Q: How do digital technologies factor into the work you are doing?
AS: Everything we do has a digital component. It’s integral to our success. Digital makes us more accountable. It enables us to track and measure the success of our campaigns and tactics, track conversions and report on our ROI. We are keen on metrics. I believe in full transparency because it’s important to show how we are driving results for the organization.
Digital also allows us to make real-time decisions. We can track ad campaigns and see what’s working—we can adjust messaging or remove ads that aren’t performing. Digital enables us to speak to customers in real time about prevention, health, wellness or disease states. It’s really handy for service recovery. We monitor social feeds and respond almost immediately when we have a customer who has a service issue.
Q: With digital evolving so fast, how does your organization keep pace with the changes across web, mobile and social? What are some of the main challenges?
AS: Hiring digital talent is hugely important to the team and to the health system. Orlando being home to the theme park and hospitality industries creates stiff competition for these highly sought-after roles. They are hiring digital people at a faster rate, have bigger teams and more opportunities for growth.
Q: What do you believe are some of the most exciting new opportunities in digital marketing?
AS: We try to be the first in the market, focusing resources on technology and advancements that will benefit our health system. Three areas that we’re excited about are virtual visits, AI chat bots and augmented reality. Through our virtual visit platform, we are able to offer services to consumers in a most convenient manner. Through AI chat bots we’re able to provide customers with answers and use machine learning to find out what’s important to them. And we’re working with augmented reality, which gives our customers another way to access information about Orlando Health. There is no end to customers’ appetite for content.
Q: In your opinion, how do marketing challenges in healthcare differ from those in other industries?
AS: My team and I are “selling” something that people don’t want until they have to have it. It’s our job to make sure Orlando Health is relevant to our customers every day. As part of that, we need to create awareness among the millions who live here and visit here. It’s a very diverse population and the messages we are sending out need to be relevant to a broad audience.
For instance, how do I gear the message to a 45-year-old female, but also her children and her parents? How can we create messaging relevant to a senior citizen taking care of grandchildren, or someone who speaks English as a second language?
Our messaging has to be clear, concise, meaningful and relevant to each audience.
Q: In what ways do you demonstrate the value of marcom investments to the business?
AS: Our 22,000 team members and 3,000 practitioners are our best marketers, so we need to make sure people within the health system know what we are doing. They are our greatest advocates. We’re lucky because the leadership, team members and physicians of Orlando Health value the brand and recognize the importance of marketing and communications in meeting our business goals. We have a seat at the table.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
AS: The humanity of our work. In the 45 minutes we’ve had this conversation, one or two babies were born at our women’s hospital, someone may have passed away in one of our emergency rooms, someone in our primary care office has been told they need to see a specialist, someone in our cancer institute has gotten the “all clear.” We are honored to be able to share these stories and inform people of the very special work that goes on every day at Orlando Health.
I also love that I come to work every day and get to interact with incredibly talented, creative, compassionate people at every level of the health system.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any special hobbies or interests?
AS: I’m a swimmer. I think when I swim. My mind gets to wander, and the creativity begins. It’s kind of a joke around here because everyone knows around 6 am, after I swim, I start sending emails or texts, “I thought about this or that.” My team is gracious in allowing me to do that.
I believe it is hugely important to give back. Part of giving back is being involved in organizations. I’m on the board of the Zebra Coalition, which works with LGBTQ+ youth throughout Central Florida. I’m also on the board of the onePULSE Foundation, whose mission is to build a memorial and museum honoring the 49 angels who died in the Pulse nightclub attack three years ago. Orlando Health is forever linked to that tragic event because our Level 1 Trauma Center is three blocks away.
I am also a huge supporter and fan of the arts. I’m on the board of the Orlando Museum of Art and I just came off the board of the Orlando Ballet. I spend my work days with amazingly creative people, and I also like to spend my free time with amazingly creative people. Orlando Health is a very giving organization that allows me and others to be involved in such community efforts.