In this conversation for our podcast and 3 Key Insights video series, you’ll learn how Christine Albert and her team at LCMC Health are advancing the system’s mission “to put a little more heart and soul into healthcare.”
As chief marketing and experience officer at LCMC Health, Christine Albert stewards the brand and growth strategy for the six-hospital non-profit healthcare system based in New Orleans. She also serves on the board for the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD), which offers her a unique vantage point on the evolution of the healthcare marketing discipline.
Among the many compelling insights shared during a recent conversation with Christine (check out the full interview), here are three key takeaways.
Key insight #1: We have a responsibility to build on the trust earned during COVID-19.
We’ve earned trust with the communities we serve so there’s opportunity to build on and deepen that even more. That’s what I’m most passionate about and it means having a human-focused brand strategy and celebrating our fun, quirky and unique people and connecting them with the community on a personal level. That brand strategy worked for us pre-COVID and we leaned into that during the pandemic, and it has looked and felt a lot different than what you saw across the country.
For example, everyone else was talking about social distancing, hand hygiene and other CDC protocols. We did that as well, but how we framed and packaged the communication was built around connecting with people in this authentic way.
Being based in New Orleans, you can have a little more fun so we created a community-facing campaign with our city partners that positioned vaccination as a cause for celebration. We celebrated with a Second Line and used vernacular of the city like, “Social distance, Dawlin,’ don’t stand close.”
Rather than being something scary or stale that you kept hearing over and over again, it was colorful and used words that people were comfortable with and understood. What could have been a high-stress moment created one of connection and comfort.
Key insight #2: A differentiated brand drives bottom-line results.
By taking the time to have a human, warm, compassionate and differentiated brand, we’re seeing direct results to the business bottom line. In the past 18 months, we’ve seen a double-digit, statistically significant increase in the brand funnel metrics. From HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores that directly connect to brand attributes to our share of the market, we’re starting to connect the dots around how these initiatives are making an impact on metrics that matter to the C‑suite.
Another example of how we’re bringing the brand strategy into the business world is the way we’re starting to humanize all of our physician bios. This approach creates a connection as you’re looking for a provider you trust. A lot of our bios have the information you would expect on medical school and boards but we’re also including short videos where, for example, pediatricians might share their favorite school supply, ice cream flavor or hobby (like this physician who is a self-proclaimed “Disney fanatic”). These are things that help you connect with them and feel like you know that person.
That feels fun and it’s an extension of our brand strategy, but it’s also having an impact: We’re seeing a 50% increase in organic views, a 23% in conversions to appointments—and all of that translates to revenue.
Suddenly something that feels warm and fun and communication-oriented has a lot of connectivity to the business. For that very modest investment in time and resources, just to put a little more thought into the provider bios across the system, we’re really delivering to the bottom line.
Being able to tell those stories and make those connections is what’s driving a lot of those “aha” moments for us with the C‑suite, and that often leads to opportunities to do more. It gives you a different seat at the table. Each win creates an opportunity for the next one.
Key insight #3: How you present information to the C‑suite is important.
During COVID-19 in particular and after, we’ve been able to see a strong desire for online scheduling and virtual health. Just seeing that consumer behavior on our website allows us to take that back to our clinical leadership and say, “If we spent zero dollars and all we did was open up X% more online scheduling ability or telehealth, we can make $X million.”
We’re starting to present that as an opportunity cost. That’s been a game-changer. When you share insights like that, then you’ve got people’s attention and they want to know how or why. It allows you to drive a conversation that’s more about operational transformation, which is what we’re looking to do.
Watch: Get more highlights from our conversation with Christine Albert via the video excerpts below.
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