Nine Considerations When Exploring CRM for Your Organization

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

Healthcare marketers run the gamut in terms of exposure to CRM. As a result, when the Business Development team at LionShare first interacts with potential partners, they find themselves either educating prospects on the concept of CRM or merely presenting product offerings. However, regardless of our partners’ CRM comfort level, we find one common component exists among successful initiatives. Planning. Simple enough on the surface but given its critical nature, I think it bears repeating. Even before you settle on a partner or develop your CRM road map, make sure to do your due diligence internally.

  1. What are the key objectives your organization wants to achieve? Are you aiming to capture market share by marketing competitive services and offerings to your market area? Is referral management and managing leakage a major concern? Understand strategic priorities to help lay the framework for what you need.
  2. Identify known/likely cross-departmental champions and consult with them to understand their challenges/concerns.
  3. Act local, think global—while the CRM platform will help with consumer segmentation and insights related to marketing and strategic planning initiatives, realize that CRM needs to roll out horizontally within your organization. It should be a part of the entire patient experience. In other words, take CRM out of the marketing department.
  4. Focus on platforms that are scalable. Technology, healthcare delivery models and the patient experience are evolving at the speed of light. Don’t be married to a platform that answers today’s questions, seek out those that will grow in concert with your priorities.
  5. Understand use and access; how does this impact your internal resources, both financially and in terms of the marketing staff.
  6. Does the solution come with a pilot/co-pilot or will you be executing in a vacuum?
  7. Is leveraging best in breed strategies from your partner important to you? If so, make sure to focus on platforms/solutions/relationships with niche partners who have a strong presence in the healthcare industry.
  8. Is reporting based on vanity metrics (e.g. opens, click thrus, etc.) leaving you to analyze performance based on metrics that don’t tie back to business objectives? Having a framework in place that allows for ROI customization will enable you to ultimately present results/metrics that are important to your C-suite. Insure that levels of reporting detail can tie back to business objectives for C-suite, goals for those in service line leader roles and individual KPIs for those in the marketing department.
  9. While all organizations have internal challenges/roadblocks that slow or even stall progress, understand what the implementation process looks like and average completion times for every vendor partner you consider.

And yes, there are only 9 considerations. I’ll leave it up to you to incorporate the 10th consideration. Think through “similar scope” acquisitions you’ve spearheaded, recall any roadblocks you faced and plan for those accordingly.

Hope these are helpful and I encourage you to reach out to me with any other considerations you’ve found particularly critical. I’d be happy to share responses in a future update.

Here’s to planning!

Tamara Cauton

Tamara is a Strategic Account Manager and brings to the table over 20 years of healthcare marketing experience. Her desire to “turn the cube”, coupled with her attention to detail and attitude consistently exceed client needs and expectations. She has developed, executed and analyzed community wellness and population health campaigns, brand audits, service line marketing campaigns, CRM strategies and New Mover Programs. Prior to joining the LionShare Marketing team, Tamara led account management services at another healthcare marketing firm and also spent time in account service at traditional advertising agencies.

Tamara earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

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