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SHSMD 2017 Healthcare Conference Insights from our Creative Director

Kim Dunn

“Think different.” Anyone remember that tagline? Sure you do – it is iconic! And yet it still resonates every day, for every organization, in every area of business to this day. Healthcare is no different. In fact, it matters even more right now. No matter your title, your role encompasses some form of this rallying cry: Think different.

Now, another challenge: How does this apply to marketing and advertising, or can we assist in making it ripple into every aspect of healthcare?

This was my first year attending a SHSMD conference. And the “think different” philosophy was resonating from every room and was woven into every conversation. Of course, it meant different things to different people and that was what made it so interesting. In an environment encouraging creative thinking and collaboration – everyone felt safe to experiment; I loved listening to all the ideation. It wasn’t the ideas generated as much as how they were being created, encouraged and inspired that was so energizing.

Whether you are trying to rebrand your hospital, engage your audience in virtual visits, or attempting to amp up your digital strategy – thinking differently is a philosophy expected by not only your C-suite but also your patients. Their engagement in your brand is no longer dependent on a commercial or a few print ads. They expect to have an exceptional experience at every touchpoint. And those touchpoints add up when we are all doing our jobs right.

From greeting patients at the entrance to the environment they may stay in for minutes or days – to the discharge process and follow-up. We have the opportunity to do things differently and make an impact that benefits both the market share and the mission.

So, how can we think creatively, communicate, and connect differently?

As I spent time in each session, I was inspired by each keynote and surprised by discussions with individual attendees – I found myself surrounded by creativity and energy, all attempting to answer that question. And it was surprisingly simple to start. We discuss with an open mind, we brainstorm, we collaborate and we keep pushing each other to be the best of the best. No more status quo. Nothing is impossible. Seek fresh perspectives from everyone in your organization and trusted partners. Believe you have value and prove it to everyone from the janitor to the cancer survivor.

Healthcare today is in flux and that can be a good thing. It will push us out of our comfort zone, demand us to be more resilient, and in doing so will create amazing opportunities for growth and innovation.

Remember, “Think different.” Be unique, be thoughtful and be bold. Take your healthcare, not just it’s marketing, to places never before thought possible.


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