Creating a Marketing Plan, Selecting Marketing Tactics, and Tracking Results
Did you know medical professionals who market their medical practice, REGARDLESS OF THEIR PRACTICE AREA earn 30 -60% MORE in revenue than their non-marketing colleagues?
And did you know that less than 20% of medical professionals who actually market their practices don’t even use strategic marketing plans?
It shocks me to learn time and time again how haphazardly physicians, therapists, dentists, surgeons, and the majority of other niches I’ve worked with don’t market at all, and if they do without rhyme or reason. Good thing for you, you are in this free e-course because I’m going to help you fix that. 😉
Creating A Strategic Marketing Plan
The good news is that creating a strategic marketing plan isn’t rocket science, so seeing as your medical professional this will be a piece of cake for you. The bad news is that if you own or manage a medical practice (whether you’re a dentist, doctor, physician or a practice manager), you must develop and implement marketing plan if your practice is to reach its maximum profit potential. So that means you can’t blow this off!
The point of having a strategic marketing plan for your medical practice is to map out who you want to target, when you want to target them, how you’re going to reach your target market, and whether or not your tactics are working based on trackable results.
We covered identifying your target market in lesson 4, so if you missed or you skipped it, clear here to review it now. So your next step will be to determine which types of marketing vehicles you are going to use to reach your audience. Are you going to use an online marketing strategy? Are you going to institute a direct mail campaign? What about open houses, lunch and learn sessions, or educational presentations?
You need to match your strategies to the most likely way of reaching your target market. For example, if you’re a pediatrician hosting “back to school” open houses will be a great way to attract the attention of parents getting ready to send their children off to school. The chances of getting them through your office doors are very high because you are speaking to an immediate need and providing them with great value. You need to think about how you can achieve this result with all of the marketing vehicles you select.
Keep in mind, integrated strategies are hands down the most effective way to sustain and grow your medical practice. Look for ways to use multiple mediums to communicate your message to your target market.
Once you’ve settled on a strategy and tactics for reaching your target audience, you will need to develop a method for tracking the effectiveness of your plan. Tracking your results is essential to determining whether or not your plan is helping you realize your goals. Tracking can be difficult if you don’t use built in tracking systems. Having your receptionist ask, “How did you hear about us?” is not enough anymore. Besides, tracking your marketing activities is so cost effective these days there really isn’t an excuse for not doing it.
Critical Considerations for Your Marketing Plan
Although the details of what follows are outside the scope of this free e-course I also want to mention a few more things that are imperative to developing a successful marketing plan.
1. Your marketing materials must clearly communicate your USP – see lesson 4 for explaination
2. All of your marketing materials need a call to action e.g. Call today, Click here, Send now
3. You must market with consistency – one time marketing activities do not work
4. You must work with a marketer who understand copywriting – your marketing is only as good as the words that it’s made up of
The most important thing you can do to improve the revenues of your medical practice is to develop a strategic plan. Without a plan you are at the mercy of the marketplace. Even if you don’t take the time to develop a professional plan simply write down a mini plan to get yourself started.
Here’s an example of a mini medical marketing plan to get you started:
Goal: To increase the number of patients visiting the practice by 25% in the next year. Here, you have a clear goal and a definite time frame for your activities.
Strategy: Make sure your existing and new patients have a positive experience with your practice, and will in turn, refer family and friends. Develop a system for generating referrals using a “Care to Share” program. This shows that you’ve chosen to use the word-of-mouth strategy for your achieving your goal.
Tactics: Regular customer service training for staff, incentives for staff based on word-of-mouth referrals; continually entertain new ways to improve the patient’s experience at the practice. Promote your “care to share” program within your practice. These tactics can be a starting point and may change depending on their effectiveness. The important thing is to have an initial direction for your activities.
Tracking: Keep an excel spreadsheet of all your patients who refer new patients using your “Care to Share” program, and also track all patients who make appointments as a result of those referrals using a phone tracking number.
This example is as basic as it gets when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your medical practice. Setting goals, developing a strategy, implementing tactics, and measuring success are the core elements of your medical marketing plan. Your plan should provide a clear direction for you and your staff to follow to achieve success.
Remember, aspects of the plan are prone to change as some methods prove more effective than others or new ones are brought forward. Include your staff in your marketing activities and garner their support to implement your tactics. It is essential that your staff understand and participate in activities to ensure a greater chance of success.
No two medical practices are the same so you will not find a cookie-cutter plan to implement in your practice with perfect results. And whatever you do – don’t copy your competition – they are probably doing things wrong! Your plan should be a well-thought out, clear document that meets the specific needs of your particular medical practice, and YOU must uncover what will work for you so that you reach your personal and professional goals.
So that’s a wrap on lesson 5. I hope these past 5 weeks have been beneficial to you. I hope you will take the information I’ve shared with you to heart. I’ve given you the very basic foundation you need to successfully market your healthcare organization, and now it’s up to you to do it. So don’t wait. Start creating your strategic marketing plan today. Good luck!
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Rx MD Marketing Solutions is a no nonsense healthcare marketing firm that believes healthcare marketing doesn’t have to be unaffordable, complicated, or unethical to be effective.
At Rx MD Marketing Solutions we seek to provide you with the knowledge, tools, and technology you need to build a sustainable medical practice so that you can enjoy more of what you really want to do…practice medicine.
Rx MD Marketing Solutions can help you build better relationships with your patients, and help you bridge that sometimes uncomfortable gap between providing superior patient care and the need to market and sell your services.
We help savvy practice managers and entrepreneurial-minded physicians build successful and sustainable health care organizations without giving up what you stand for.