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Sales & Marketing

Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

Can Healthcare Take Tips from a Marketers Playbook?

The last 2 days of February finally brought some long awaited (or not, depending on who you ask) snow.  The snowfall didn’t stop marketing professionals in the health care industry from coming on campus for a MN AMA Healthcare SIG event focusing on the impact of health care reform for marketers.  This second in a three part series featured a panel of healthcare/marketing professionals including Rich McCracken, Account Director at Haberman, a full service marketing agency, Kim Wiese, Vice President of Marketing at Optum, and David Moen, M.D., President and CEO at Fairview Physician Associates.  Daniel McLaughlin, Director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs, moderated the panel and facilitated the conversation which touched on the overall mind shift that is necessary in the US culture, in terms of healthcare.  

Dr. Moen stressed the importance of educating and encouraging physicians to focus on patients’ needs rather than wants.  He passionately expressed the need for doctors to have the courage to hold up a mirror in front of patients enabling them to see what it is about their lifestyle that is negatively impacting their health.  We live in a culture that values quick fixes such as pills and elective surgeries.   Marketers are faced with the challenge of changing a population’s way of thinking and altering consumers’ way of living, not simply selling a product.  

Ms. Wiese spoke about Optum’s work in researching employee engagement and therefore saving healthcare costs.  They have invested time and money in farmers markets and healthy lifestyle campaigns.  While all of these initiatives have been positive and well received they have not directly decreased health care costs.  What research has shown is correct physician referrals have a larger impact on cost decreases.  She gave an example of 25% of the United States population suffering from back pain.  A large number of those patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon and often eventually undergo  surgery.  The proper diagnosis may have been seeing a chiropractor, saving thousands of dollars and preventing unnecessary recovery from surgery.  

Rich McCracken gave a thought provoking comparison asking the audience to raise their hand if they have received any incentive email from a retailer this week (such as a Leap Year 20% off sale, etc.).  Every audience member held their hand up. He then asked how many have received an incentive email from their healthcare provider.  A few hands rose, but definitely not the majority.   As he wittily remarked, “If J.Crew were my doctor  I would receive weekly emails encouraging me to take the stairs at work, or skip dessert, etc.”  Unfortunately healthcare is not as simple as consumer goods and marketers are faced with HIPPA (health information privacy) regulations that prevent such contact.   

 Regardless of the obstacles, and there are many, the point remains; our healthcare system is broken and needs a good fix.  How to do it is complicated and merits lengthy discussion.  Thankfully the MN AMA Health care SIG is hosting this series to begin the dialogue.

 

Career Tools

Train Yourself

A recent article in Fast Company laments the trend for companies to reduce training Pile of booksfor their employees and instead focus on finding seemingly perfect candidates who don’t need additional skills development.  Often times these star candidates don’t exist and hiring managers are faced with a skills gap in the applicant pool.  The obvious answer would be for corporations to establish employer based training programs.  A few companies are adopting this method, yet many still are holding firm on attempting to find candidates that already possess the needed skills and experience.

What does this mean as an MBA student?  It means that you need to look at the big picture. Yes you are getting an MBA but what are you doing differently to stand out?  Are you interested in interactive marketing?  If so, hopefully you are active in social media, have dabbled in blogging, and are familiar with Google analytics.  If not you can teach yourself.  There are many ways to do this including online tutorial companies (Lynda.com), “how- to” books or e-books, and educational sites devoted to technology training.  Take a look at your target career and what job skills are required.  How do your skills and experience measure up?  If there are gaps, take the time to fill them by educating yourself, volunteering, interning, or taking on projects for non-profits.  In essence train yourself.

Sales & Marketing

The Best Personalities for Sales Jobs

Thinking about a career in Sales? If so, this article from the Wall Street Journal is a perfect guide that identifies different personalities and how they best fit in a particular industry. The Corporate Executive Board has divided the sales people into five groups. Refer the table below for a quick overview:

Type/Group Characteristics Best Industry
Hard Worker Defines success in terms of Sales Volume.

Positives: Wants to make the best impression. They come early and leave late and constantly look for feedback

Negatives: Many of them chase opportunities that not worth chasing

Best Suited for transactional selling. E.g. Big Computer Manufacturers
Problem Solver Has the ability to address concerns/questions through follow-up

Positives: They make the customers happy

Negatives: Not so good when it comes to high volume selling

Best suited for environments where a big sale goes beyond initial agreement. E.g. Car dealership, IT Service sales
Relationship Builder Values customer satisfaction and engages in maintaining those relationships

Positives: Friendly and good listeners

Negatives: Doesn’t necessarily translate the relationships into sales

Best suited for real estate and hospitality industries
Challenger As the name suggests, loves challenges and taking control

Positives: Have the ability to influence customer’s opinion about the product/service.

Negatives: Are very vocal which might get them occasionally “managed out” if they challenge their own colleagues

Best suited for complex B2B sales. Specific industries could be technology, Finance and Pharmaceuticals
Lone Wolf Plays by his/her own rules

Positives: Willingness to take risks and are assertive

Negatives: Rarely work well in teams and often ignores managers’ orders

Best suited for small business environments.

For complete article, click here>>

Sales & Marketing

Careers within Marketing

This article lists the job titles/careers within Marketing under two buckets – Brand Management and Marketing. Some of the titles within Brand Management are Assistant Brand Manager, Brand Manager and Marketing Director, while some of the areas within Marketing are Market Research, Advertising, Public Relations and Promotions. This article also includes the competencies required and the job responsibilities of the various careers.

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