The final quarter of the year is a time of planning for business leaders. As the year’s success and challenges are reviewed, a plan for progress is also determined. It is the goal of every businesses to make more money while spending less. To achieve this, medical practices must be fully engaged in their marketing plan. This means creating an actionable plan each year that calculates projected growth, sets an annual budget and determines how the budget will be utilized over the course of the year. The objective is to grow the practice while spending a minimal amount on marketing.
Many healthcare organizations do not accurately plan for the coming year. Others have a marketing plan but do not follow it. It is common for practices to participate in what we call spontaneous marketing. This means that they haphazardly market throughout the course of the year as the need arises. The problem with this is that 99% of the time, the practice ends up spending a lot more money in marketing than if they had a plan that was adhered to.
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 potentially replaced with another.
This is the time of year to learn. It is important to look back over the current year and gauge the practices successes and failures. Take these items and use them to plan for the new year. Set goals for growth and determine what you need to do to achieve them. Make your marketing wish list and put into play those items you can afford.
It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to marketing, each specialty in medicine and area of the country is different. What works for one medical practice, may not work for another. What works one year, may not work the next. The objective of marketing is to remain fluid and change as required. Don’t get in a rut of doing the same thing over and over because that is how it has been done.
We challenge you to develop a marketing budget and strategy for the next 12 months. Put it into writing and refer to it often. If you need help, contact our office at (888) 324-5559 for a free marketing consultation.