health­care mar­ket­ing indus­try? Reach out to us today for more insights.

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