Healthcare in general and medical practice marketing in particular has as an over abundance of challenges these days.
How do you move forward in spite of the competitive headwind?
How do you maximize your marketing & advertising Return-on-Investment? How do you shift from “get along” to “get ahead?”
How can we grow revenues?
It’s rarely simple or easy. Plans are often sophisticated, with many moving parts. Reaching, convincing and attracting an audience requires cost-effective strategies and tactics that increase revenue and profitability.
The first seven marketing audit questions to get to the next level.
Regardless of how well you think you’re doing, a marketing reality check is a useful starting point.
There are a couple hundred probing questions to ask yourself and others, but here are the first seven:
Are you using an evidence-based marketing approach?
Does your marketing system include time-tested Proven Strategies, a well-formulated Marketing Plan, Effective Implementation and a means to Evaluate Results? All above components drive the process. If you’re missing one or more you are not operating at full strength.
Is your marketing plan as per the latest trend?
Even well-considered plans become outdated if they are not looked into at least quarterly. If it’s been six months or more since you took a fresh look at your roadmap, carve out some quiet time to evaluate. Do you need “refreshment” or a completely new course of action?
Are your goals are specific and clear?
Not everyone is clear about this marching order: goals are at the top; strategies support goals, and tactics implement the strategies. How have your goals changed? What are the new goals and how did you set the goals? What strategies and tactics are needed to achieve the goals, new or otherwise? Did you realign your budget for what’s changed?
Is your marketing budget right for the job?
There are at least many different methods for setting a marketing budget. How did you set your budget and does it support the goals? Do you have enough resources in the right places to make it a winning plan? Above all, marketing is a revenue center, not a cost center. You should expect performance to be 3 or 4:1 overall.
Does your branding message clearly differentiate your practice?
As long as you are the “only game in town,” branding and positioning for your practice might go unchallenged. But increased competition means there’s no sliding-by-patients and community need to clearly hear and understand how you are different and better.
Are your internal, external and referral programs working together or independently?
Some parts of a well-tuned plan run all the time, while others may be seasonal, and still, others are keyed to a target audience segment. Does your plan carefully coordinate these elements, providing the desired overlap or avoiding conflicts?
How do you measure response and Return-on-Investment?
Sadly, many practices don’t have a reliable tracking system to identify the source of new patients and to measure the effectiveness of their marketing, advertising, promotion or referral efforts. Regardless of the size of the practice, the program or any of the strategic or tactical parts-if you don’t track you just don’t know what’s working. Do you have a tracking system? Is it working? Is it reliable and accurate? It’s impossible to manage the plan or calculate your ROI without this part of the equation.
Get a clear and unbiased perspective on where you are and what you need to do to achieve your practice development goals.
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