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Alfred Wang, Sr. Director, Segment Marketing at Sutter Health, talks with us about the ins and outs of developing and executing journey mapping. He offers insights into managing internal partners to mitigate roadblocks to successful implementation.


  • The Journey Mapping Structure and Where it Sits in the Organization
  • Prioritizing Key Data Points and Tracking
  • Consistently Monitoring Your Goals
  • Working with Internal Teams
  • Technology Use in Customer Journey Mapping
  • Cross-functional Partners and Executive Sponsorships

The Journey Mapping Structure and Where it Sits in the Organization

We have a spirit of collaboration and developed a dedicated team of 12 in our segment marketing team that I lead. Our insights are centered around patient segments that help us develop a deeper level of understanding of personas to meet the expectations and needs of our members.

It’s like a wedding with something old and something new. The foundation is very much based on the marketing funnel, but we go beyond awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty to shift our own mindset because traditionally in healthcare we’ve been occasionally guilty of being overly focused on what we want to share.

With journey mapping, we can better help our patients get the most important information and offer this help at different stages and through different touchpoints to ensure we understand and meet their expectations. With all the new technologies and capabilities, there is so much more we can do to help them.

Prioritizing Key Data Points and Tracking 

It’s critical to ensure that whatever we do is aligned with the overarching business objectives and goals of the company as one of the leading healthcare providers in Northern California.

We are tracking consideration and measuring engagement, which is always hard because it takes time to impact these measures.  Sometimes you get trapped into focusing on a singular and immediate tactical measure such as the click-through rate that is underperforming, and you have to remind yourselves to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It’s an iterative process that you don’t always get right but you need to be agile and able to change direction. It’s okay to fail but fail fast and don’t repeat the same mistake.  We recently tried out a leading healthcare media partner and things just didn’t quite work out in terms of collaboration and results, so we quickly decided to pause further investment in this instance.

Consistently Monitoring Your Goals

You must look at your short-, medium-, and long-term goals. We just mapped out the back half of the year, but within this roadmap, we’ve also identified three or four things where we start small. First, we focus on pilots, then test and try to scale up as much as possible.

You must constantly check progress to know if you have to shift your focus and reprioritize because we all have limited resources. It’s a cross-functional effort and you can’t underestimate the resources required, not just in terms of platform investment, but also with human capital. Depending on where you are in the phase of development, it’s about what you’re doing within each journey, what touchpoint is working, where to invest, and what to focus on disproportionally.

Working with Internal Teams  

We began with insights on our customers but it’s not about just refreshing our segmentation model. Once we received the model, we assembled a cross-functional team to digest and process what we learned and jointly develop new personas. That way everyone has some skin in the game. We also launched team-wide training because everyone has to be speaking the same language for the process to work.

We recognized we have to also talk to leaders outside of marketing. We used our personas to make it easier for our non-marketing leaders to identify with our segments and understand how we can get closer to our patients to better guide them through their health journey with Sutter.

Ultimately,  our journey maps exist to serve the human needs of our patients and that has to be the starting point for any conversations with our leaders and cross-functional peers. 

Technology Use for Customer Journey Mapping

We don’t use a dedicated journey mapping tool. When you start your journey mapping process you are unlikely to have the ideal platform at your disposal, and you can probably forget about your executive team approving a multimillion-dollar investment upfront.  This is a huge challenge and you are going to have to use the tools that are available to you.

First, perform a quick audit to inventory what resources you have and what you need because it has a direct impact on your outcome. Success is based on what you’re able to measure which means you should focus on quick wins that can be proven.  There is always a trade-off consideration between what’s ideal versus pragmatic to justify your investment.  

Cross-Functional Partners and Executive Sponsorships   

Our CMO serves as our sponsor, and we work closely with cross-functional peers who train with us. Folks from your PR, social media, and communications team need to be involved as well.

We also utilize a RACI chart, which is a responsibility assignment matrix, that details various tasks and responsibilities to be completed during the project. 


About Alfred Wang: Sr. Director, Segment Marketing, Sutter Health: Alfred is a strategic marketing leader with a proven track record of guiding agencies and cross-functional teams to achieve a common vision. He is a compelling storyteller known for his enthusiasm, creativity, strategic agility, delivery of business results, and creative innovation.

Alfred leads a team of 12 staff members to deliver business driving and brand-building initiatives for Sutter Health which serves more than 3 million patients in 24 counties in Northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, Greater Sacramento Area, Sierra foothills, Peninsula Coastal Area, and North Coastal Area.

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