475: B2E Still Drives Medical Marketing Success
Business-to-employee marketing and storytelling continues to be relevant, especially for healthcare companies that need to differentiate themselves in the market. In episode 475, Dave Mastovich talks about how B2E marketing allows you to capitalize as employees are doing the marketing and storytelling for you. Dave talks about the importance of teaching employees to be knowledgeable about all areas of the company and to trust and build relationships with the team so they are inclined to remain an employee.
20 years and counting, B2E still drives medical marketing success. It’s the No Bullshit Marketing Show. I’m Dave Mastovich, CEO and founder of MASSolutions, the world’s only no bullshit marketing consultants. B2E has been driving medical marketing success for a long time. B2E stands for business-to-employee marketing and business-to-employee storytelling. And why do I say it’s been driving medical marketing success for decades? Because I’ve lived it. I’ve been fortunate to be part of some amazing teams that have done turnarounds, or major growth of health care systems, insurance, medical marketing practices, home medical equipment, home health and hospice, physical and occupational therapy, wound care, you name it, I’ve had the chance to be a part of that in a top marketing position and driving the development of the marketing plans and the stories. And for a long time, I’ve focused on leveraging your employees and making them de facto members of your marketing team. For a long time, I focused on business-to-employee storytelling and business-to-employee marketing programs. Most companies say they’re either B2B, business-to-business, or B2C, business-to-consumer. I believe we need to give the same intentionality around B2E, business-to-employee marketing, specifically in health care. It is so significant to health care.
Here’s one of the reasons why. When we need healthcare, we tend to ask someone that we know and trust that works in health care. And that is typically an employee of someone offering a health care service. That gives us an opportunity, if we’ve done our job as leaders and told our story internally, to employees, that when that employee gets asked about the company and that service, they’re able to talk about it and tell an anecdote or an analogy that helps their family member or friend to feel more comfortable about making that decision, about choosing that health care provider. We need to realize that that’s what happens with anything we buy. But it’s even more so with health care where we go to someone, typically in our immediate family or closest friends and say, ‘I need to have this, I need to get that. Have you ever had this test? Have you done that? Have you heard of this doctor?’ So that’s the first thing about B2E marketing and storytelling. It’s that we need to realize that it’s going to happen. Our employees are going to get asked about health care services. Wouldn’t we rather they have an idea of what happens beyond their piece of their job? Wouldn’t we want them to know the successes, not just the failures or criticisms about our company? Because all of our companies have things that didn’t go as well as we would like or things that were misperceived by our customers. Wouldn’t we want our employees to be able to speak about the good and to speak about the benefits? The answer is, of course, an unequivocal yes. That’s the first reason that business-to-employee marketing needs to be a major focus with intentionality, with commitment from any health care company, any medical marketing.
But another reason is around retention. 43% of employees plan to leave within the next 12 months. The Great Resignation has made employees think longer and harder about where they want to work, when they want to work, how they want to work. People are more emboldened to leave. So business-to-employee marketing and the ensuing business-to-employee stories can help with retention with reducing that statistic. It also comes down to trust. We trust others based on relationships, and relationships are formed based on relating, hence the word relationship, relating and liking. So trust comes from building relationships, relating to others and liking others, which comes from storytelling. Storytelling is the one thing that has been around since we’ve been able to speak and talk. It’s the one thing that goes across countries, across cultures, across generations. It’s used to communicate, educate and motivate. So we need to make sure that we’re leveraging the power of story to have that trust go up because 58% of employees would rather trust a stranger than their boss. So we know retention, recruiting and then results. If you’re building your stories, by, for and about – by, because you’re involving them in the story creation, for, it’s for them, so they understand what each other does and what the good is of their company, and about, we highlight the successes of specific employees – by, for and about, then your employees know what’s going on at the company. And that helps with results, it helps increase productivity.
But with medical marketing, when you’re doing your medical marketing, if you have a wound care company, or hospice, or physical therapy, or your insurer, Medicare HMO, or doctor’s offices, medical marketing, you have seven primary care physicians and eight physician extenders, recruiting and retention are vital to you and results are vital to you, as is the telling of the story to get more patients. So the B2E aspect in medical marketing for all those examples that I provided you is hugely important. You want employees to know what’s going on and to understand so they can tell the good stories about your mission, your vision, your purpose, about your core values, about the impact you make beyond dollars and cents, about the impact you make beyond profits, which in health care can be a bad word. So you want your employees to be able to talk about those things, because that helps to generate more business and helps to get more leads for employees, it helps with retention. So you want to first make them de facto members of your marketing team. They’re storytellers about the company.
The second thing is it can help with recruiting, so you can differentiate your company and get people that fit with the culture more. Because wouldn’t you rather get one employee that fits with the culture, instead of hiring three times, and having three people that weren’t quite a fit, and they left? Of course you would. So we want to be able to get cultural fits, someone that fits culturally, with your recruiting, and that’s done through a B2E marketing program, which looks at employees and potential and current employees, and analyzes them and has insights about them and gets feedback from them. And you build a strategic marketing plan geared towards current and prospective employees for your medical practice, for your health care system, for your hospital, for your Medicare or Medicaid HMO. It helps with recruiting, retention, and results, productivity goes up.
So B2E marketing for decades, at least 20 years, has driven successful medical marketing. I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it, I’ve led it. And I’m here to tell you, it can work for you. You have to first commit to it with intentionality that you’re going to treat current and prospective employees as a target market just like you do current and prospective clients or customers. You’re going to drill down that market to look for insights and trends that you’re going to get. You’re going to systematically gather feedback from current and prospective employees. You’re going to look at the trends and what competitors are doing. You’re going to treat it just like a customer segment. You’re going to build that B2E marketing plan, that strategy with specific action items that have accountable parties and goals and specifics around them and deadlines. And then you’re going to work that plan. All of that can drive your medical marketing success. It can tell the story about your physicians and your nurse practitioners and your physician assistants. It can talk about the compassionate care that your team delivers. It can convey what your mission, vision and purpose is. It can talk about your core values so that you can find people that match up culturally with you. It can help your current employees to understand better and to get more engagement out of their job and more intrinsic gains so that you retain them longer. It can help the productivity and results of your team, and it can help with generating new customers, new patients, new clients, because employees are talking to friends and family who ask them about that particular health care service, and they can be educated and motivated to tell your anecdotes, your analogies that will present your company the way it deserves to be presented. That’s why 20 years and counting B2E still drives medical marketing success.
If you want to learn more about how your health care company can benefit from B2E, go to MASSolutions.biz/B2E. Thanks for listening to another episode of the No Bullshit Marketing Show recorded here in MASSolutions studio in bold, beautiful, downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Remember, ask yourself, what’s the big idea? And build your story around the answer. It’s all about bold solutions. No BS.