McKinsey Experts Share Health System Marketing Strategies to Drive Growth Transformation

by | Nov 13, 2020 | Healthcare Industry Insights | 0 comments

We recently hosted a discussion with McKinsey & Company experts on how health system marketing strategies can empower growth transformation. Here’s what you need to know to develop your patient engagement and acquisition plans.

We spoke with McK­in­sey & Com­pa­ny Health­care Prac­tice Part­ners Rupal B. Malani, MD, and Jen­ny Cor­di­na to share insights and rec­om­men­da­tions from the firm’s new report: “Prepar­ing for the next nor­mal now: How health sys­tems can adopt a growth trans­for­ma­tion in the COVID-19 world.”

Here are high­lights from the report and our dis­cus­sion on health sys­tem mar­ket­ing in the COVID-19 era.

Start planning your growth strategy now.

Dr. Malani points out that a proac­tive approach to plan­ning and imple­ment­ing growth strate­gies is a com­mon thread among com­pa­nies that emerge stronger from a downturn. 

When McK­in­sey exam­ined 2,000 com­pa­nies that were at the aver­age point of their indus­try sec­tors in 2007 and came out ahead fol­low­ing the reces­sion, they all had a mul­ti-lever approach to mar­gin enhance­ment with a sig­nif­i­cant empha­sis on growth. 

Though major dif­fer­ences exist between the cur­rent cri­sis and the 2008-09 finan­cial cri­sis, name­ly includ­ing the human­i­tar­i­an toll and sources of finan­cial stress and con­sumer demand declines, the research indi­cates the out­per­form­ers not only mod­u­lat­ed spend­ing in the midst of cri­sis, but also act­ed to thought­ful­ly pre­pare for the future. 

Dr. Malani says such a through-cycle growth men­tal­i­ty can be espe­cial­ly effec­tive in health­care, as demon­strat­ed by mul­ti­ple health sys­tems across the coun­try that have pub­licly announced mea­sures to dri­ve mar­gin growth. 

“Even in the midst of a cri­sis, [mar­ket lead­ers] are think­ing about, plan­ning for and exe­cut­ing against ini­tia­tives to dri­ve rev­enue and mar­gin growth after the cri­sis sub­sides,” she says. “When we apply that to health sys­tems, it means now is a very impor­tant time to think about a com­pre­hen­sive growth plan.”

Embrace the changes rushing up at health systems.

The way that health sys­tems think about mar­gin enhance­ment will be fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent in a post-COVID-19 envi­ron­ment, says Dr. Malani. 

In some ways, the future state is clear: The dig­i­tal chan­nel, for exam­ple, has been pushed open as a mech­a­nism to dri­ve growth and access. In oth­er ways, the future is less cer­tain. Con­sumers glob­al­ly avoid­ed acute care chan­nels in the midst of case surges, and it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a longer-term pref­er­ence for out­pa­tient care settings. 

Over­all, how­ev­er, com­pe­ti­tion is expect­ed to increase in every mar­ket, requir­ing providers to rethink their growth strate­gies. As they do so, they can learn lessons from the past. McKinsey’s recent sur­vey of health sys­tem exec­u­tives reveals that health sys­tems have his­tor­i­cal­ly focused on cost-focused ini­tia­tives rather than growth trans­for­ma­tions, despite the lat­ter hav­ing a greater pos­i­tive impact on margin. 

More­over, the more levers includ­ed in the growth trans­for­ma­tion, the greater the sub­se­quent impact on margin. 

Challenge assumptions on how well you’re communicating.

Despite the amount of con­tent being pro­duced by health sys­tems in response to COVID-19, McK­in­sey data shows the large major­i­ty of con­sumers feel they are not get­ting the infor­ma­tion they need from their providers to make informed health choices.

“We still have not reached 15% of con­sumers who say they have heard from their health­care provider,” Cor­di­na says. “There’s a sig­nif­i­cant gap between the amount of com­mu­ni­ca­tion being cre­at­ed ver­sus the per­ceived receipt of that information.”

She rec­om­mends tak­ing a step back and remem­ber­ing the fun­da­men­tals of audi­ence seg­men­ta­tion and per­son­al­iza­tion. For exam­ple, when a COVID-19 vac­cine is avail­able and health­care enti­ties seek to inform con­sumers of their options, we should be mind­ful that, for exam­ple, younger peo­ple do not rely on physi­cian advice as much as senior adults.  Mes­sages must be tai­lored in a way that mat­ters to them and come from those they most trust.

“There’s so much mes­sag­ing out there cre­at­ing fatigue and com­pla­cen­cy that it’s crit­i­cal to iden­ti­fy trust­ed mes­sen­gers, and share infor­ma­tion in the chan­nels and for­mats that speak to the con­sumer on a rel­e­vant, per­son­al lev­el,” Cor­di­na says. 

“Get­ting that com­mu­ni­ca­tion right becomes extreme­ly impor­tant in this world where peo­ple are over­whelmed with information.”

Watch the full discussion with McKinsey experts.

We Can Help You Drive Growth

Our team of health­care con­tent mar­ket­ing experts can devel­op lead gen­er­a­tion cam­paigns that grow patient vol­ume and revenue.

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