As chief marketing officer for Summit Health, Matt Gove understands how to engage consumers and physicians and grow a healthcare brand. Here are seven key takeaways from our recent podcast interview that will inspire your marketing plan.
In the summer of 2019, Matt Gove had just left Piedmont Healthcare to join CityMD when the leading urgent care provider in the New York metro area merged with Summit Medical Group to form Summit Health. Then the pandemic hit, and his brand was front and center in media coverage of COVID.
In this lively conversation for our healthcare marketing podcast, learn how these experiences shaped his marketing strategy, along with his expert perspective on B2B vs. B2C marketing, what to look for when hiring marketing talent and the most important—and often overlooked—digital marketing channel.
When it’s possible, physically being in the same room has tremendous benefits
While the rules of office work are changing, direct interaction with the people with whom we work still matters. With any team, trust is the foundation necessary for people to be successful — and it’s hard to build trust without some direct interaction with your team. It’s easier to build that personal connection when you can spend time together. Those serendipitous moments in the office when you’re talking about television, movies, music or sports don’t happen in the same way anymore. Our interactions become very focused on the task. Being present gives me the opportunity to have those occasional moments of interaction in the office. It’s great to see faces and check on people and have those conversations. We’ve gotten good at video meetings and communicating electronically, but being in the same room will ultimately help us be a more effective team.
Physician relationships are built on the foundations of marketing
The blocking and tackling is the most important piece, and it’s super basic: Are our physicians aware of the full scope of the network? Do they know all of the docs, particularly in their geographic region that they can refer to quickly and easily? Have we made it easy for them to find the right referral? We want to make sure every primary care doctor understands that we want you to be the quarterback of this patient’s care—whether you work for Summit or not. The goal is delivering the best care that our patients can get. At the end of the day, that’s why we do what we do.
High-impact direct mail can drive physician engagement
While docs and their offices get tons of mail, if you can design something big and high impact for the front office staff, it can help you raise awareness of your services inside of their group. We feel like it’s a good way to get the word out when you don’t have as many salespeople on the ground as you would like.
A blend of experience makes for an effective healthcare marketing team
I used to be that person who didn’t want healthcare experience when hiring for a marketing position, because I hadn’t seen a ton of evidence that a lot of healthcare experience made you a better marketer. However, healthcare experience does give you a better understanding of the complexities of our organizations and the peculiarities of the physicians we work for and have to keep happy. The physician services are our core product, and we must never forget how important they are to the work we do and the services we offer to our customers. So having healthcare experience is important, but I’m still looking for people who have had success outside our industry. Having solid experience marketing to businesses and to customers for other industries and seeing how they do it, leveraging the tools they use and bringing a different mindset is helpful.
B2B marketing is paramount to generate physician referrals
We are in this hyper-evolved world where referrals for everything matter. People won’t buy a pair of pants without asking 10 of their friends what they think. They sure aren’t going to choose something as important as life or death medical services without checking with other people. While having a strong consumer brand is important, B2B marketing keeps our organizations going.
Combining CRM data with clinical records can have tremendous potential
We’re working to merge the CRM and other digital tools that are important from a marketing and relationship management perspective with the clinical record. That’s one of the things people can forget: The same things you need to do to better manage a population’s health are the things you need to do to build a relationship with a customer. Using these marketing tools in service of a patient’s long-term health—and not just in terms of the patient’s loyalty—is a direction we’re going as an organization. We’re building this relationship and clinical care model together on top of a digital platform.
A solid approach to the basics does as much for your organization as anything else
The basics are still not being done well by most of us—like websites. It sounds trite but for any healthcare marketer, your website is probably the most important tool you have. That’s where every single potential customer comes to validate what they’ve been told by a doctor, a friend or family member. How you present information, how you make it easy to navigate, how you allow the physicians and services to highlight who they are and what they do in a way that’s easy for the customer to understand. That couldn’t be more important, but websites continue to get short shrift as everyone pursues the most sophisticated digital advertising approaches.
Listen to the full interview with matt gove!
Want More Expert Perspective?
Get more insights like these to inspire your healthcare marketing plans and and career path.