Heart of Healthcare: How Marketers Can Help Frame Issues, Tell Stories

Heart of Healthcare How Marketers Can Help Frame Issues, Tell Stories“When healthcare sneezes, the whole country catches a cold. The good news is there has arguably never been a healthier time to be a healthcare marketer in the U.S.”

That’s the opener in an essay by Wendy Lurrie recently published by Business2Community.

While Lurrie notes that healthcare is a “fast-growing, dynamic and volatile marketplace bursting with potential,” she also explains that healthcare marketers have responsibilities, too.

“For every article touting the new marketing or technology advances in healthcare, there are even more about the shifting state of healthcare itself,” Lurrie exlains. “This dichotomy was cast in stark relief on July 22 when dual rulings on the Affordable Healthcare Act subsidies were issued by two United States Court of Appeals panels. For about two hours, it looked as though our fellow citizens in 36 states might lose their newly acquired coverage. And regardless of how you feel about the law or its implementation, it is a reality that healthcare is still tenuous for many Americans.”

Lurrie reminds marketing professionals that “it’s a reality that much of what we do in marketing is actually meant for people of relative means – those of us with insurance, access to healthcare professionals, the resources to afford our medications, digital access, and often strong social networks.”

How do healthcare marketing people handle the new responsibilities?

“Let’s start with what we do well,” Lurrie implores. “We know how to frame issues, understand audiences, generate ideas, solve problems, create messages and tell stories. We understand all of the channels and touchpoints and how to use them to full advantage. We love to measure how our efforts perform so that we can improve on what’s working and jettison what’s not. We know how to innovate and stretch and we love a challenge. And we love to care about what we do – that’s why we chose to work in healthcare marketing specifically.”

Lurrie believes there are many positive things that can be accomplished.

“Why not harness these skills and apply them to the real-life challenges of U.S. healthcare that we understand and are uniquely equipped to solve?” Lurrie asks. “As a collective, we can figure out how to attract more medical students to the primary-care pipeline (we know how to target), or how to educate different groups about healthcare (we know how to communicate and do differential marketing), or support community-based healthcare efforts to reach those who tend to be harder-to-reach or new to the system (we know media, we know how to do outreach and education.) You get the point.”

The entire commentary is well worth the read. Check it out in its entirety here.

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