I have yet to meet a medical practice administrator or physician who has bragged about their amazingly effective marketing plan. In fact, most practices have a hard time even articulating their marketing ideas let alone producing something formally written down with structure and strategy. Why are we so bad at this?
Here are a few things that can jumpstart the development process. My answer is not complete but it’s a start. Here are three issues that affect most marketing plans:
Garbage in, garbage out. Look at what kind of information is driving your plan. Did you do any due diligence before deciding to jump onto Facebook? Can you tell me with actual numbers anything about your patients’ demographics? This is exactly where you should start. Gather all the information about your patients that you can; demographics, payer mix, service mix, how they found out about you, etc. You cannot reasonably make any decisions related to marketing without having this foundational information driving it.
Who do you want? Really, who is your ideal patient? Can you define that? Can you say that your marketing activities are a part of the strategy of bringing that person to your office? A wide net brings in all sorts of folks for all sorts of things. I would bet good money that there is a specific type of person who comes in for just the right procedure and you would love to see more of that kind of patient come in. Well? You’ll get who you are marketing towards.
Your execution is weak. Do you have a process for following your plan? How often do you report on it? You need a system to check on the plan regularly with someone who will hold you responsible. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’ll just get it done on your own without some sort of accountability.
Following a poorly put together marketing plan may be just as bad as not having one altogether. Take the time, make the effort and create a marketing plan worth bragging about.