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Stra·te·ger·y: What's Yours and Do You Want to Be Part of Ours?

10/26/2018 8:55 AM | Katie Johnson

stra·te·ger·y  /strəˈtējərē/

1. strategy (chiefly used ironically or derisively).

Many of us are thinking year-end thoughts of budgets and strategery. I’ve had an affinity for this word ever since it was unintentionally created. 

After having attended MHSCN’s Adventures in Healthcare Tri-State Conference with WHPMRS and ISMPR in the Wisconsin Dells (well part of it anyway – thanks to United Airlines), and the SHSMD 2018 Connections Conference in Seattle last week, I have all kinds of new strategery swirling through my mind. 

Here are a few takeaways from the conferences that stand out to me as I think about upcoming plans for MHSCN, my organization, and my role as a healthcare marketer. 

1. Digital dominates.

In his on-point closing keynote at the Tri-State Conference, Chris Bevelo outlined the “new imperatives” for healthcare marketers. #1 on the list – Digital Dominates. In his book, the chapter for the first imperative is actually titled “Digital Dominates (Duh).”

While the importance of digital isn’t surprising, what was interesting to me is the 75/25 digital-to-traditional ratio he suggested as a benchmark for your marketing channels and assets. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some work to do here.

2.  Creativity is crucial.

Not only in our marketing, communication & strategy work, but in our systems as a whole. The opening keynote at SHSMD18 was by Johnny Cupcake, entrepreneur and founder of the world’s first t-shirt bakery. You read that right; He doesn’t sell cupcakes, he sells t-shirts. While his presentation wasn’t health care focused, his insights are universal when it comes to creative thinking, brand loyalty, customer engagement and consumer experience.

When you buy a t-shirt in his bakery, it won’t come in a bag, but in a donut box. It’s a walking billboard and an experience. It got me thinking about the things we package in healthcare and how we could wrap them up differently – bill statements or knee braces and arm slings, perhaps?

3. Forget B2B and B2C, it’s all H2H.  

Human to Human (H2H) experiences and connections are at the heart of healthcare. If we get too caught up in the day to day grind, we risk losing our connections with people as people. This was a recurring theme throughout both conferences. 

Even as much as technology and data was emphasized, the underlying human element of our work must not be underestimated, and not just with our patients. Stop and look your colleagues in the eye. Pick up the phone or walk to office instead of sending that email or text. Human to human experiences like this have actually been linked to living longer

4. We’re all in this together.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend conferences like these and network with people who share the same challenges and passions. If you weren’t able to attend either conference, I encourage you to dive into some online resources to challenge your thinking and inspire your planning. 

SHSMD’s latest edition of Bridging Worlds is a great place to start. Or check out the Strategic Planning in Healthcare online course being offered through My SHSMD, the online member community for SHSMD members.

If you’re not a SHSMD member yet, good news – part of MHSCN’s strategery for 2019 is SHSMD Chapter Affiliation, which will tie together more of our combined resources for marketing, communications, public relations and strategy professionals to help you shine.

MHSCN strategery

Speaking of your brilliant shine, if you’d like to share some of that light with MHSCN, we’re recruiting for a couple of open board seats starting in January 2019. We’ll have plenty of shorter commitment volunteer opportunities, too. 

Watch for the full MHSCN Strategic Plan complete with new board structure, SHSMD affiliation, upcoming conference dates and more as year-end approaches. 

In the mean time, shoot us an email if you want to join the fun and strategery going on at MHSCN.

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