Being an effective leader in marketing and patient experience is about making sure you are operating and leading projects, initiatives, campaigns, and communications from a place that aligns to what the patient needs and wants. Then baking that into every part of your brand, marketing, and culture strategy. Sounds clear enough.

But as reality strikes, there are many reasons and ways your view gets distorted and you lose sight of the patient viewpoint, threatening your impact, brand, and engagement.

  1. Leader driven mandates for action – As we have seen in many healthcare organizations, sometimes the reason for a project, campaign, or initiative is because leader “so and so” said.  If I had a dollar for every time a CEO or physician leader wanted a billboard with their face on it….but I digress.The point is, basing your initiatives on a leader mandate without aligning to the voice of the patient feedback, is a sure fire way to distort your impact and effectiveness. This is where your research, insights, and planning are required to help combat this easy slip in direction.
  2. Budget driven decision making – As predictable as the calendar itself in healthcare, the Q3 financial focus and subsequent budget cuts, layoffs, and adjustments to make year end numbers threaten where your focus is and what fuels your decision making.This is where a smart, strong strategic plan will help you realign your resources to the most important priorities.
  3. Crisis du jour driven decision making – I’m not suggesting that you should not address and be a part of the operational challenges in your organization. But often these crises end up “swamping the boat” if you will, and turn all the focus to the new issue at hand, leaving PX and marketing to languish with no progress.For situations like global pandemics, totally understandable, but for the latest survey score or HEDIS measure that is behind, you should be able to protect your key operational priorities and address a new focus as well.
  4. Opinion based vs. data driven prioritization – Picking your favorite or easiest “low hanging fruit” project may not necessarily be the best option to tackle first.Utilizing data, survey information, call information, consumer feedback and other sources of patient feedback is the only way to ensure your team is working on the most important priorities.
  5. Too busy to pay attention – This is a big one in healthcare.  Sometimes, you are so buried in meetings and bogged down by “stuff” that you don’t have time to inform your approaches with the latest research, data, or best practices.  You just do what you have done because it’s known.That unfortunately can be a path to easy elimination from the team if your work is not actively supporting and driving the most important business drivers and needs of the business.  You owe it to yourself and your organization to stay sharp and on top of the world you are leading.

So how do you lead through change and budget cuts?  How do you maintain progress and a clear view in the midst of these situations and stresses as a marketing and CX leader?  It starts with ensuring you have clarity in your strategic plan.  It starts with ensuring that plan is built on customer feedback and data and then tied to the operational priorities of the organization. And it relies on having clearly evaluated the impact of each initiative, budget, and timeline so you can have a say in how to adjust your workload or resources while still making progress on creating an exceptional patient experience.

A smart, solid strategic plan, built on reliable sources of data that align to the most important measures of the organization, can help make all the difference and help save distortion in your viewpoint.

Cheering for you!

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