Claiming Marketing's Seat in the C-Suite

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media , October 5, 2011

If those stats aren't enough to convince you, maybe this is: When respondents were asked how often the marketing department is involved in the first stages of product or service line development: 

  • 22% said Always
  • 58% said Sometimes
  • 13% said Rarely
  • 7% said Never

How is exclusion even possible when marketers are the ones who are in charge of branding, promoting, and cross-coordinating initiatives across the organization? The answer may reside in how healthcare organizations interpret the role of the marketing team.

At the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) Annual conference in September, marketing professionals were encouraged to share how their organization perceives the role of the marketer. Turns out, many organizations rely on stereotypes.

"My colleagues often ask me to script what to say to patients," one woman answered. "They say, 'I don't have a bed for this patient, how do I make that sound okay?'"

Other conference attendees mentioned how they are pegged as the people with the cool giveaways, games, or gadgets.

"The goals of marketing and the CFO are aligned. You are about to become the CFO's best friend if you learn how to contribute to their margin," said John Luginbill, CEO of The Heavyweights, an IN-based marketing communications firm.

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