As we prepped for our webinar, “When CRM and PRM Join Forces” last week (if you missed it, you can view it here) and discussed the insights and strategies that can develop when physician relations and consumer engagement are combined, we couldn’t help but wonder, “How can the marketing and physician liaison departments within healthcare organizations work better together to provide a more holistic approach?”
In some organizations, the physician liaison teams are part of the business development department, in others the strategy department, and in some cases the physician sales employees even report directly within the marketing department – it widely varies. Regardless of where the physician liaison teams are housed, they should still work harmoniously with the hospital marketing department in order to reach both teams’ goals. In her 2012 Becker’s Hospital Review article, “Improve Growth Outcomes by Aligning Marketing and Physician Relations Strategies” Kathleen Harkins states three tried-and-true approaches to break down the silos and start working toward better growth outcomes together:
Schedule time to meet to discuss your strategic plan with the marketing team and have them do the same. Talk about ways that marketing can help you in sales meetings with physicians, and how your team can help them. If they know your goals up front, they will be more likely to offer their services. Make it a two-way conversation, so you aren’t just taking from marketing without offering anything in return. Your expertise may prove invaluable to them when the time comes that they need to develop certain tactics. Marketing may have many different communications channels for you to use, but you’ll get a much better response from them if you ask for their help and ideas respectfully.
Offer to work with them
If you have a project you need help from marketing on, be sure to offer to help them get it done, instead of asking them to do it for you. Discuss your intentions and talk specifically about how you’ll use the list or collateral they’re providing. Share as much content and expertise as possible to help the marketing department develop exactly what you need.
Find out what marketing’s goals are by asking them. Then align your goals with theirs wherever possible, and make sure you both align with corporate goals. If you are both working toward a common objective – whether that is to drive higher volumes or increase revenue – then you can focus your efforts and resources on the right activities and tactics. Be deliberate in a shared approach, and you will be far more likely to succeed.
If you have questions on how to get marketing more involved in your liaison efforts, let us know and we’ll get you in touch with experts who can dive deeper into the best ways to do so.