Will it stick? Will it spark engagement? Will it increase conversions? Will it achieve our desired outcomes and produce the results we are looking for? These are the questions we ask ourselves when creating exceptional creative work.
Creating a message that truly resonates with it’s intended audience is no easy feat, but what about the delivery of your message? I think we take for granted the work that goes into a great media strategy. Without having someone who knows how to ensure your message is in the right place at the right time all of the time, even the most creative work can fall flat.
Assuming you hired a rock solid agency to take this burden off your shoulders to create and execute your media strategy, how do you tell if it could have been better? Maybe your expectations were met or even exceeded, but the best of the best know that it’s not about being good, it’s about always looking for ways to be better. With the complexities that come with navigating the media supply chain, it can be cumbersome at best to take on a media audit internally. Your agencies might offer you an after action report, but asking for insights from those with vested interests in the outcomes of your media decisions are probably not the best resource to tap.
After chatting with Mike Solomon, the Chief Media Operations Officer for MMi, a St. Louis based media audit company, he explained to me that as an independent firm, they can maintain media and agency neutrality and deliver pure objectivity. However, these guys aren’t the type of firm you hire to tell you your bait sucks and your boat’s ugly, and leave it at that. As I gained the impression from Mike himself, their entire team is made up of those with an average of 20+ years agency and media experience. They practically have it in their blood to make sure your media delivers the right audience at the right time in the most efficient way possible. With reported spending anywhere from tens of millions to billions solely on media, MMi knows that at the end of the day their goal is is to deliver quantifiable insights that matter, helping clients optimize media planning efforts, and in essence, build a better boat.
How To Connect
Healthcare is an interesting industry, in that from a consumer standpoint, unless you’re an expecting mother, or have a ritual of grabbing lunch at your local hospital cafeteria, most consumers of healthcare would rather not be customers. Combine this element of an already resistant, disengaged consumer base, with the high-risk environment that comes with managing a hospital. Ask yourself what could go wrong, then ask yourself how prepared you have to be to manage and maintain the success of a major healthcare system. It’s momentous to say the least. This isn’t a job where you get to clock in and spend a few hours here and there on Facebook. No, instead you have to perform, and you have to do it well, in what are often chaotic environments. So what is it that drives a more than capable marketing and communications professional to embed herself in an industry surrounded by chaos?
Of the countless passionate and driven nurses, techs, and physicians I’ve met, they will all tell you the reason they go back to work everyday is for those moments, the ones where they know they made a difference in a patient’s life. Sure, some jobs in healthcare give you the opportunity to pull in a decent salary, but if you think it’s about the money, you have yet to realize the sacrifice required to work in this industry. There has to be something more that comes with the job that makes that sacrifice worth it. According to Melissa Sterling, a former Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Hospital Sisters Health System (Southern Division), as well as a former Vice President of Marketing for The ROHO Group, there is without a doubt a reward that is truly invaluable.
Following your passion is great, but pursuing a career that merges your passion with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around you is priceless. This contrast is what Melissa refers to as the difference between satisfying work and meaningful work. As a University of Missouri J-School graduate and well experienced marketing professional, having served in various senior-level marketing roles, the opportunities that allowed her to contribute to the well-being of patients lives were the most rewarding. From the impact she made while serving on behalf of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, to introducing innovative communication strategies for The ROHO Group, the pride and joy that came with knowing she was helping organizations that help others is something she cherishes to this day. If given the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl campaign, which most in the marketing space would see as a dream opportunity, she would rather contribute her part by helping to develop communication strategies in the healthcare space. Her unending drive to invest day in and day out is fueled by the desire to earn that feeling of intense fulfillment, knowing she did something that truly helped the life of someone other than herself.
Some might find this to be crazy, or too good to be true, but I think it’s an innate truth very few are privileged enough to discover. Money is like oxygen; it’s necessary to live, but not the purpose of living. Whether your passion is marketing and communications, or building bridges and engineering for the future, find a way to make a contribution, to give back, and I promise you the sacrifice is more than worth the reward.
Two college students are discussing their dreams and aspirations over coffee, and a stranger, maybe early 50’s, leans in out of curiosity to ask about their career goals. Surprised, the stranger is taken back at how motivated and driven these students are to escape the average 9-5 and create something for themselves. This notion that the 9-5 is even possible to escape is implausible for most members of the old guard. When they hear it, they often jump to the conclusion that those desiring a job outside these walls are either out of touch with what it takes to run a business or are too lazy to make a real contribution. For some, this might be an accurate assumption to make, but for those few movers and shakers of the millennial generation, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Launching on the 17th of August, comes Hierarchy, a blog for young millennials who want more than that average 9-5 job that awaits them upon graduation. After having met BreAnna Menendez-Phillips, a business and marketing student attending the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), I was able to learn how Hierarchy came to be, where her and her co-founders intend on taking this newly created brand, and their motivations for doing so.
The name Hierarchy comes from this idea you often find when reading about celebrity status CEO’s and leaders who have built momentous organizations. It’s this idea of never being satisfied, and the desire to keep achieving beyond your own expectations; aim high, and keep aiming higher. With that said, posts published throughout the blog all relate back to investing in young millennials who hope to achieve career outcomes beyond the status quo. As Hierarchy continues to generate a following, BreAnna explained to me that the group plans to expand the blog’s brand into a platform that offers services for young millennials looking to do bigger and better things with their lives. With ideas ranging from providing personal branding and professional development services, to offering scholarships and startup grants to young entrepreneurs, the sky really is the limit for these young trailblazers.