Secrets for Success in Healthcare Marketing

Insights from Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group

As a member of the 25 Under 25® Class of 2016, Dobies Healthcare Group was proudly named among several outstanding Kansas City small businesses earlier this year. Recently, CEO and founder Carol Dobies, MBA, spoke with Kelly Scanlon on Smart Companies KC Radio to discuss the driving force behind Dobies Healthcare Group and its success as a specialized healthcare marketing and branding firm. You can listen to the full broadcast below:

Highlights from the on-air discussion include:

Strategy-First: The Driving Force for Dobies Healthcare Group

Carol and her team have always championed a strategy-first approach to healthcare marketing. Unlike creative agencies that traditionally offer a new logo or advertising campaign focused on product promotion, Dobies Healthcare Group says, ‘First, let’s talk about who you are and what you do’  before the creative work begins. The idea is to initiate meaningful conversations with clients about their brands – a process that begins with insightful questions about how they interface with customers and employees, how leadership impacts and drives culture, and how they “deliver” on their brand promise. The ultimate goal is to tactically align client operations (what they do) with their communications (what they say). Brand authenticity is deliberate, and therefore, the work that goes into it must be highly strategic.

The Greater Good: A Passion for Making a Difference

Both professionally and personally, Carol has long understood the need for expert information and guidance that drives smart health and healthcare decisions. She has always had a passion for making a difference by connecting consumers to providers, providers to partners, and so forth – and she fosters the same passion within every member of her team. In fact, the notion of inspiring better, more informed decisions about health and contributing to improved care and quality of life for patients is at the very heart of the company’s mission. “We come to work every day because we believe we can help people make better, more informed healthcare decisions—and the power of that is pretty significant,” says Carol.

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder

A Forward-Thinking Business Model

It’s not easy being a small business, but Dobies Healthcare Group embraces a smart and innovative business model that focuses on using talent and time wisely. From the beginning, Carol chose to embrace a virtual agency model, employing a small team of in-house healthcare marketing experts while strategically extending capabilities and reach through a national network of highly skilled, independent strategy leads. “The virtual model has really served us well,” she said. “It’s helped us play just as well, if not better than, any big business.”

Lessons Learned

Carol noted she has learned a lot since she founded Dobies Healthcare Group in 1992. Although it hasn’t always been this way, the company now has a C.P.A. on staff to proactively advise the company on finances, ensuring financial health. They are now “papered up” in ways they never were before with smarter, more binding contracts with clients and employees alike. Most importantly, Carol learned along the way the value of having a plan and vision for the company’s future. Looking forward, she anticipates continued growth for Dobies Healthcare Group – particularly with the launch of three strategic marketing and branding products last year and another new product on the horizon.

For more information about who we are and what we do at Dobies Healthcare Group, contact us.

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Dobies Healthcare Group Gives Back to Promote Better Health in Kansas City

Holiday_scavenger_hunt_groupThe holiday season is in full swing and things are busier than ever at Dobies Healthcare Group. Despite all the hustle and bustle, we still manage to find time every year to give back and promote better health in our community through our annual holiday scavenger hunt.

Keeping with tradition, this year’s philanthropic team-building activity incorporated our three-part process for healthcare marketing: Discover, Connect, Promote.  Like previous years, we split into teams to solve clues and determine which worthy cause Dobies Healthcare Group would be supporting during this season of giving. However, this year’s event had a twist. Instead of traditional clues, each team received only a series of GPS coordinates to find four mystery destinations. The first set of coordinates brought us all to one place to kick off the festivities together – from there, each team hit their coordinates separately.

We used our digital devices and mobile apps to quickly discover the locations. Then we came together at the end of the day to connect the dots and figure out which worthy cause Dobies Healthcare Group would donate to in 2015. Turns out, when we unscrambled the first letters in the names of all our scavenger hunt destinations, we formed the word C-U-L-T-I-V-A-T-E…and that’s when we learned our company’s annual community give-back funding is going to Cultivate Kansas City this year.

Cultivate Kansas City promotes a healthier, more economically and environmentally sustainable community by creating community-based farms that supply nutritious items to people in and around Kansas City. Promoting nutrition is one of several pillars of health that we plan to embrace more than ever in the coming New Year and beyond, so we are happy for the opportunity to support this cause.

As the newest employee at Dobies Healthcare Group—and someone who serves on the Board of Directors for a local nonprofit that focuses on bridging the gap between volunteers and our community—I was inspired to see how much my company cares about giving back and promoting a culture of good health in our city. I recommend all businesses, especially healthcare companies, look for opportunities to support organizations with missions and visions that serve local communities.

By creating a culture of corporate social responsibility and giving to causes that employees are passionate about (e.g. supporting local, healthy food sources), companies boost employee morale and improve connections with members of the community. I encourage healthcare leaders to make time for staff to “give back” each year, regardless of how hectic the office workload may seem. Your employees, customers and community will be better off because of it.


Dobies Healthcare Group Named a 25 Under 25® Small Business in Kansas City

25-Under-25-Non-Anniversary-webKANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group was recently honored as a member of the 25 Under 25® Class of 2016 by Thinking Bigger Business Media.

Each year, the 25 Under 25 program recognizes a select group of small businesses for having a positive economic, social and community impact in the Kansas City area. Honorees are chosen based on demonstrated financial stability, community involvement, company vision and defining attributes, and ability to overcome adversity.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Carol Dobies, MBA, President and Founder. “They feel strongly about making a difference in the way people think about health, and their passion carries over to every aspect of their lives–whether it be where they live, work or play.”

Dobies Healthcare Group was among the 25 local businesses selected in 2016, out of nearly 1,500 companies that received nominations.  As an honoree, Dobies Healthcare Group will be featured in a special 25 Under 25® supplement in the February issue of Thinking Better Business magazine and star as a guest on the “Smart Companies” radio show.

According to Thinking Bigger Business Media, small businesses comprise the largest number of companies both locally and nationally, with 83 percent of Kansas City area businesses employing less than 20 employees. The 25 Under 25® Awards program, which was established in 2002 to highlight the role small businesses play in the Kansas economy, aligns with Thinking Bigger Business Media’s mission of helping small business owners grow their companies. For more information about the 25 Under 25® Awards program, visit

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Happy Holiday Happenings at Dobies Healthcare Group

‘Tis the season for tradition, and to us that means our annual Holiday Scavenger Hunt! Each year at Dobies Healthcare Group, we team up with our friends and associates at Group 3 Solutions to celebrate the holidays with an afternoon away from the office and around our great city. While we tend to share A LOT of laughs at each celebration, we also make sure to incorporate the values we hold dear. This year, we met three main goals for our 2014 holiday scavenger hunt: unleashing our creativity, giving back to our neighbors in need, and enjoying the centennial celebration inside Kansas City’s favorite holiday destination.

And, because we love what we do and can never really get enough of it, we even themed our festivities this year around our three-part process for healthcare marketing that inspired our new logo – Discover, Connect, Promote.

Discovering our Creative Sides

Team 1

Team 1

We use our creative brains every day (after all, that’s why we work here), but this time we competed with each other for some creative bragging rights. We started off the afternoon by splitting into three teams. Each group received its own sack of items to complete the tasks at hand in the most creative ways possible.

Team 1 built a snowman from cotton, fake snow and rubber balls (and learned some practical life lessons about skin and craft glue along the way). Team 2 wrote a new holiday song using tiny musical instruments for inspiration, and Team 3 designed a gingerbread house using an array of cavity-causing sweets. In the end, judges crowned Team 1 the winner.

Team 2

Team 2

Promoting Goodwill & Cheer

We believe in giving back all year long, but we always make a point to help others in need during our scavenger hunt. Each team received money to donate to a Kansas City nonprofit organization of their choosing.

Team 1 donated to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund to provide gifts for local children, rent and utility assistance for struggling families, food for the hungry and more. Team 2 donated to Grace and Holy Trinity Outreach, which provides a variety of programs to serve hungry Kansas Citians as well as aid children in foster care and provide diapers to low income families. Team 3 gave to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kansas City, an organization that pairs impoverished or at-risk youth with positive role models.

Team 3

Team 3

Connecting with Christmas

Continuing our traditional holiday festivities, each team received a clue for a Kansas City landmark. This year’s clue led us to Union Station and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center. We marveled at the beauty of our city and shared good times with our coworkers.

It was a great day capped with a white elephant gift exchange and holiday food and drinks at our annual holiday party later that evening. Check out our Facebook page to see more photos of our 2014 holiday cheer. Seasons Greetings, everyone – and here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!

This One Is Just for Fun

Given the nature of what we do, it’s no surprise that everyone at Dobies Healthcare Group has at least two personality traits in common: our penchants for creativity and our competitive spirits.

Both factored in during our fourth annual holiday scavenger hunt earlier this month, when we took half a day to “unleash our creative potential” – something we do at work every day, but this time we took it to the streets of Kansas City. Together with our associates at Group 3 Solutions, we ventured out in teams, each one armed with a camera, a charitable donation, and a healthy determination to have fun and finish first.

  • Task 1: Find your creative voice. To prepare the final touches for our annual white elephant gift exchange, team members were asked to create holiday cards with “sappy sentiments” and original artwork. It’s always fun to see the range of directions we take with an assignment like this, especially when we’re given crayons and construction paper as our art tools. Nothing helps ring in holiday cheer quite like the festive decor of Hallmark, so we tapped the talents of our inner children at “CC@CC” – the Crayola Cafe at Crown Center.
  • Task 2: Create a lifeline for those in need. At Dobies Healthcare Group, we believe it’s important to give back to the community all year long. But this time of year – when cold and loneliness have greater repercussions on the health and well-being of the less fortunate in our area – we like to create a special event for it. Teams were sent to Project Warmth KC headquarters and City Union Mission to drop off blankets and monetary donations. Although it may not provoke as many laughs, this is always our favorite part of the scavenger hunt.
  • Task 3: Explore the creative vision of an architectural icon. While some of us admired “the old” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, others marveled at “the new” – the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The latter recently changed our downtown skyline, and both buildings helped put Kansas City on Frommer’s Top 10 Destinations in 2012.
  • Task 4: Join in a creative holiday toast. It’s fun to break away into teams at the start, but it’s even more fun to come back together as a group for the end. To show our support for local small business, we capped off the festivities with some “artful frozen cocktails” and Snow & Co. in the Kansas City Crossroads District.

As always when we’re having a blast, time flew by and soon the day was done. Funny…the same thing happens every day at the office, too – just goes to show how much we love what we do here at Dobies Healthcare Group.

To view pictures from our scavenger hunt and more, visit us on facebook. Happy Holidays!