Big ideas: How to make lightning strike

Big ideas: How to make lightning strike

You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. You’ve wondered where they come from and how you can get your hands on them. They are those absolutely simple but brilliant big ideas that lead to memorable health care campaigns. 

Read no further. (Although if you don’t, you’ll miss some good tips and tricks). I’m going to let you in on a secret.

Big ideas that lead to the kind of campaigns that generate more click-throughs, calls, filled-out forms and appointments scheduled are born in kick-ass collaborative creative concepting and brainstorming sessions.

 Creating the right atmospheric conditions

At Hailey Sault, concepting typically includes an art director, creative director and a writer (or some similar combination) retreating to a favorite space. It can be a room, a corner in a coffeehouse, or a lakeside bench—wherever and whatever helps set the mood for brilliance.

Must-haves include: 

  • A creative brief that a gifted strategist has carefully crafted to include the challenge(s) we’re up against. 
  • A persona or outline of the person we need to move the needle for with our creative. 
  • Coffee, laptops, notebooks, those large sheets of paper you can hang on the wall, markers and possibly the office dog. 

I wish I could tell you that:  

  • Concepting meetings start with the team sitting down to follow a nice, neat, linear process that ultimately leads to a eureka moment and a big idea. 
  • We can generate “blow the competition away” ideas in a matter of minutes or hours. 

But you already know that isn’t true. 

Ideas that stand out and stand up against similar campaigns are generated by a slow build up of pressure and a passion to make it rain for our clients.

Generating the perfect storm (aka “the good tips” section)

With so many channels available in today’s information-rich environment, it’s important to go into every concepting meeting thinking large and holistically. Creating the idea is still the goal, but giving the idea long legs so it can extend across channels is essential. 

Here’s what works for us:

Start by spitting it all out 

  • The obvious solutions, the bad ideas and the really bad ideas that make everyone groan.
  • What others have done in the market, genre and industry.
  • The words/visuals/designs that can be associated with the challenge or with how you want your audience to feel.

Think dangerously 

  • Start mashing diverse ideas together.
  • Can you look at the challenge in an offbeat way?
  • Is there an idea that could get you in trouble?
  • Is there an idea that will make people laugh, cry or stop scrolling?
  • Can you represent the idea visually or with one or two words?

 Know when to take a break

  • After you’ve been brainstorming for a while, you’ll probably notice you’re repeating the same idea over again. You’re just saying it differently. When that happens, stop and take a break. No matter how tight the deadline, you need to stop concepting and come back with a fresh brain.
  • Think about the problem through a new lens. Could an idea come from something totally different or completely unrelatable? Look at anything and everything through the constraints of the campaign or idea.
  • Take a shower. Lather. Think. Repeat. The best ideas always come to you in the shower. Always!

Shop your ideas around

  • Share your concepts, test them out on everyone in the office, run them past relatives and friends. 
  • If there are any glitches or hesitation on your test subjects part, revisit the brief, get together with your fellow idea generators and push it harder.

You’ve got it: just ask these last questions

You can hardly contain yourself. This is it—the big idea.

  • Does it speak directly to the persona?
  • Does it address the communication objectives, key benefits and barriers?
  • Can it be rolled out in multiple ways across all media channels?
  • Is it new or outside the box? Does it capture attention?
  • Does it have potential for expansion?
  • Will it work?
  • Can it be executed on budget?
  • Do you feel it in every fiber of your being, like you know this is it, this is good, really good?

Are you looking for big ideas that can steal the thunder in your market?

Check out some of the work that has moved the mark for our clients.

Hospital Marketers: Time to Stop One-Size-Fits-All Campaigns?

Hospital Marketers: Time to Stop One-Size-Fits-All Campaigns?

My stepmother used to knit me sweaters. Every Christmas there was that awkward moment when I had to try on her latest knitting experiment. The sweaters never fit—the neck was too small, the sleeves were too long, or my belly would show. (I was a fat kid. I didn’t want my belly to show.)

Most hospital service line marketing campaigns are created the way my stepmother knitted me sweaters: a one-size-fits-all approach that never quite fits the audiences that the campaigns seek to engage. 

Our firm has been creating health care service line marketing campaigns for over 40 years. You can imagine the number of headlines we’ve written over the years. Recently we were involved in a pitch and our contact asked us a thoughtful question: “If all you do is health care marketing, how will you give us new thinking?” 

It’s a great question. When you do something for as long as we have, you’d expect to achieve a level of mastery  …  and a level of sameness. 

I welcomed the prospect’s question. Health care marketing can reek of “Seen that a thousand times before” thinking. I think most health care marketing campaigns follow a tried-and-true playbook. (A former client described ads with doctors holding a piece of new technology as “Grip and Grin” ads.) 

But the campaigns we do today at Hailey Sault are vastly different than the campaigns we created even just a few years ago. The reason is that we’re embracing the new opportunities—and complexities—available to us via data. Data is giving us insights like never before to create campaigns and messages that move the needle. One of the insights that the data has given us is that consumers are far too sophisticated and unique to be motivated by “one-size-fits-all” campaigns.

The End of Singular Campaign Messages?

We find in our research that consumers today are ignoring messages like “We fix the most broken hearts of any hospital in town” or “We have the latest technology.” The reason: those messages are about the health system, not the patient. When a prospective patient is thinking about medical solutions, they care most about what’s in it for them.

In fact, as consumers research their own medical conditions, they become even more desensitized to blanket, across-the-board marketing messages. If a person is diagnosed with AFIB, they care about irregular heartbeat messages, not messages about heart surgery. 

As we prepare for 50% of all searches by 2020 to be done with voice, we’re seeing that consumers today are asking specific questions to get specific solutions. We’re spoiled in our ability to get the exact solutions we want. Most ad campaigns haven’t gotten the message that consumers are interested in specifics, not generalities. Singular, umbrella messages about hospitals and services can easily be seen just as noise. 

People Don’t Buy Podiatrists. They Buy Bunion Removals. 

People buy solutions to their unique and specific problems, including health care. By definition, singular service line marketing messages can’t address the unique and specific problems that consumers have. When the messaging platform stays at the highest level, it doesn’t resonate at the emotional center where we make our buying decisions. 

But health systems can’t afford to market every service to every audience. At some point, marketers have to prioritize and consolidate messages. That’s one of the reasons there are so many singular-message health care marketing campaigns. Instead of running ads for all the treatments a health system offers in a service line, the streamlined solution is to run a blanket service line marketing campaign. The hope is that the message leaves just enough of a positive impression that consumers will connect the advertising message with their treatment needs. But in our experience, consumers don’t have the headspace to connect those dots—especially when it comes to their health and wellbeing. 

So these days we’re developing different approaches to service line marketing and approaching the messaging platform differently. I’d like to share more of what’s working for us with the hope that our approach inspires you to generate better results for your health system. 

If You’ve Seen One Ortho Campaign, You’ve Seen One. 

At this moment, our team is creating four orthopedics campaigns for four different health system clients. And each campaign is incredibly different. Not just in brand design or the voice of the health system, but in media selection, user experience, conversion points and messaging

There are many factors that influence campaign strategy. But the starting point begins with the intended audiences. Our Audience Persona process brings a three-dimensional perspective to the people we want to help our clients engage and connect with. It’s a significant process to create spot-on audience personas, but worth the care and attention. Because we move from marketing to “Women, age 25-54,” to:

“Carol, mom of three teenagers who turns 56 this year, prefers natural treatment over conventional medicine, gets half of her news from Facebook, doesn’t own a laptop, has put off her annual mammogram and knows she ought to get it scheduled but hasn’t because yet she hasn’t found a provider she doesn’t have to call and schedule an appointment with, and is easiest to reach from the hours of
9 to 11 pm each night while she’s sipping a glass of wine and checking in with friends and family on social media.”

A little different, isn’t it? 

By creating highly personalized audience personas, we get the opportunity to create highly personalized messages and campaigns. We bypass the default singular message strategy and instead are able to lock in with the specific wants, needs, and questions that our audiences are asking to help them on their care journeys. 

There’s No Excuse Anymore Not to Personalize Messages.

Digital media has given health care marketers the power to target like never before. We should leverage the power of these tools and insights with our service line campaigns. After all, the journey of an AFIB patient is different than the journey of someone with heart disease. Both are cardiac patients, but both have vastly different needs and experiences. Ad messages should be tailored. The sequence of those messages based on patient journey stages should also be tailored. Landing page experiences should be tailored. Calls-to-action should be tailored. After all, we have the power to create unique, custom experiences that can yield better outcomes: for the patients and for the health systems who seek to help those patients. 

Personalized Marketing Can Also Mean More Complexity.

The downside to the end of the singular message is that it can require a higher level of complexity for the campaign strategy and execution. It’s not uncommon for us at Hailey Sault to create dozens of ads to serve to five or more different unique audience personas. That’s a lot of ads! 

It’s also a lot of data to track. We’re always looking for indicators as we monitor campaign performance that messages are converting or not converting, and how our audience personas are trending through their patient journey stages. Fortunately, we have the team to build the dashboards and tracking necessary to bring clarity to the data and respond accordingly. But it can be an eye-opener if you’re accustomed to running only two or three ads in a campaign targeting a single, general audience. 

But Creating Personalized Messages Is Worth The Work.

Instead of promoting an overall service line like orthopedics, you have the power to drive volume to sub-specialties and treatments for that service line. You also have control over how to tell your service line story so that it matters and resonates with your different audiences. A mother of three small children may care more about convenient, online booking than a retiree who is more comfortable calling someone to book an appointment. The audience dictates message hierarchy and calls to action. Your campaign messaging benefits from the richness of the lives of the audiences you serve. Instead of talking about your health system’s services in a vacuum, you can create more meaningful messages because you’re connecting with where your audiences are in their lives, wants and needs at that moment. 

This personalized approach to messaging also helps marketers positively impact the brand experience. As marketers, you can control the flow of new patient prospects into your health system and monitor access and capacity. You also have the power to manage your marketing spend to invest in those audiences and services that drive the most revenue back to the organization. You move out of the “spending money” category when promoting singular messages to the “making money” category by honing your messages to the specific services that generate the most ROI. 

What’s Your Next Move?

We’re fond of saying that health care consumers are increasingly sophisticated and our marketing should follow suit. What are you doing to advance your marketing strategies to reach and appeal to today’s health care consumers? Leave us a comment or drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

Key Factors to Influencing Patients During Consideration & Decision [Part 4 of 5]

Key Factors to Influencing Patients During Consideration & Decision [Part 4 of 5]

Let’s be real. New patient acquisition is the Holy Grail of health care marketing. Sure, we have other priorities, too. But acquisition is what we all strive for. I’m not talking about just increasing inquiries, appointments or volumes. I’m talking about market share—bringing people who previously weren’t patients of your organization to your organization for care. That means that they decided to make a change. 

FYI, change is happening more than you think, and perhaps more than you’d like. In fact, the number of people considering changing health systems is growing by approximately 50% every two years.

This is EXACTLY why Patient Journey Mapping, and the new Marketing Operating System for Patient Acquisition, Engagement and Advocacy is so critically important right now. You need to have insight into people’s behavior as they experience their trigger event, and understand their intent as they begin considering their options. (Don’t be fooled by the fallacy of the inherent value of in-network referrals. Your prospective patients are looking at their options. More than 33% of your market has switched providers in the past.) 

Assuming you’ve already completed persona development, let’s get started influencing patients through the Consideration and Decision Phases of their Patient Journey. You’ll notice we’re skipping right by the Awareness Phase, assuming you’ve got a handle on creating awareness. After all, this is where the magic happens.

Influencing Moments of Consideration

In a 2017 national study of 1,200 people across America, we asked two critical sets of questions to understand why someone would consider switching providers.  The first set of questions focused on what they felt they needed from their health care organization. The second set focused on characteristics that, if offered in their community, would truly be unique. The intersection of these two ideals is your sweet spot for influencing patients.

The chart below highlights where patients’ interests cross over with unique offerings in the market. In other words, there are a couple of key characteristics that you should consider focusing on as you communicate with prospective patients in the Consideration Phase.

Hailey Sault research graphic

Key insights:

1. If you can market any kind of cost transparency, or offer cost counseling prior to care, do it. Please! People want it, and it’s highly likely that your competition isn’t doing it. Figuring out how to leverage this is a front-running strategy.

2. Outside of cost issues, leverage positive patient experience! It’s more important than technologies by a long shot. People want compassionate care from their doctors. They want their doctors to spend time with them, talk about their options, and for those relationships to be personal. Unless you’re bottoming out on patient experience, jump all over storytelling it during the Consideration Phase!

Separately, don’t spend money or energy on marketing your awards or national rankings. People don’t care. Everybody’s got ‘em.

Influencing Moments of Decision

Leaving a current health system to get care elsewhere is a hard decision. It’s typically instigated by poor patient experience or significant changes to costs. Those are the built-in barriers, especially for boomers, who have the longest relationships with their care providers.

However, if you’ve built a platform for nurturing someone along their journey, here are several recommendations for influencing during the Decision Phase.

Key Insights:

1. If you’re in-network with other payers in your market, make sure prospective patients know. This may be the least sexy thing I’ve ever written, but the fact is that people are guided by inertia. For your organization, that means that the majority of the people in your market either a) feel like they must get care within their preferred system, or b) can only go where their insurance company tells them. So if you’re on par, make sure the market knows that the door is wide open. Trust me, their insurance companies or employers aren’t going to put in the effort. You should! (The exception to this rule is millennials. They’re more likely to not have a primary care provider, and therefore not stuck within a system. Plus, they question authority and choices more.)

2. Once people know they can switch providers, they’re a lot more likely to choose someone who really knows them, versus treating them “like a number.” These relationship shortfalls are highlighted in the chart below. Here, you’ll see what people describe as their ideal relationship (Committed Partners, Teammates), versus their everyday reality (No Relationship, Casual Acquaintance, Distant). Stories elaborating on meaningful relationships are a powerful tool to woo prospective patients as they enter the Decision Phase. Curate them!

Hailey Sault research page 60 graphic

As you read this, I’d urge you to consider whether the smartest of your competitors has likely already modified their methodologies. Based on most of our experience, that answer is probably, “to a very limited degree.” So if you’re in your own personal arms race in a competitive market—and it’s likely you are—I’d urge you to consider how much of this intelligence you’re applying to the critical phases of your prospective patients’ journeys. 

As health care marketers, there’s only so much you can do to affect choice drivers like price transparency and how physicians engage with patients. But you do have massive opportunities for nurturing prospective patients along their journeys of care. As I’ve shared in this article, patients are on the move in record numbers. What will you do to capitalize on this opportunity?

Kickstart Your Marketing OS: The Human Centered Persona [Part 3 of 5]

Kickstart Your Marketing OS: The Human Centered Persona [Part 3 of 5]

In the first two blogs in this series, I’ve shared that the Modern Marketing Operating System for Patient Acquisition, Engagement and Advocacy performs better than existing marketing models. In case you’re just jumping in now, the headline is: you should begin implementing this model with an increasing sense of urgency—everyday. If you are serious about re-examining your own marketing OS, it starts with Patient Journey Mapping. And that starts with developing effective personas. 

(FYI—This is going to be a bit longer than a typical post. I’d apologize if it weren’t so important. In fact, I believe this process requires a shift in mindset to emphasize the deep, deep data and human insight that is applied to the new marketing OS.)

The Model 

At Hailey Sault, our particular brand of persona development is born from human-centered design, and so we refer to it as the Human Centered Persona. It is a persona rooted in the quantitative data necessary to influence marketing and communications decisions along the patient journey. It is also a persona that shines a light on the human characteristics that allow us to create iterative messaging that intersects with a patient’s path along that same journey. In other words, we define our audiences as people, not as ambiguous segmentations, since that’s truly who we’re trying to influence.

I realize the concept of marketing personas isn’t new. We didn’t invent it, and the idea isn’t proprietary. But what we have done is test varied approaches to personas within contemporary health care marketing models. The culmination of these results is what we find so compelling. In Q4 2018, one client achieved a +1000% improvement on conversions over the previous six month period. While there were plenty of factors that led to this success, it all began with creating six Human Centered Personas that were the foundation of that effort. 

But, unlike older marketing models, our engagement with our audiences happens in real time, and therefore must be truly responsive. Tools like the more widely used Prizm® segmentations profiles—while highly useful in older models—don’t fully capture the beliefs, intent and behavior of people who are moving through a health care journey. Since those people are moving in real time through that journey, we need to be able to predict their interest, intent and behavior along the way, and map the way that we engage them throughout the process with equal sensitivity.

The Science

Effective personas are the foundation upon which real data-driven marketing is built. So it stands to reason that we need really insightful data to drive those efforts. That’s where the science of persona development begins.

This spring, Brittney Hanson published a blog on the Art & Science of Health Care Marketing Persona Development. There, she elaborated on the core elements of persona development, and the tools used to create them. (If you haven’t already checked it out, it’s a highly focused description of the purpose and mechanics of creating them.) It’s a great insight into using data to create highly effective personas.

More recently, we hosted a Hailey Sault MasterClass on persona development. In it, we shared the four types of data we use to create the foundation of all our personas: Owned, Primary, Third-Party, and Organizational Expertise. The first, Owned, is exactly what you expect. Just look at your EHR or CRM. Primary data leverages focus group or other qualitative/quantitative insights you have on hand. Third-Party brings in other platforms to examine marketplace trends. And Organizational includes service line experts, internal resources and other partners.

As you well know, all that data is useless unless you can turn it into insight. This part of the process funnels that data into a number (ours is six) of buckets that help build the core elements of the Human Centered Persona. This is a bit more nuanced, so if you prefer to understand these applications, feel free to contact us to schedule your own personal “Health Care Audience Personas MasterClass.” (Hey, it don’t cost nothin’.) 

The Soul

Speaking of nuance, the soul of Human Centered Personas is critically important to nurture people along the patient journey. Again, we’re connecting with real people doing real things with our platforms. Targeting more generic profiles like “Urban Digerati” or “Social Second Screeners” as personas may work fine for static mediums. But we’re interacting in real time with people who need our help. So generic handles aren’t going to cut it.

In order to add the human element into persona development, there’s simply no better way than talking with people. One part of this human-centered process involves internal collaboration with clinical and operational teams to help understand what patients tell them are key moments along their journey. Most of our work is centered around predictive ways to acquire new patients for specific service lines, so we are extremely intentional about “showing up” when the critical series of decisions are made.

This process is best represented in a visual Canvas Map of the patient experience

 

HS canvas map

 

Last, but certainly not least, there’s no substitute for talking to real patients. I know this sounds like another focus group type of exercise, but it’s not. Those are just too broad. Consider talking to real patients about their journey. Why did they choose you? What were their apprehensions? Where did they pause along the way? How much were they considering different options? 

In the Modern Marketing Operating System for Patient Acquisition, Engagement and Advocacy, these answers make all the difference. Recently, we worked with a client whose marketing efforts had plateaued. When we talked with their patients, they shared two sentiments that were critical to breaking through. First, these patients grappled with their health disorder for up to seven years. So we explored the trigger events that led them to make the decision to seek treatment. Second, they shared that, in relation to their own personal trigger events, few providers made them feel really understood. More often, providers simply offered rigid solutions. As these patients were making their decision to deal with their health, a critical tipping point was feeling that their caregivers were walking side by side with them. 

The Results

We leveraged these very personal insights to form the Human Centered Personas, which led to the above-mentioned +1000% increase in conversions through marketing channels. They have also led to a record census in the client’s clinics through 2019. Quite simply, we could not have achieved these same results using old methodologies. For the new health care marketing OS, this is why building effective personas is so vital.

3 Things Healthcare Marketers Should Already Be Doing [Part 2 of 5]

3 Things Healthcare Marketers Should Already Be Doing [Part 2 of 5]

Last week, I introduced the phrase, the “Modern Marketing Operating System.” Yes, I know this sounds like jargon, but it’s not. In fact, there are fewer things I’ve had more clarity about in my career than the power and effectiveness in Patient Journey Mapping and its role in creating the new marketing operating system. In this blog, I’ll highlight what I believe the differences are between the “old way” and the “new way,” then identify three core tenets of the new way that make it so much more effective.

The Old Way

I’d like to ask you to step back in time—anywhere from last week to five years ago. Imagine you’re in the early stages of developing what you hoped to be an incredibly successful marketing campaign. You’re meeting with your agency in your conference room or their super cool hipster space. (I digress). That discussion probably focused on “creating an integrated campaign targeting Women 25-44 who are thinking about [fill in the blank] to affect a [fill in the blank] percent increase in volume over the next quarter.” 

Then it was off to the races with strategy, creative and media. Then you went through, like, 4-6 rounds of revisions. You got organizational buy in. You made the logo bigger. Then you put it in-market and let it do its magic. Finally, about 3-6 months later, you asked for revenue, volume or other similar figures to gauge success. At this point, depending on whether the campaign was successful or not, you either hailed the genius of your team or threw the agency under the bus. 

Here’s the point: when you look back on how campaigns were developed, this model left a. lot. to. chance!  We were all essentially flying blind, betting that the creative and media placement created enough resonance to generate the impact we hoped. Then we took credit when it worked and shrugged it off when it didn’t.

The New Way: a Modern Marketing Operating System for Patient Acquisition, Engagement and Advocacy

Today’s OS leaves little to chance. Ambiguous targeting is replaced by deep personas that clearly convey human experience. Downstream goals are replaced with measured, intermittent metrics. Broad, fixed creative is replaced by focused, deliberate, and fluid messaging. 

All of this starts with Patient Journey Mapping. If you’re not already implementing PJM within a new marketing model, here are three things you should be doing immediately.

1. Define your audiences intimately. 

First, we have to understand that the people we want to influence aren’t walking around thinking about a healthcare choice. Just like you and me, they’re tending to their own lives and getting through their day. In fact, according to our research, only 1 in 5 have actively considered a healthcare choice, and 1 in 3 has ever made a change in providers or health systems. 

But when people do experience a trigger event and become prospective patients, their feelings, behaviors and intent can be more deeply defined. And more importantly: personalized. Instead of a broad, bland demographic description, the process starts with creating a powerful human persona. (Next week, we’ll dive into this more deeply.)

Sample Persona Image

If you do nothing else with this information, please start here. Take the time to define your audiences in real, human language.  You won’t regret it. 

2. Use marketing channels more efficiently.

Speaking of a trigger event, the ability to nurture someone who’s experienced one is a lot more effective than in the past. Previous marketing efforts—even those that we labeled integrated—rarely provided the clarity necessary to ensure that goals would be met. It was more of a “set it and forget it” model where media was placed at the beginning of the campaign and left to run its course. (#fingerscrossed)

I’m not suggesting that traditional media is dead, despite the many rumors of its demise. But the way you use it has to change. TV, print and outdoor don’t generate inquiries, volume or market share. They generate awareness. Period.

Prospective patients are nurtured in the Consideration and Decision phases. There, channels like search, display, native and organic content, connected TV, and marketing automation are employed around a set of analytics tools. These are the channels that deliver conversions and, ultimately, new patients. 

Start recognizing and embracing different channels with how they align along the patient journey. Once you do, you’ll discover newfound efficiencies and effectiveness.

3. Measure critical markers along the patient journey.

In the past, our efforts were too focused on the end goal. We hoped that people would be impacted by the campaign in some way and make an appointment. Maybe they went to the website first? Either way, it was hard to really attribute any gains directly to marketing.

Today, success is determined by meeting identifiable markers along the patient journey. We know when our initial efforts generate a response. We can track if that response was the right one. If not, we retarget with different content until we move someone along the path or, conversely, out of the path. 

PJM Graphic

If you use Patient Journey Mapping effectively, you’ll know which of your messages, and which of your platforms is making an impact. Ultimately, as with any effective “sales funnel,” you’ll have clarity about growth and your team’s impact on it.

The new marketing operating system for patient acquisition, engagement and advocacy is changing the competitive landscape in markets across the country. If you’re not already doing these three things, please consider them now. The more you wait, the further off you put real results.

We wrote a comprehensive workbook on how to approach and leverage patient journey mapping for your organization. Click this link to download the workbook now—and help your patients take the next step with your brand.

Defining The Modern Marketing Operating System [Part 1 of 5]

Defining The Modern Marketing Operating System [Part 1 of 5]

The old way of healthcare marketing is dead. It’s not relevant. It’s not effective. It’s just not working.

If you’ve seen our latest thinking around Patient Journey Mapping, hopefully it struck a chord. For many of you who joined us in our PJM Master Class, “Conversion Point,” you undoubtedly walked away with a better understanding of new methodologies that are leading to specific successes in healthcare marketing.

PJM Workbook Cover

What’s this notion of “new methodologies?” This sounds like the kind of BS you might expect from an agency. After all, we’re great at reinventing ways to say the same thing. We’ve been doing it for you for decades (and we love it).

But this is different.

What I mean by “new methodologies” is, literally, the evolution of the new marketing operating system for patient acquisition, engagement and advocacy. I’m talking about applying journey mapping to create a definable, repeatable process that brings data, transparency, measurement, accountability, human behavior and creativity to bear to achieve a specific goal.

If I were a journalist, I would have already missed the lead in this article. So here’s the hook: If you’re not working within a marketing ecosystem that shines a light on the patient journey, then you’re hanging your career on qualitatively-measured marketing. That is, an approach that limits you to a list of possible solutions—rather than an approach that helps you determine the best possible solution to a particular need consumers have.

There’s no simpler way to say it. If that’s your bag and it’s been working for you, don’t let me dissuade you. I’ve been wrong plenty of times. It’s likely that your C-Suite is OK with it. And the organization loves the creative in the market. So that’s good. Plus, nobody really holds your department too accountable for volume, revenue or other performance goals.

If the concept of the new marketing operating system isn’t for you, you’ll probably be fine with the current way forward.

But in case you’re a little interested, here’s the scoop. This OS works on so many levels, that you simply can’t afford to ignore it. Compared to old methods, it outperforms. It puts you and your marketing at the center of collaboration with physicians, administrators, managers and patients. It allows you to predict outcomes and optimize when the mid-level objectives aren’t being met.

Most importantly—and this is really important—when it works well, it smashes previous expectations. Like, by +100%.

Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to share why Patient Journey Mapping and the new Operating System work so well. But instead of just showing you a kick-ass watch, I’ll share how it’s made. And I’ll be transparent about what I hope you’ll get out of this. I hope you’ll realize that you should be employing this—ASAFP! And I hope that you’ll realize that you may need some help to get it up and running. (That’s where Hailey Sault comes in.) In the meantime, feel free to check out the PJM guide for more definition.

Next week, we’ll revisit core elements of PJM, and why it should matter to you. Actually, our perspective on why it should matter to you is rooted in what you and your colleagues from across the country shared with us. Ultimately, PJM and the new OS will provide insight and answers for better marketing performance.

And that, in turn, should help you sleep better at night.