5 healthcare marketers share the motto that guides their messaging strategy

Healthcare marketers often adhere to deeply-held maxims — whether personal or organizationwide — when strategizing communication.

Below, five healthcare marketers from hospital and health systems across the country share the mottos on which they base their messaging strategies.

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Paul Matsen, chief marketing and communications officer, Cleveland Clinic: Digital. Mobile. Measureable. In the Cleveland Clinic marketing and communications division, we adopted this motto a number of years ago to drive our “digital first” transformation. I challenged every member of our team to think of themselves as a digital communicator or marketer.  

When we review any project, we ask ourselves if it can be done on a digital platform first. Then, we challenge ourselves to ensure that it is optimized for mobile, which is where most patients consume our content. Finally, we want to be able to demonstrate the impact of the work we do, and we strive to measure every project or program we roll out. This simple motto has had a powerful impact on our work.

Sarah Garrity, chief marketing officer at Commonwealth Care Alliance (Boston): Here at Commonwealth Care Alliance, we’re building our brand reputation as a national leader in caring for populations with significant needs. I believe a product is something you buy whereas a brand is a bond. It is the connection you create with your customers when you make an important promise…and keep it. CCA’s brand promise is tied to our mission, “innovating, coordinating and providing highest-quality, individualized care” that supports members’ and patients’ desire to stay at home, in their community, for as long as possible. We sum it up as “uncommon care” in our marketing communications.

Manny Rodriguez, chief marketing, experience and customer officer at UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.): Our patients and their stories are at the core of what we do, hence our motto “Live Extraordinary.” The idea that all of our patients are extraordinary no matter where they are at in their journey drives our storytelling. Our job at UCHealth is to help every patient live an extraordinary life, so everything we do is done with that lens. We highlight stories about our extraordinary patients leading extraordinary lives, told genuinely in their voice and their tone. This allows our patients to tell their stories of recovery in their way. You won’t see us talking about ‘us’ — the focus is our patients.

Catherine Harrell, chief marketing officer at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge, La.): The guiding idea that our marketing and communications team follows is at the heart of consumerism — “It’s not about us.” We’ve been making that strategic point-of-view shift over the past few years, but there’s a new urgency brought on by demands for personalization, convenience and whole body care. Today’s healthcare relationship requires that our organization must be as relevant when individuals are well as when they are ill or injured with messages constructed from the outside-in. 

I also believe marketing and operations teams have never been more interdependent, and I’m excited to see those organizational partnerships deepen. There’s a corollary idea I first heard from a very smart colleague almost a decade ago: “When you need a friend is not the time to make a friend.” At the time, we were in a difficult contract dispute, but the wisdom applies universally. I’m sure most of us know the importance of having strong, established relationships especially over these recent pandemic months. Marketing and communications are about building connections and trust, for the good times as well as the challenging times. We’re all in this together.

Suzanne Hendery, chief marketing and customer officer at Renown Health (Reno, Nev.): We “Fight the Good Fight!” and all our marketing communications are guided by the brand values of hope and determination. Thousands of employees, physicians and consumers chose these inspiring words and powerful imagery to define who we are and what we stand for. 

At Renown Health, we see hope and determination every day in the faces of the people we care for. The strength that our patients show in the face of adversity is what inspires us to work day in and day out to improve their health. We never back down from a fight. No matter what challenges life may present, we’ll continue to fight alongside our patients and their families to ensure a healthier tomorrow. Renown fights the good fight every day, for everyone in the communities we serve.

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