The Coffey Blog

5 lessons Thomas Jefferson can teach us about healthcare marketing

Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2016

Eric Dutton, Business Development Consultant

Editor's note: With the 4th of July fast approaching, we thought you might enjoy a repost of this timely and timeless wisdom—updated with a new 5th lesson, also inspired by Jefferson, of course.

"…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson penned words that set the course for a free nation—and that still resonate with modern Americans.

As we get set to celebrate the 4th of July, we offer you 5 timeless pieces of Jeffersonian wisdom to inspire your marketing pursuits.

Lesson 1: Explore new territory

In 1803, Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to head west—to explore and map the Louisiana Purchase.

In your healthcare marketing, have you ventured off your current grid to try new things? Exploring new avenues, such as apps, social media or e-newsletters, may help you reach new audiences.

Lesson 2: Measure and analyze

Jefferson was obsessed with measuring his surroundings. Each morning, he rose with the sun to record the temperature. He also kept records of wind direction, precipitation amounts, bird migration and growth patterns of flowers.

Now, you don't need to get up at dawn, but consistently gathering data can offer you valuable insights. Marketing is truly a science, and the information you collect can help you see patterns and identify opportunities for improvement.

For example, you can track the migration patterns of your website visitors. How do they find your site? What types of content keep them most engaged? Then you can adjust your efforts based on your findings.

Lesson 3: Keep on learning

"I cannot live without books," Jefferson once wrote in a letter to close friend John Adams. His lifelong love of learning is perhaps best reflected in the college he founded, the University of Virginia.  

If Jefferson were alive today, we can imagine him following top scientists on Twitter, commenting on horticulture blogs and downloading e-books on advances in architecture. To stay current in our field, healthcare marketers need to be eager students too. Try to take time each day to grow in knowledge. Read relevant blogs and articles, listen to marketing podcasts, or watch informative videos. 

Lesson 4: Pause to reflect

Before bed each night, Jefferson read something that allowed him to morally reflect. He insisted that this allowed his brain to ponder the ways of the world while he slept.

In a world of budgets and bottom lines, it is easy to get caught up in the accounting—or, as Jefferson called it, "miserable arithmetic." Remember that healthcare marketing is about mission as much as it is about profit.

You have the opportunity to make a real and positive difference in the communities you serve. Reflection can allow you to re-center yourself around your organization's mission and make decisions accordingly.

Lesson 5: Imagine the possibilities

Chances are you're reading this while sitting in a chair that swivels. You can thank Jefferson for that chair—he invented the first swivel chair. You can imagine him sitting at his desk in a stationary chair and wishing he could easily turn from one side of his desk to the other.

Imagination is a key concept of marketing—and creativity. Imagine new ways to tell your story or capture customers. Those new ways could take the form of a unique angle or a compelling patient story. Or a novel way to reach people—particularly millennials—with valuable content delivered on mobile devices and platforms like social media.

And don't be afraid to imagine markets that no one has tapped and ways to make them yours. For instance, are consumers leaving your area for certain types of healthcare services? Imagine how to stop that trend—before your competition does.

We hold these truths

Are you in the pursuit of great content marketing? That's where we come in. At Coffey, we're solely dedicated to healthcare marketing. We can help you get your messages seen and heard. Give us a call at 888.805.9101, or email us.

Source: We got our facts about Jefferson from www.monticello.org. The site also has a great list of things he didn't say.