Recently, I had a very special experience. My best friend was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. The ordination was lovely and stirring. The offerings of support and affirmation of worthiness were abundantly proffered on her behalf by the many whose lives she has touched, mine especially.
We have many conversations about the parallels in our respective career paths. We come from the same humble and rewarding beginnings – nursing. Her path took her to the spiritual side of wellness while I’ve followed the therapeutic path. The director of our nursing program drilled into our psyche that each patient must be cared for wholly. This tenet stuck with us, a foundation we spring from as we pursue our particular sliver of wellness expertise. And, it comes in handy to have complementary expertise to reach for, when needed.
Although the nature of the work we do is different there are two things that are the same. There is a person who needs care and to provide care we must connect with the person. Connecting with the person is the very definition of marketing.
In today’s world we are regularly pummeled with information, brands, and messages. See the very cleverly demonstrated example by an arts group ‘Studio Smack’ [cool name] in their video report. Lots and lots of noise – visual and auditory, all designed to capture and keep our attention. So much so, we are becoming blind and deaf to much of it. This presents obvious challenges to the marketer who wants to connect with the person who needs that which we offer.
A priest and hospital chaplain – her former manager, delivered a homily of her work. The consistent thread throughout the history of her work is her ministerial style. Whenever considering how to reach the ever-so-slightly-out-of-reach individual, she sought input by inviting her manager to walk and talk with her. This ‘walk and talk’ method, out of the office, away from the walls, distant from a sanctuary has become her trademark.
To reach the individual in need, she goes to them. She does not wait for them to come to her. She goes to where they are. She doesn’t require they come to a defined and assigned place. From her time within the sanctuary at the altar she knows that there are few inside, many more are not. And from her work in the field she knows that those outside of the traditional space are no less in need or of wanting. To connect with the person and provide service, she must be where they are, when they are there. She has identified how to market her services. She knows that what she has to offer can benefit many however, it is the one-on-one relationship that is most impactful. And her most effective marketing is word-of-mouth from those she has served. She has more than mastered the ‘P- Place’ in the marketing mix.
My work in life sciences involves specialized and sophisticated technologies. The value of the technologies can only be realized when applied to the person in need of the particular care the technologies provide. It is a long way from development labs to patient care. To get to the right patient at the right time in the right place is my favorite challenge.
Successful contact with the right patient requires mastering the right marketing mix. I invite you to read examples of highly effective marketing in the postings by my blog partners.
My best friend – the newly ordained Reverend and I do different work. She cares for the soul and spirit; I care for body and mind. However, we both use marketing to promote our type of care. And I am reminded by observing her trademark style that to reach the masses, I must connect with the individual – a highly specialized method of marketing.
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