Best Practice

Organizing Marketing in the Digital Age (Healthcare)

By Craig Hanna,

How healthcare companies must adapt through digital transformation


To be effective, marketing has to be organized to deliver against the objectives of the business. This Organizing Marketing in the Digital Age report looks specifically at the healthcare sector, and is based on data and insight from that industry, including interviews with senior marketers from healthcare companies and insight gained from digital transformation work with healthcare companies.


Why do healthcare companies need special treatment when considering organizational capabilities and structure? The simple answer is they often don't. There are some market forces relatively unique to healthcare, such as the regulatory environment, but the majority are in fact common with any large complex organization. As such, many of the findings will be applicable to large organizations in any sector. However, our focus on healthcare is for two reasons:

  1. The speed of change and amount of sector disruption is unique to this moment. A perfect storm of legislative changes (US), technology advances, big data and patient empowerment are fundamentally changing the position of healthcare in the market and therefore the role of marketing in that new ecosystem.
  2. Econsultancy has been working extensively in this sector and can therefore bring the experience of its work carried out during the last 24 months to this research.

Key findings

  • Long-term growth in the healthcare sector is linked to the evolution and success of marketing as never before.
  • For marketing to thrive in this expanded role, its organizational structure must allow for evolution, agility and learned maturity.
  • Organizational design by default is not the most effective outcome. Start with an audit of your current capabilities.
  • Marketing objectives and campaign goals are clearly aligned to team competency and organizational capability, and yet the two are not planned by the same team (if at all).

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Contributing Authors


Craig Hanna

More reports from Craig Hanna

Craig helps companies thrive in the digital age. In particular he helps his clients build internal capability to deliver value from digital technologies across the whole organization. This transformation builds long-term value and competitive advantage, and encompasses digital marketing operations, competency and capability development, training and mentoring as well as change management.

Craig is a regular keynote speaker across Europe and US on a range of digital marketing and transformational topics. He’s a consultant and contributor for Econsultancy, Direct Marketing Association, Institute of Direct Marketing and Global Marketing Alliance among others.

With 25 years of award-winning business and marketing experience, including 18 as a digital specialist, Craig brings years of client engagement experience for leading brands in the UK, US and beyond. He co-developed the world’s first master’s program in digital marketing, led large consulting projects for companies like 3M and L’Oréal, and has developed best practice processes for key digital operations for dozens of others. Most importantly, Craig helps organizations manage the change process successfully, supporting leadership as they transition to new ways of working.

Craig’s focus is on delivering capabilities that are implemented and used. Practical, effective, hands-on and now.

Table of contents

1. Introduction

  • Methodology
  • About Econsultancy

2. The landscape and drivers of change

3. Econsultancy’s original organizational model

4. Developing a new model for how organizations organize

5. Summary

6. References and resources


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Organizing Marketing in the Digital Age (669 KB PDF)
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