Tag Archives: sales

Marketing in Healthcare – Special Interest Group Recap

The UW Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy was formed to link business professionals and academic researchers. One way to link academics and professionals is through programs like the Healthcare Special Interest Group (HSIG). The purpose of the HSIG is to bring the best marketing minds in healthcare together and come up with projects to develop new knowledge. The meeting was hosted by Robert Palmatier, research director of the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy. John Henson, the VP of Medical Affairs from Swedish Hospital helped to facilitate the discussion.

The first meeting was designed to set the direction and future for the HSIG. The group decided to focus on creating value by sharing best practices in marketing. They agreed to have a topic for each future meeting and look at challenges facing the companies and healthcare industry. Marketing is often competitive, but the company representatives agreed that it is beneficial to work together.

One topic in the open discussion was the Shift in Marketing in the Healthcare Industry. The shift in marketing is from individuals to employers because employers choose the plan options for their employees. This is enterprise marketing, and healthcare companies have to market to both individuals and employers, and keep consumers involved and engaged. Otherwise the customers will choose a different plan. One example was the pressure from Boeing- healthcare practices changed and the speed of innovation improved. Employees can now choose between two plans: Swedish and UW Medicine

Companies want to market “wellness” so customers don’t visit doctors only when they’re sick. They want to shift the consumer thinking to: “I want to be well.” UW Medicine is only 12 years old, and the brand is 6 years old, so they are relatively new to marketing their company. Healthcare is being run like a business, creating a potential need for healthcare focused EMBA or other programs, but the market is small, so these would only be offered every 2-3 years

One challenge concerns the use of Technology in Medicine. UW Medicine recently introduced a program that allows patients to communicate with their doctors using video chat. Providence launched HealthExpress, a similar program in Washington. Getting consumers to engage with these new technologies requires marketing. Digital Healthcare is the fastest growing segment in healthcare. A problem the HSIG noted was that IT and medicine departments often do not communicate well. An additional concern is how to get customers who are offline to engage with these online offerings.

Behavior Change as a Marketing Endeavor, was another discussion topic as most marketing efforts go to behavior change. Problems included the determent issue with life insurance, financial services, and healthcare, and how companies can deal with the episodic nature of healthcare. The ACA (Affordable Care Act) is bringing thousands of new patients into the healthcare system, many of whom are getting coverage for the first time. One question is how to get them into the doctor for preventative care, rather than to the ER.

Loyalty Programs are very effective at creating behavior change. When using loyalty programs, companies should limit communication and communicate only when they have something new and improved to offer. For example, when airlines use random upgrades, customers feel gratitude (vs. “I earned those miles”). Surprising people is important. A concern for healthcare companies is finding loyalty cards that customers are motivated to use. Regulations about private healthcare data make accessing information about customers difficult. A potential research project would be to get people to volunteer to have health-related data recorded on a card and analyzed.

Finally, every local healthcare company can benefit from making Seattle a Healthcare Hotspot. Economic development attracts new businesses and creates a virtuous cycle. Washington has strong potential and a history of innovation. Seattle could be among the first cities to achieve the Triple Aim in healthcare (improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.)

Message from the Sales and Marketing Center’s Research Director

Have you ever wondered how other firms are solving sales and marketing problems or if there is a better way to analyze a marketing issue or benchmark best practices? We have designed the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy to help address these issues by matching business professionals and their sales and marketing challenges with world-leading academic faculty and research as well as with other sales and marketing executives.

After spending over a decade as both a business executive and marketing professor, I am convinced these two groups can and should work together to improve business performance. Yes, they often speak different languages and can work at different speeds, but there is also an opportunity for tremendous synergy. Business professionals know today’s problems, interface with “real” customers and have great access to real-time data. Academic researchers have deep knowledge in their research domain and the motivation and skill to rigorously analyze specific problems, but often lack a connection to real-world business problems, customers and data.

We are committed to building the necessary linkages between business professionals and academics. Help us make sales and marketing research relevant to your business by engaging with the SalesMark Center. You can sign up for our newsletter, attend a conference or networking event, take a one-day class or join a Special Interest Group (SIG) with other executives focused on a specific sales or marketing problem.

Please contact me by email or phone at palmatrw@uw.edu or 206-543-4348 for more information.

Best regards,

Rob Palmatier
Professor of Marketing
John C. Narver Chair of Business Administration
Research Director, Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy

Career fair success

Career FairThe Foster School’s Professional Sales Program and the Husky Sales Club pulled off a huge win. On Tuesday, February 24, over 35 corporations joined us for our most successful Career Fair yet. A representative from E&J Gallo said, “This is the best Career Fair we attend. You have the right student population and potential employees for us.” Close to 200 students connected with potential employers to talk about opportunities and careers in sales and to explore the variety of opportunities.

The Professional Sales Program would like to recognize the Husky Sales Club for helping plan, recruit, and execute such a large event. Sponsors are signing up for next year already.

Foster’s Professional Sales Team takes 1st in national competition

Professional Sales Team
From left to right: Geyliah Hara Salzberg, Alex Crane, Rick Carter (faculty), Meredith Barrett, and Natalie Jerome.

On October 15, Geyliah Hara Salzberg, Alex Crane, Meredith Barrett and Natalie Jerome represented the Foster Professional Sales Program at the National Team Selling Competition (NTSC) hosted by Indiana University at the Kelley School of Business. The NTSC attracts 21 universities across the nation. Teams participate in a two-sales-call process in front of judges from sponsoring corporations 3M and Altria. Teams compete in three divisions with the top competitor in each division advancing to the finals. The University of Washington took top division honors and advanced to the finals, ultimately achieving a 1st place victory.

The 2014 National Team Selling competition demanded a large upfront time commitment by our students as they learned the complexities of selling, team work, presentation skills, and overcoming objections. Students learned how to digest the challenges and opportunities of a case and then, trusting the strengths of each team member, present the rollout of a private label product line. Numerous hours of training, rehearsing, and strategizing on this case took place prior to the trip to Indiana. Jack Rhodes, Director of the Foster School of Professional Sales, assembled a team of four seniors to represent Foster. Soon after, Jack engaged a study team joined by Foster’s Professional Sales Program Assistant Director Rick Carter, Joe Vandehey of Altria, Jeff Lehman of Mentor Press, and graduates from prior year’s competition spent many hours preparing the students for this remarkable competition. When asked what the best part of the competition was—besides winning—students agreed that it was the team experience and confidence gained in the preparation. Alex Crane received the MVP of our division and remarked, “of all of the training I’ve had in school, this experience was the best practical learning experience in preparation for the real world.”

About the Foster Professional Sales Program

The Foster Professional Sales Program provides students with the knowledge and real-world experience necessary to be successful in sales. This nationally ranked program teaches how to sell, manage, and lead. These skills can be used not only for your future career, but for your lifetime in business. Given a job placement rate of over 90%, this combination of interning and curriculum has proven to be invaluable for students as they graduate and enter the job market.

Hit the ground running

Hayden Krall (BA 2013) is the youngest salesman at Barrier Audi in Bellevue. He’s also one of the best, consistently exceeding his sales goal by several vehicles. Under the title of brand specialist, Hayden is in charge of new sales for Audi, which means his job consists mostly of face to face interaction and building relationships with his clientele, most of whom are a generation or two older. When asked if the age difference between himself and his clients is a hindrance, Hayden takes it in stride saying, “It’s about using what you learn. I feel prepared.”

When it was time to pick an academic focus, Hayden was drawn to what he refers as the “tangible” outcomes of the Sales Program. “Getting placed at a job, as a junior [in college], that’s all you want.” When asked about his success, Hayden points to his professors and time spent role-playing in the Sales Program, stating, “[in sales] you hit the ground running.”

Although, he’s already achieved so much as a brand specialist, Hayden’s goal is to one day start his own business. For prospective sales students, Hayden advises them to “Take it seriously [and] have fun.” He also notes the prestige that comes with completion of the Sales Program, stating “Employers look at you and can tell that you’re ahead.”

Find out more about the Sales Program at the Foster School of Business here.

Angelica Macatangay’s BA degree journey

Angelica Macatangay - BA graduateAngelica Macatangay’s drive to succeed was inspired like this: She was a smart, 17-year-old high school grad in Guam holding acceptance letters to three top-tier private colleges when the doors to opportunity slammed shut.

With three siblings who had gone to college ahead of her and her parents looking for work in the Unites States, Macatangay graduated alone in Guam knowing the price of college was beyond her means because her parents couldn’t afford to help pay.

First step was to rejoin her family in the US. Her parents landed in Seattle where her next oldest sister was graduating from Seattle University. “When I got out here, there was some animosity within the family,” she said. “I was the only child left and everyone else got to go to school and I was pretty upset about it.”

The sting of that first blow motivates Macatangay still, even as she prepared to graduate with a BA degree from the UW Foster School of Business in 2010, a top-level finish in the 2010 National Collegiate Sales Competition and a consulting job at Oracle, one of the world’s most prominent software companies.

“Knowing that I couldn’t go to school, knowing that I had that opportunity and I couldn’t take it killed me,” she said. “I told myself I am not going to ever let that happen again.”

The road to Foster: a challenge overcome

Bucking the trend of her siblings who all went into medical fields, Macatangay pursued a career in business. “Eight days after graduation I was in Seattle,” she said. “After two weeks, I had my first job.”

She lived with her parents for a month, then got an apartment in Seattle with a coworker and landed a second job. Although it would be two years before she could afford to go to Bellevue Community College (BCC), Macatangay kicked off her education.

“I told myself, if I can’t learn through school, I am going to learn through work. I was looking to find companies where I was able to work hard and be promoted so that I could learn all I could about their business.”

Macatangay’s path to Foster almost ended with her early success in business. Working in a modeling agency generating client leads, supervising the front desk at an upscale beauty salon, managing aspects of an English language service and leading in sales at a Bellevue boutique, Macatangay had several opportunities to advance her career without a formal education.

One opportunity was a $40,000-a-year job in California. Her quandary: Why not skip college and make money now?

When she thought about it, that stinging disappointment in Guam reminded her she wanted to make sure she didn’t limit herself and that an education was the best way to ensure as many options as possible. She finished at BCC and transferred to the University of Washington. However, due to confusion between advisors, she hadn’t applied to Foster before the transfer and found herself on a campus without the clarity of direction she’d worked so hard for.

“I literally sat in Odegaard (undergraduate library) and cried,” she said. “I remember sitting there crying, asking myself—Why am I here? Why did I choose such a huge college?”

Macatangay did eventually apply to Foster. One afternoon, she opened her mailbox at her apartment and there was a small letter carrying the Foster logo. Her heart sank. It was so small, so normal looking that it couldn’t be good news. She was too panic-stricken to open the letter, so she called a friend. With her dog by her side and friend on the phone, she read the news – Foster had accepted her.

Career launched: From Balmer High to Oracle consultant

“People would refer to Foster as Balmer High and I had no idea what the heck they were talking about. And then I came and I said, Oh, god! I see it. There was definitely a sense of community,” Macatangay said. “I knew when I walked into the business school that they were all business students. You could feel the tension and the competitiveness.”

The high-intensity of the students matched her own drive. Macatangay thrived. She also continued to work nearly full-time until well into her senior year when she had to devote more time to school.

Macatangay jumped at the chance to compete in the 2010 National Collegiate Sales Competition. After six months of grueling preparation, she and fellow graduating Foster senior Kaitie Fisher teamed up to take second place, beating teams from more than 60 US universities.

Recruiters at Oracle spotted Macatangay at the competition and brought her in for interviews. As an Oracle sales consultant, she said, the learning curve will be steep. But that environment suits her perfectly.

“There are going to be a lot of new challenges and experiences,” she said. “In a sense, there will be an endless hallway with a ton of doors and I think I find comfort in that.”

While her degree and success at Foster leave her feeling for the first time that she is now on a level playing field with her peers, no longer playing catch-up because of the time she had to work before entering college, Macatangay is still driven to achieve.

Her new job in San Francisco began shortly after 2010 graduation. What are her new goals after college? She says, “How many years do I want to work before I get my MBA?”