How Healthcare Marketers Take Charge in the Age of Innovation
Sustaining vs. Disruption Innovation
Nothing is more enticing than joining the race to find a cure. Entire fund-raising campaigns are built on this call-to-action even though few diseases have reached that pinnacle goal. At a time when artificial intelligence is promising groundbreaking advances in medicine, healthcare marketers have a great incentive to foster innovation in their products, services, and practices. As traditionally late adopters, many healthcare corporations and leaders may still be stuck in the risk versus reward mindset thus limiting their vision and will to innovate. Today, as in the past, corporate healthcare marketers must compete for program funding by presenting a clear objective and proof of concept. That process is a poor fit for innovation efforts that seek to ask the right question or discover a need that may manifest in the future.
So, what is a healthcare marketer to do? Marketing pioneers must expect to fail and drive a culture that embraces mistakes and builds on lessons learned. For this tall order, consider a dual approach that combines internal and external marketing efforts known as “Sustaining” and “Disruptive” Innovation1. To get started on the road to innovation, try these internal strategies.
Corporate Healthcare Marketers “Sustaining” INNOVATION To-Do List
- Skip the safe hire if you wish to stimulate original thinking and surround yourself with non-traditional talent who are visionary, resilient, and risk-tolerant.
- Advocate for an atmosphere that embraces risk-taking and focuses on lessons learned to quickly recover from mistakes.
- Re-position KPI’s to reward aspirational goals and build on each small win as a stepping stone to advance innovation.
- Include longevity and quality of life as pressing near term issues for patients living with a disease.
- Bust open silos and work across internal teams to incorporate a wide variety of functional perspectives.
Following these steps will get the internal marketing team ready to present innovative campaigns to their leadership. With so much at stake, corporate healthcare marketers must become experts at pitching innovation. Necessary equipment is a skillset dominated by creativity, strategic planning, and the ability to influence. To strengthen the business case, explore these opportunities for disruptive innovation.
Corporate Healthcare Marketers “Disruptive” INNOVATION To-Do List
- Share the reins of innovation with a diverse group of trusted external catalysts to spark creative thinking and non-traditional approaches.
- Partner with creative agencies, academic researchers, and advisors from unrelated industries that have already embraced innovation.
- Brainstorm with partners to predict how patients’ needs may change as medicine advances and develop strategies to fulfill those requirements.
- Stay alert for vertical and horizontal integration opportunities that address what the healthcare market will look like in the next decade.
- Be bold, courageous, and unstoppable in your quest for innovation. Use your passion to inspire leaders to shift the culture to accept a new set of ground rules for innovative approaches to healthcare marketing.
This is the formula for visionary healthcare marketers who care more about patient well-being than short-term career success. To work at this level, leverage perceptions that are outside the norm to elevate disruptive innovation. Be proactive here and seek agencies that have been down this road. At Xavier Creative House, our most exciting campaigns have applied meaningful innovation and relevant technology that break the norms of traditional healthcare marketing. Approaches like virtual, augmented reality, and interactive sales tools have ushered our healthcare marketing clients into the forefront of their therapeutic/disease areas. To sustain and disrupt your innovation efforts, rely on us as your external marketing partner.
[Keywords: Healthcare, Medicine, Patients, Innovation, Sustaining Innovation, Disruptive Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Disruptive Marketing]