Virtua Health Has a Message for South Jersey: We Are “Here for Good”
Brand positioning is more than a clever tagline or slogan. It’s a strategy and rallying cry that inspires an organization and connects a community.
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
It’s rare in marketing that you get to start from scratch on anything. Wherever you jump on the moving train, that’s your starting point, complete with legacy systems and entrenched thinking, some worth building on, and others in need of a fresh approach. When new leaders came on board at Virtua Health between 2017 and 2018, a restart was precisely what the circumstances allowed.
Dennis Pullin took the helm as president and CEO in the fall of 2017 with a clear strategic vision to embrace consumerism, with marketing playing a key role. In early 2018, Chrisie Scott joined Virtua and was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and later that year her former colleague Ryan Younger joined the team as vice president of marketing. Scott says, “I was recruited specifically to transform the marketing department to be digitally focused.” Prior to that, she says, the department “was more of a traditional marketing and communications department.”
Scott’s role quickly grew when Virtua signed an agreement to acquire Lourdes Health System, expanding its tertiary and quaternary service offerings. The deal was finalized in July 2019. Bringing together two very different organizations — Virtua, a community health system, and Lourdes, a Catholic tertiary system — was a chance to rethink everything.
“We had this opportunity,” Scott says. “Not only did we go through the branding exercise, but we went through the strategic exercise of bringing two organizations together. And at the same time, we chose to do a reevaluation and recheck of the culture. So we had the trifecta of brand, strategy, and culture. We got to do all three at the same time, and I think that made a tremendous difference.”