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Make Sure Your Marketing People Are Keeping Up…or Accept Falling Behind

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Caution sign with a lightbulb in it with "Fresh Ideas" text underneathWe've noticed that the most successful doctors and executives that we work with are constantly hungry for new information. By any of various names, continuing education is part of their personal fabric, something to be exercised daily, if not hourly.

But what providers and administrators do for themselves, they sometimes overlook providing the value of continuing ed for their marketing staff or agency. They should insist on everyone staying current with what's new and what's next. Education is a basic survival requirement amid constant change in healthcare and marketing.

You already know about healthcare’s howling winds of change. And, thanks largely to the Internet, the art and science of marketing is also changing…almost weekly, it seems. In fact, there’s more change every six months than used to happen in an entire decade. Top marketers agree that just keeping up can feel overwhelming at times.

What’s more, nearly all business marketers (97 percent) expect the pace of change to accelerate, according to new Forrester Research data. And 85 percent “are doing things that aren’t traditional marketing.”

As CEO of a growing healthcare marketing company, I need to stay on the cutting edge. I spend 15 to 20 percent of my time on learning, in one form or another. Perhaps much like you, I go to conferences, read voraciously, watch webinars, talk to smart people.

But it doesn’t stop with me. An important part of the concept (something I look at as a leadership duty) is to keep my team up to date. These are intelligent and creative people that do the day-to-day work, and as CEO I keep an eye on the horizon. Part of what I do is to curate the best stuff to share, and to distill it into usable strategies for our clients.

Not everyone does this. There are a lot of people out there who haven't seriously studied their craft since they left college. Some haven't opened a book.

I remember mentioning this once at one of our seminars. (I also attend or speak at two or three events each year, often on topics about advanced Internet training.) Someone in the audience registered surprise and asked, “But you’re an expert. Why would you go to a seminar?"

Then he paused and answered his own question. "Oh, I get it. You ARE an expert because you always keep up on what other people are doing."

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So if you are a doctor or healthcare executive, make sure that your agency REALLY keeps up with the current state of the art. The same is true for your internal marketing staff. It’s a vital ingredient to success. And it’s how our team gets good and stays good.

The alternative is second (last) place. If your marketing people are not keeping up, be prepared to accept falling behind.

This is our philosophy, and a way of doing things that has worked for our organization. It’s a concept we learned decades ago by Brian Tracy who stressed that Continuous Learning is Key to Your Business Success.

Works for us. Pass it on to the organization that you lead.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA, CEO

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