Developing Collaboration Between Senior Care Operations and Marketing Teams

Evan Berglund

Evan Berglund, senior partner at the Gonzberg Agency

Senior care organizations, as well as healthcare organizations, tend to naturally develop silos. This siloed structure may not be intentional, but it can create a void in terms of both interaction and collaboration between different teams. While your marketing team and operations team are both integral to your senior care organization’s success, these two teams do work that is inherently different and separated.

But this separation can negatively impact the success of both teams, as well as the success of your senior care organization. Developing collaboration between your senior care operations and marketing teams is key to presenting a unified and consistent message about the organization.

Why Operations and Marketing Teams Need to Collaborate

Evan Berglund, senior partner at the Gonzberg Agency in San Francisco, has an exhaustive history in leading both highly technical and creative teams to ensure collaboration takes place for client projects. He has more than 30 years of global, award-winning advertising and marketing experience, and his expertise runs the gamut from legacy media to information technology.

Berglund explains that collaboration and communication between the operations and marketing teams is essential. “The operations team needs to know both the communications strategy and what is actually being communicated about the facility, in order to make sure everyone is staying on the same page at all times,” he says. “Not doing so could have many less-than-favorable consequences, including, but not limited to, a feeling of ‘bait and switch’ by the families that approach the facility.”

How to Foster Interaction Between the Teams

Given the silos that naturally occur, senior care organization leaders often need to take an active stance in fostering interaction between these teams. Berglund recommends that organizations have solid strategies in writing. These strategies should become a foundation and blueprint for all marketing efforts. They should create the role of a designated “enforcer” who ensures that the strategies are followed. “This blueprint can then be used as a foundation for creative sessions and other activities that involve different team members — without having to fight far-fetched ideas that are off-strategy,” he says.

He notes that involving operations employees in marketing activities also gives those employees a sense of ownership in the marketing process. If the senior care organization is too large to involve most employees in those marketing activities, then it’s important to keep all employees informed about the marketing efforts that are going on, and why they are being used.

Berglund recommends that a marketing team let operations team members participate in creative sessions and other marketing activities. Doing this requires a strong leader or facilitator who can outline clear expectations for the session, as well as the strategy blueprint that dictates the direction and outcome of these creative sessions and other marketing activities.

Department heads play an important role in this collaboration, too. Berglund explains that department heads will need to plan properly and follow up on the marketing activities in which they involve the teams. “That also includes getting the right people (with the right mindset) involved – those willing and able to collaborate in this fashion, rather than just push their own agenda,” he says. “The type of follow up will depend on the structure of the teams and organization, but it needs to happen systematically, in order to rein in attempts by those trying to use their ‘clout’ (such as senior-level people or subject matter experts) to undermine the foundations of the collaboration.”

The Value of Collaboration

Taking the time to develop collaboration between operations and marketing teams can help ensure successful and consistent marketing messages and efforts. It can also give your operations staff a sense of investment and involvement in the organization’s marketing and growth. Developing a deliberate, strategic connection between these teams can position both teams for success and foster a deeper understanding between your staff.

Topics: Activities , Business Marketing Including Social Media and CRM , Facility management , Featured Articles , Information Technology , Operations