As the year comes to a close, medical practices are seeing the last of their patients from 2011. Depending on your specialty, this may be an extremely busy time or a slow time. Regardless, it is a time to plan. A typical healthcare practice is very present minded. This is because the team is focused on the patients that are presently in the office. Marketing and strategic planning often take a back seat to the more pressing matters of the here and now. Having worked in several medical practices over the years, I completely appreciate how easy it is to put off planning. Even if you do not want to spend money in marketing, you should have a growth strategy in place to measure your practices performance year over year.
Most medical practices want to grow while spending as little as possible in marketing. To achieve this, they must be fully engaged with their medical marketing strategy. A marketing strategy should list projected growth, annual budget and a budget utilization schedule for the year. Without a plan many practices participate in what I call, spontaneous marketing. This is where you market at random times throughout the year (typically when you have time in your day to think about marketing). The downfall of this is that the majority of practices that spontaneously market spend much more than they would if they created a marketing strategy and stuck to it.
It is often difficult for medical practices to conceive that they will most likely spend less money in marketing when they begin working with a marketing firm. This is because it is the responsibility of the firm to manage the practices marketing budget wisely. They create a plan and put the plan into action. If an item in the plan is not producing the results that were anticipated, the item can be removed and replaced with another. At MindStream Creative, our clients are pleasantly surprised to discover at our end of year meeting, that they spent a considerable amount less in marketing and grew their practice after engaging with us! It is a true joy for us to help medical practices spend less money on marketing while marketing smarter.
I encourage every business, whether medical or not, to have a marketing strategy for the next 12 months. Put that strategy into writing and refer to it often. If you need help, contact our office at (888) 324-5559 for a free marketing consultation.