Marketing a medical practice without a plan can be compared to driving to a destination without directions. Chances are you are going to get lost. Some practices believe that because they do not have much of a marketing budget they can just get by advertising as needed. The problem with this is that these practices often spend more on marketing each year then they would if they had a plan and budget in place.
A marketing plan is an actionable strategy that calculates projected growth, sets an annual budget and determines how the budget will be utilized over the course of the year. The plan determines what marketing tools will bring the greatest return on investment (ROI) and plan out how and when you will utilize them over a set period of time. A marketing plan also takes into consideration your market including the competition. The objective is to grow the practice while spending a minimal amount of money in marketing.
It is often difficult for medical practices to conceive that they will or could spend less money in marketing when they begin working with a marketing firm. The reason it is often less expensive is because it is the responsibility of the firm to help the practice come up with an acceptable budget. They then have the job of managing the budget wisely. At MindStream Creative, we prefer to create a marketing plan and strategy before starting to market the practice. The process of developing a marketing strategy and plan takes some time because there is a significant amount of research that must be done into the opportunities and threats that are present.
Marketing is an evolving process. What works one year may not work another year. That is why it is important to revise any existing marketing plans regularly. As you review an existing marketing strategy, you should consider changes to the following:
- Your industry – The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Any changes should be accounted for in a marketing strategy
- Changes to the practice – Any changes that have occurred within the practice should also be considered. This can include new doctors, new specialties offered and ancillary services.
- Changes in patient interest and buying patterns – This is especially important for practices that focus on elective services. If patients have lost interest or gained interest in a particular service or product, you should consider adjusting your offerings accordingly.
- Marketing Efficacy – If you are going to spend the money marketing, you should regularly measure its success. If something is not working, don’t be afraid to stop doing it and trying something else.
Take the time to research your market and develop a strategy for growth before investing any of your marketing dollars. If you need help developing a strategy or would like to learn more about your opportunities for growth, give MindStream Creative a call at (888) 324-5559 or by clicking here.