Creating winning consumer-centric solutions along the modern health continuum: Q&A with Philips

Q&A with Philips Executive Vice President - Global Head of Brand, Communications, Digital and Marketing Tomasz Lisewski

What does your brand look like 10 years from now? Will you be in the same industry? The same markets? Who will your customer be?

In 10 years, Philips will be the leading company and brand in health technology with established leadership positions in the hospital and the home.

Our brand reflects our belief that there’s always a way to make life better. We want to improve the lives of three billion people by 2025 by delivering winning consumer-centric solutions along the health continuum—from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and home care. We will empower consumers to take control of their health by providing solutions that connect them with their caregivers seamlessly. Examples of these solutions range from supporting pregnant women with relevant insights about their baby’s health and teaching their kids how to brush their teeth with Philips Sonicare, to enabling predictive care in Intensive Care Units with Philips Guardian and minimally invasive cardiovascular treatment with Philips Azurion solutions.

How do you define bravery in your organization? To what degree is creativity part of it?

We are not afraid to set big, bold, and brave goals for ourselves. Philips has a 127-year history of innovation. Innovation is part of Philips’ DNA. The company has reinvented itself many times to meet new demands due to changing marketplaces—most recently by transforming from a diverse conglomerate to a focused health technology company.

Our courage to take bold decisions and continuously make extra efforts to put consumers at the heart of everything we do is driven by our belief that there’s always a way to make life better. As I said, our global ambition is to improve the lives of three billion people by 2025—we care about people. We listen, discover, and challenge ourselves to deliver meaningful innovations. Our recent innovations like the Philips Lumify “ultrasound on your smart device” or Philips OneBlade “shaving, trimming, and grooming in one” are great examples of our creativity in addressing unmet customer needs. And believe me, you need to be quite creative to rank first in the number of medical technology patents filed at the European Patent Office, as Philips does.

How are you evolving the marketing function/structure in your company to be more customer-centric?

Two years ago, we initiated the “Marketing lead!” program to build business and brand together. This program focuses on three pillars: insight-driven marketing planning, customer obsession, and the value proposition that makes life better.

Insight-driven marketing planning brings structure to how we can address unmet customer needs over the mid-to-long period, avoiding tactical changes from quarter to quarter and year to year. A good example of this is driving home penetration of our Philips Sonicare or supporting radiology departments with seamless clinical and practice management with the Philips IntelliSpace Portal and Performancebridge.

For our driving customer obsession pillar, we firstly increased our focus on NPS and brand preference, supporting the team with easily accessible leading indicators which allow it to be managed daily. Secondly, we focus on direct-to-consumer engagement and experience, e.g. through our Pregnancy+ global leading parenting platform or via Sonicare for Kids. Thirdly, our value propositions that makes life better are built from relevant customer needs and pain points rather than as incremental product improvements. This aims to increase our innovation in services, solutions, and business models.

How successful have you been in influencing functions that are not under your direct control to ensure that your brand is experienced consistently wherever and whenever your customers come into contact with you? Do you have any advice or learnings for others seeking to achieve this?

Consider it a journey rather than a short-term fix. Three things are also needed: an inspiring vision, a compelling value proposition, and structured processes to bring it to life.

Our brand believes “there’s always a way to make life better” and provides this inspiring vision by uniting all businesses, including licenses. You can see how this comes to life at events like IFA or at CES.

Our compelling value proposition in healthcare solutions like Seamless Care are helping to connect data, systems, and people seamlessly, while also breaking internal product and functional silos.

Our clear structure and processes are in place around leading KPI’s like NPS, brand preference, Rating & Reviews, share of home or hospital, and lead management.

How has your own role evolved from when you joined?

It has changed a lot. It changed from a functional management of brand, communication, and digital to transforming end-to-end marketing to become more consumer centric and to boost growth. We have moved from organizing events and websites to driving a seamless brand experience across our portfolio and touchpoints, always putting the customer experience first. It changed from enabling customer transactions to building relationships with our consumers. Finally, it changed from simply reporting on marketing performance to driving marketing performance.

While pointing out all these changes, it feels like it’s just the beginning of our journey!