Senior couple meditating at home.

Meditation, Meetings and Marketing Strategy

I had the pleasure of attending Gopi Kallayil’s keynote at the Forum for Healthcare Strategy before our own presentation with Cleveland Clinic.  He highlighted some interesting observations regarding our new organ – the mobile device.  Our connectedness to information and others is revolutionary. However, our brains are not as good at multi-tasking – in fact, we perform best when highly focused.

I found this interesting from a strategic marketing perspective…both in terms of the implications of digital, for which much has been written, but also as marketing strategist as it relates to the omni-channel experience and plethora of channels we now have available to us.  In fact, in the Healthcare MarCom Benchmarking Data we gathered and analyzed, one key conclusion from the data is that increasing the number of marketing mix tactics diminishes net patient revenue returns. In other words, shotgun doesn’t work and marketers need to say no.

To counteract this at the individual level, Gopi translates this into 5 rituals.  I appreciate this as a newly minted student of meditation practices.

These also translate to marketing strategy:

1: Focus on the essential – for the individual, what are those 5 essential tasks I must do today; for marketers, what are the essential few tactics, I should place at the highest priority?  Those priorities should be measurable. And yes, billboards probably fall off the list, and digital moves up.

2: Do one thing at a time – for the individual, no more multi-tasking; have set minute limits for meetings (20 or 50 min) in which you’re present and mindful.  For marketers, I believe this relates to the consistency of messaging. We have the channel, so let’s be consistent with the message to either coinsumers or physicians.  It’s not until we’re tired of hearing it that they finally get it.

3: Focus on your inner-net – spend at least 1 minute per day in meditation.  I believe as marketers we don’t spend enough time in reflection – absorbing the insights from data gathered and truly reflecting on their implications.  I’m not certain we all have 1 minute a day to ponder the organization’s strategy, but what about 5 minutes a week?

4: Make appointments for your inner-net.  This is about commitment.  I loved how he talks about using your online calendar and making appointments for tasks. I’ve been doing that for years much to the chagrin of my colleagues.  But it works.  Along the lines of #3 above, for marketers, this means making a dedicated checkpoint throughout the year to monitor progress in your marketing plan and updating your tactics based on data.  For some, this might be weekly, monthly, others quarterly.  We have constructed our Marketing360 dashboard to provide just that – an integrated source of data to these check-ins, but there are other tools available to connect your marketing activities to your business objectives.

5.  Friend yourself.  This is about progress not perfection, self-reflection.  For marketers, we tend to allow ourselves to get beat up by internal stakeholders for less than stellar results.  But there is much about market results that marketing has little control – namely, things like access and the experience delivered to patients and referring physicians by the hospital staff.  However, marketing leaders can play a role in bringing marketing and operations together to achieve greater levels of word of mouth advocacy (which makes marketing’s job easier).

In sum, there was much to be learned on an individual and organizational level.  I appreciated the opportunity to focus and expand my thinking.  Now…if only I could start every client workshop with a moment of silent meditation.

You can purchase Gopi’s book at bookstores online.  Here’s a link.

And also purchase the audio recording of our presentation on Healthcare Marketing Communications Benchmarking from the Forum for Healthcare Strategy here.




















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John M. McKeever

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John McKeever supports leaders who are seeking to make high impact changes in their business, primarily to advance strategies for growth and business optimization.  He organizes and oversees teams who develop market insight, nurture high performance teams, deploy purpose driven communications,…