Lisa McCluskey, vice president of marketing communications for Memorial, which serves southeastern Tennessee and northern Georgia, established a physician sales team in 2008. That's when she started working at Memorial and says she quickly surmised that the sale team and marketing needed to work closely together. Her vision five years ago has resulted in two major accomplishments: meaningful metrics, and a bigger seat at the table with the C-suite.
"Looking back at how far we've come since 2008, now we're seen as such key strategic partners," she says. "One battle that we [marketing execs] fight all the time is 'It's fluff' or, it's the first to get cut out of the budget, now we're seen as being a strategic partner."
McCluskey's journey to establishing a more fine-tuned physician relations and referral strategy team for Memorial started where many marketing departments remain today: Some consumer-based physician marketing with no real way to measure whether the marketing efforts were bringing in new patients.
"It was an evolution," says McCluskey. "Early on, we did not have a dashboard. That's the first place I started, trying to measure what we're doing. And then finding out what was valuable. From there, we developed metrics that they didn't even know they needed."