Find Inspiration and Innovation Outside of the Health Care Sphere

By The SHSMD Team posted 6 days ago

When building marketing strategy, it’s easy to get comfortable with the way things have always been done within your specific industry or sector. Staying in that bubble may be effective to a degree, but looking outside your industry opens up unique opportunities you may not have considered.
It’s what Kristen Plunkett, senior consultant at Fahrenheit 212, and Adam Ruben, associate partner and head of idea development at Fahrenheit 212, referred to as “out-of-sector innovations” during their presentation at SHSMD Connections 2019.

“What we find is that in the realm of innovation, it is often most helpful to study those things outside of your direct domain. One of the things we don’t do is specialize in any one particular sector or industry, so we can have a very broad view of the entire world and then laterally transfer ideas and insights to find opportunities in one particular sector,” stated Ruben.

A Lesson in Transparency

Plunkett referenced one example in what’s going on with tech giants Facebook, Google and Amazon and the backlash they're now getting around how they're utilizing people's data. The trend is turning more towards what the Fahrenheit 212 team calls “data with discipline.”

“We believe it’s important for health care to consider, because arguably health care holds some of the most sensitive data out there,” said Plunkett. “People already understand the value of their data and they're starting to figure out they can actually monetize and profit from that data. At the same time, they're becoming increasingly skeptical of what big companies are doing with their data,” she noted. “What that means is that the health care sector is going to have to become increasingly transparent, give people more control over their data and focus on privacy and actually protecting it.”

Value in Micro-Moments of Truth

Traditional marketing focuses on the customer journey and the major moments individuals have along that journey — interacting with an organization, buying a product and obtaining a service. Companies tend to fixate on these major moments where investment is very overt.

Ruben argued it’s the micro-moments, the moments between the moments, which should be of note. “The most innovative companies are paying attention to those moments and then designing features or offerings, very subtle offerings or customer experiences or patient experiences, which are making a huge difference.”

He provided the example of Delta and its customer notifications. Previously, passengers would typically only get a notification that it’s time to check in. Now the company sends out updates if a gate has changed or even when one’s bag is loaded onto the plane.

“It’s a very small moment that you were just completely blind to as a traveler, but now they're letting you know and it's nice. There’s a sense of security. They are giving you peace of mind,” added Ruben. “These micro moments of truth can have an outsized impact on that emotional bond with the customer or the patient. A sense of trust and just an overall better experience.”

Divergence & Convergence Approach

When helping clients embark on this out-of-sector strategy, the Fahrenheit 212 team practices a concept of divergence and convergence. Plunkett described divergence as not being afraid to start searching online or going out in the physical world and walking through truly inspiring retail experiences. “Just totally freeing yourself of constraints and getting inspired and then coming back together with your team to really converge and pull out those patterns.”

Ruben added that many company leaders, especially if they’ve been in the same sector for a number of years, tend to operate with blinders on. “It’s incredibly easy and understandable to only think in the terms and context you know. But it's important to add diversity of sources of inspiration, insights and ideas to your work. If you are running a group or managing a team, budget some time, budget some resources, to get your team outside of your sector. Give yourself a chance to break through to a new area with some exploration.”

To access more helpful information like this about health care innovation and out-of-industry insights, please check out our podcast episodes and Annual Conference Session Recordings.