3 Takeaways from the 2016 MASHSMD Fall Conference
Last week, the Vitamin PR team attended the 2016 MASHSMD Fall Conference. We loved meeting other healthcare marketers, and had the privilege of hearing several fantastic speakers throughout the day. Two presentations that really stood out for us were Dr. Michael Gillette’s discussion titled, “The Ethics of Healthcare Marketing,” and Rob Rosenberg’s talk titled, “Brand Story Development: Shifting from Brand Author to Editor.” Here are a few points from their presentations that we’re still talking about a week later:
1. Our professional ethical responsibilities are dictated by our roles as marketing and communications practitioners.
In marketing, there is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation. And as healthcare marketers we are forced to walk that line without crossing it, while still appeasing managers, board members, patients and of course, the bottom line. Dr. Gillette’s discussion focused on how your role can dictate your ethical responsibilities and the importance of being creative marketers without crossing ethical boundaries.
2. Brand author is to editor, as kudzu is to lattice.
As a social media marketer, do you sometimes feel like you’re losing control over your brand narrative? You’re not alone. In his session, Rob Rosenberg compared social media — a way for consumers to take the reins on brand perception — to the overwhelming growth of a kudzu plant. But with the proper use of lattice to control and shape the kudzu plant, you can transform it into a beautiful addition to your garden. In a similar way, Rosenberg argued that communicators could strategically utilize the consumer’s voice on social media and build a brand that people connect with on a deeper level.
3. Social media and reactive marketing isn’t the end of strategy as we know it
There is also a perception in the industry that due to the instant nature of social media marketers can no longer strategize and plan ahead. This is false. It is still important for marketers to build a strategic framework for their brand story, as that is what will guide the conversation on social media. It was a refreshing take on a conversation that so many marketers and communicators have had about the ever-changing landscape of social media and online influencers.
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