How to Perfect Your Marketing Pitch: 5 Lessons from the Shark Tank

by | Jan 23, 2019 | Healthcare Industry Insights

Learn to perfect your marketing pitch in this excerpt from a standing-room only presentation delivered by Paul A. Szablowski and Rob Rosenberg at the 2018 Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development Conference.

It’s no secret that the world of mar­ket­ing is ever-evolving—and for chief mar­ket­ing offi­cers (CMOs) in par­tic­u­lar, the trans­for­ma­tion in role and respon­si­bil­i­ties is hap­pen­ing at an unprece­dent­ed pace. There has been a dra­mat­ic shift in focus from mar­ket­ing lead­er­ship to growth lead­er­ship, with 75 per­cent of CEOs want­i­ng their CMOs to be focused on return on invest­ment (ROI) and new cus­tomer acquisition.

Addi­tion­al­ly, new con­nec­tions are being estab­lished between tra­di­tion­al and dig­i­tal medi­ums and when com­bined with the pro­lif­er­a­tion of data and con­sumer demand, these changes are leav­ing CMOs in a poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous situation.

Eighty per­cent of CEOs report dis­sat­is­fac­tion with their CMOs, and a good por­tion of that comes from incor­rect expec­ta­tions of the CMO’s role. It’s up to you to rede­fine your and your team’s roles in the orga­ni­za­tion. Your mar­ket­ing pitch­es need to reflect your under­stand­ing of the chang­ing cli­mate, as well as illus­trate how you and your team will thrive.

The pop­u­lar TV series Shark Tank has taught entre­pre­neurs in all busi­ness cat­e­gories the impor­tance of being able to clear­ly artic­u­late strate­gic busi­ness plans and mar­ket­ing con­sid­er­a­tions in order to receive buy-in and fund­ing for their prod­ucts and services. 

To present your mes­sage and hone in on your mar­ket­ing pitch around strate­gic busi­ness plans and bud­get needs to lead­er­ship, here are five tips from the Shark Tank.

Lesson One: Own Your Role

Define your role as being the one who under­stands the con­sumers as well as the prod­uct. You know how and why they choose their health care. You know their influ­ences and your role in their lives. Most impor­tant­ly, you know how to be a busi­ness leader who will use that under­stand­ing to inspire your team to work smart and get results.

Lesson Two: Start a Dialogue

Gone are the days of the pitch where you rat­tle off infor­ma­tion to your lead­er­ship. Your end goal is the same as theirs, so take the focus back to where it belongs: the com­pa­ny. Talk about how you will use your knowl­edge of the con­sumer and their buy­ing habits to get results and main­tain brand rel­e­vance. Present the pitch as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for a con­ver­sa­tion between your­self and your leadership.

Lesson Three: Know Your Numbers

Cul­ti­vate knowl­edge of the met­rics your lead­er­ship cares about. This can include analy­sis of prof­it mar­gins and cus­tomer reten­tion along with lead­ing indi­ca­tors like con­ver­sion rates and web­site met­rics. Know what you are ask­ing for and what you expect in return. The more under­stand­ing you have, the greater your chances of success.

Lesson Four: Stand Out

Your brand is not the con­sumers’ only choice. How will you sep­a­rate your­self from the com­pe­ti­tion? Under­stand your brand’s rel­e­vance and val­ue, and from there, devel­op a pur­pose­ful brand posi­tion. High­light what makes your brand inspir­ing, unique and future-focused.

Lesson Five: Answer Hard Questions During the Marketing Pitch

With a pitch, you are sell­ing your­self as much as your ideas. Rehearse your answers to antic­i­pat­ed ques­tions, and pro­vide whole answers when those ques­tions are asked. Under­stand your tar­get mar­ket and have a plan to cap­ture it. Be con­fi­dent in your knowl­edge of the mar­ket, your con­sumers and your team. Most impor­tant­ly, be con­fi­dent you will achieve results—because you will.

About the Authors

Paul A. Szablows­ki is an inde­pen­dent con­sul­tant and for­mer senior vice pres­i­dent of brand expe­ri­ence at Texas Health Resources. He also serves on the Health­care Insight advi­so­ry board.

Rob Rosen­berg is pres­i­dent at Spring­board Brand & Cre­ative Strategy.

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