AMA Houston Healthcare SIG: Health Reform and Brand Management

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AMA Houston Healthcare SIG: Health Reform and Brand Management

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John McKeever recently spoke to the AMA Houston's Healthcare Special Interest Group (SIG) and shared how to effectively manage one's brand while navigating health reform.

John McKeever recently spoke to the AMA Houston's Healthcare Special Interest Group (SIG) and shared how to effectively manage one's brand while navigating health reform.

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  • Need to start speaking executive – as Alicia indicated, it’s time to speak with your government affairs people and offer business resources
  • Promotion and demand generation are traditional responsibilities of marketing communications But to become a strategic marketer, you need to demonstrate your connection to the brand, patient experience and demonstrate ROI
  • Health reform – talk to your government folks -insurers -care/caid entry -strengthen payer mix -operational efficiency -WOM top influencers…if you’re making experience better – will pass to get more business
  • Its one thing to do demand generation, but another to lay foundation of the brand – what our brand is versus our perception – promise gaps – you’ve got a disconnect Don’t throw out in lieu of  demand generation, you don’t have a strong brand, they can’t choose you   Is the worst of times you need to be consistent – speaking with one voice
  • Marketing professor – all models = awareness, favorability and loyalty Barnes-Jewish, Duke, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson
  • How well you know your customers – if you talk to your customers, you will know their perceptions, you will understand their customers – positive WOM – gives a plug for experience mapping, benchmarking on a regular basis   Experience mapping slide – VOC – exceptional experience UM, CTCA, Barnes-Jewish, Cincinnati Children’s, MD Anderson, Froedtert, CHRISTUS


  • 1. Health Reform – Pressure’s On…Are You Ready? AMA Healthcare SIG
  • 2. Major Financial Impacts
    • Millions more low income people (patients) with insurance, both private and Medicaid
    • Increased price competition among carriers for the newly insured; negative price pressure on hospitals
    • Potential for more carriers and national for-profit ones that specialize in Medicaid
    • Downward pressure on government program rates for providers
  • 3. Major Service Delivery Impacts
    • More population management
    • More formal relationships with community outpatient providers – Accountable Care Organizations
    • Emphasis on wellness and prevention
    • Publicly reported quality measures and comparative shopping
  • 4. Uncertainty Still an Issue “ We have not initiated a real dialogue about this yet, as the continuing uncertainty in the healthcare bill makes it difficult to do so.” “ Not at all yet, since it's very unclear how, if at all, reform will change our economic environment.” “ Increased importance to create consumer demand for our product so they will advocate with health plans. Important to continue to demonstrate to managed care what distinguishes us from community providers.” “ Don't know. The legislation is a moving target with huge implications every time any paragraph (out of thousands) is edited. It would be a hugely unproductive use of time to plan anything at this point. It is all changing daily/weekly.” Source: 2009 Gelb study of academic medical center marketing executives
  • 5. Recent Activity
  • 6. Health Reform Isn’t a Marketing Issue? Source: 2009 Gelb study of academic medical center marketing executives
  • 7. Marketers Need to Take Charge Source: 2009 Gelb study of academic medical center marketing executives
  • 8. Opportunities for Marketers
    • Direct patient advertising will increase
      • Newly insured
      • “ Choosers”
    • Segmentation even more important
      • Targeting
      • De-selection
    • Referral channel critical
      • More PCPs (expected)
      • Patient education to avoid switching
    Brand Building Experience Management ROMI
  • 9. A Strong Health Brand…
    • Is more than the product or service
    • Adds dimensions that differentiate the organization in a meaningful way
    • Is the promise made to employees, customers and other stakeholders
    • Is a means for customers to reduce decision risk
    • Is forged by perceptions in the marketplace, but can be effectively managed by the organization
    • Is delivered through various interactions or touchpoints
    • Is NOT just your name or a logo
    • Is NOT only a “marketing activity,” but will have an impact on all aspects of the organization
  • 10. Ensure Your Brand…
    • Satisfies needs and meets expectations of your constituencies
    • Demonstrates your advantages compared to competing organizations
    • Consistently communicates and delivers a resonant promise
    • Remains true to the organization’s capabilities, core values and heritage
    • Reminds audiences of the promise through affiliated organizations
  • 11. Brand Building Checklist
    • Target profiles
    • Targets’ awareness and understanding of services provided
    • Clarity about the benefits (and costs) associated with your services
    • Understanding of how one hospital is distinguished from another
    • Brand performance against local and national benchmarks
    • Strength of current position
    • Willingness of organization to change to deliver on new brand promise
    • Believability of new positioning
    Source: Marketing Health Services, McKeever, DeVries (Barnes-Jewish Hospital)
  • 12. Building Trusted Brands A trusted brand consistently delivers superior value compared to competing brands Familiarity is required for consumers to recognize and choose brands Brand Equity = Familiarity X Trust = Familiarity X (CV + CD + CE) The quality of the experience delivered by the organization; how well the brand lives up to its promise The criteria used by decision makers to establish the considered set The attributes used to distinguish product/services from one company to another
  • 13. Source: Marketing Health Services, McKeever, DeVries To answer this… Do this… What is the market’s awareness and understanding of our services? Review familiarity results by audience of interest. This might include payer mix, geography and groups who share similar attitude about their healthcare. How does the market distinguish one hospital brand from another? The best insights come from qualitative interviews when asking respondents to rationalize their choices. The results are often a mix of physician and service line preference (e.g. Hospital ABC is best at heart surgery, but would go elsewhere for cancer care.) Will audiences believe our new position? Identify perceptual gaps among audiences. The greater the gaps, the more difficult to align brand perceptions. How strong is our current market position? Construct a perceptual map that illustrates how strongly each brand is differentiated. The more closely the attributes are to the brand, the stronger the association. What are our strengths or weaknesses? Determine performance and relative importance of factors that drive satisfaction and preference. How well does our brand perform relative to our local competition and national benchmarks? In addition to side by side comparisons, use a brand equity scoring model to account for familiarity and favorability factors. This will establish an easy to understand metric for tracking over time. How difficult will it be to get employees to embrace needed changes? Review internal perception gaps and commitment to the organization. It is frequently the case that some areas of the healthcare system will be more difficult than others. Start from the tails: those with the strongest and weakest alignment and work your way to the center.
  • 14. Experience Mapping
  • 15. Executives Expect ROMI Source: 2009 Gelb study of academic medical center marketing executives
  • 16. Telling the Story
  • 17. In the Era of Health Reform…
    • Strategically build a stronger brand
    • Play in role in service delivery
    • Demonstrate ROI in context
  • 18. John McKeever 281-759-3600