Cowart also convinced Inova’s leadership to change the way the sales team works because physician liaisons are conduits for the organization’s message.
“We started to define physician relations with more sales language and sales technique, and when you start to do that it’s a natural fit for the physician sales team to be with the marketing messaging team,” he says. “The liaison gets scripted with messaging, so they become another channel of distribution for the message.”
Not all marketing leaders are cut out to fill the role of the new CMO. First off, they have to be able to delegate most tactical duties to trusted employees so they can focus on the big picture.
“We have to ask constituencies what they want from us and work with those people in operational and tactical roles to deliver solutions,” Hendery says. “It’s like moving up from that 10,000 feet to 50,000 feet, but knowing you have to dive back down after the strategy has been set to make sure operationally things will go as planned.”
The type of degree the new CMO should possess depends on the organization, Binder says. Some may be more suited to a master’s in public administration or business administration while others may benefit from a master’s in healthcare administration.
“Any marketing leader must have a master’s degree in marketing because it’s a business discipline like accounting or finance,” says Hendery.
Cowart agrees that postgraduate education is important, but not necessarily a must-have for the new CMO.
“The key to it all is not the degrees or pedigrees you have—it’s the degree to which you embrace innovation and change,” he says.