Healthcare Marketing is a World of Specialists

Are you setting up your marketing person (or department) to fail?

Almost every day we hear from a frustrated provider-based marketer whose boss thinks she should be an expert at every imaginable marketing task.

The problem is that marketing – just like medicine – is a world made up of specialists.

For example, our firm works with over 40 healthcare marketers on our team. They include: Marketing Strategists, Account Managers, Web Designers, Web Programmers (a different skill set entirely from design), Pay-Per-Click Specialists, Search Engine Optimization Specialists, Writers, Art Directors, Directors of Photography (video), Editors (video), Graphics (video), Editor (print), Proofreader, Director of Client Services, a Media Buyer, Publicists (to get press coverage), Physician Liaisons, Trainers and Administrative personnel. Beyond our core team, we utilize others as needed, e.g., talent agents, photographers, production assistants, etc.

Most doctors and healthcare executives are very surprised to learn there are so many areas of expertise required. “That’s great, but all we need is a website.”

Really? While people typically assume a graphic designer is the person to see for a website, the designer is often the last person involved. Someone needs to dictate the strategy, someone else writes copy and someone else has to manage the process. If getting traffic is an objective (almost always), someone has to run the pay-per-click campaign, while someone else will be responsible for the search engine optimization. If the site is complicated, someone has to create the programming, while someone else handles the artistic design.

If it were possible to hire one person that could do everything well, believe me, agencies like mine would beat you to it and hire them.

People who do everything well are like Bigfoot – very hard to find in the real world.

Another truth to consider: some marketing tasks require higher levels of expertise, training and cost than others. Just like in medicine and in law, marketing firms like mine work with “extenders” as an important part of the team. Extenders keep the process moving forward, and keep your costs under control.

One final thought.

It’s bad enough that healthcare marketing is often a thankless job. Please don’t make it an impossible one too.

The next time your marketing person tells you she needs expert help to accomplish your objectives, please support her, rather than set her up for failure.

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