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Within any organization it is important to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. This also applies to the unique healthcare industry. Dollars are often tight and must be spent wisely. To ensure you are making the most out of your marketing investment, you must track your marketing performance. Here are a few tips to help make the process a little easier.

Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is vital to any organization that is going to invest in marketing as it provides the foundation that is needed to back up any financial investment. The plan should include concrete and clear goals and objectives for the next one to three years. It should also provide your current and past financials. I recommend finding out what your cost per procedure (if applicable) and/or cost per patient is. This will provide you with a nice number to anticipate financial growth. Measure how you performed the past two to three years and use that as a gauge for planning future growth.

Understand Your Patient

The same time you are developing your marketing plan you should also be learning more about your patient. This knowledge will help you know how to effectively market to them. What is your target demographic? What do they like to do? Do they watch television or use the Internet? What is their age? Keep in mind that you may currently serve one demographic but want to get into another. You should plan for both markets. If you want to target a younger population, you first have to speak their language by understanding what marketing works and doesn’t within their age group.

Monitor Your Results

Once you implement the marketing best suited for your target demographic, it is important to measure how it is performing. Social media marketing, while an excellent way of reaching potential patients can be difficult to measure. Stick with the facts. If you run an ad on the radio, track how many new patients you received directly from the ad. Your staff should be asking each and every patient that inquires how they heard about you. If they are not, you are unable to accurately measure how effective any marketing is and you are potentially wasting valuable dollars.

If you find that an area you are investing in is not very effective, don’t be afraid to drop it. It is wiser to drop something and move on, than to keep spending when it is not helping grow your practice. Marketing is constantly evolving. What works one year may not work the next. Be fluid with your marketing and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Be Realistic

It is important to understand how quickly you should start seeing results. If you are expecting an immediate increase in your patient volume from marketing, you will most likely be disappointed. Marketing takes time to be effective. The time needed depends on the type of marketing you are investing in. A radio spot with a promotion should drive pretty quick results; however, you should give it at least a month before determining whether or not it is successful.

One of the best ways to reach new patients is through effective marketing. If you are going to invest the time and money in a marketing strategy and campaign, be sure to equally invest in tracking its success. Proving your marketing’s return on investment will provide the peace of mind needed to know that your marketing dollars are being spent wisely. For more information on how to get the most out of your marketing budget, contact Melanie Herron at mherron@mindstreamcreative.com or (888) 324-5559.