Do you know the difference between a marketing manager and a physician liaison? The two jobs are easy to confuse. That’s because some of their work responsibilities do overlap. In reality, they’re two very different positions. Which one does your practice need? Take a look at the job descriptions and qualifications:

Marketing Manager

A marketing manager typically has a marketing, business or public relations degree. The ideal candidate possesses strong written and verbal communication skills. He or she:

  • Develops an annual marketing plan that aligns with the organization’s business objectives.
  • Carries out marketing activities like branding and campaign management.
  • Performs market research and recommends patient acquisition and/or retention strategies based on voice of the consumer.
  • Tracks ROI and performs campaign optimizations; reports results at regular intervals to stakeholders.
  • Manages brand across all marketing communication channels such as website, social media and print communication.
  • Understands new service lines and develops ways to promote them to the community. 

Physician Liaison or Physician Relations Manager

This position is part customer service, part sales with consulting and other responsibilities mixed in. The ideal candidate often has an MBA or Master’s in healthcare administration, plus sales experience in the pharmaceutical or medical device industry. He or she:

  • Maintains relationships between the hospital or facility and providers within the community.
  • Calls or visits a targeted list of physicians weekly.
  • Communicates appreciation to physicians for patient referrals to your practice.
  • Develops and implements marketing and sales plans to maintain and grow referrals from providers and physician practices.
  • Speaks intelligently about key services lines.
  • Uncovers and responds to referral-related issues.
  • Develops local market expertise so he/she can defend or upsell your practice or organization.

Which one should you hire? That depends on your practice’s goals. If you want someone to watch over and manage your patient referral system, go with a physician liaison. Your liaison will be out in the community, shaking hands, strengthening relationships and selling your services. A marketing manager spends more time in the office, implementing and tracking marketing initiatives, delivering ROI reports and managing campaigns.

Being clear about your objectives will help you make the right hire. Not sure if you’re ready to hire a full-time role? We’re happy to discuss ways we can support you until you’re ready.