Healthcare marketing is an important part of running a successful medical practice. How you reach your target market, how you get people to choose your practice over a competitor, and what marketing measures you track are all aspects of healthcare marketing.
But without a plan, it can be hard to know where to start when you’re trying to build a strong brand and increase the number of patients you have. In this article, you will learn how to create a healthcare marketing plan for your practice.
Healthcare Marketing Explained
Healthcare marketing is the process of attracting, generating, and managing demand for healthcare services. Healthcare marketing plans are used to drive sales, generate leads, and develop relationships with prospective customers. A healthcare marketing plan can be customized to meet the unique needs of a particular business, industry, and target market.
Curious about why some healthcare providers aren’t able to market themselves effectively? Check out this article: The Biggest Challenges in Marketing in the Healthcare Industry
5 Steps To A Strong Medical Practice Marketing Plan
Define Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the group of people you want to attract to your medical practice or hospital. For a business, the target audience is the group of people who are most likely to need what you have to offer. However, for medical practices, you need to look at your target audience from a different perspective.
Medical practices need to understand the demographics of their local market, as well as why they’re in need of their services. They will use this information to tailor marketing messages specifically to this market. Not only that, it’s important that you understand the niche you operate in. By having a niche and understanding your market, you improve your chances of long term success.
Decide on your goals
Depending on where you are in your practice, your goals for your healthcare marketing plan will be different. Opening a new practice in a new city requires different goals than growing an existing practice.
Is your goal to increase the number of patients in your practice? Is it to improve your practice’s reputation? Or is it to open up new opportunities for a new location? Decide why you need a healthcare marketing plan and move forward based on that. Don’t deviate from your original goal by trying to satisfy every possible metric!
Use a SWOT Analysis To Assess The Situation
A SWOT analysis is a common tool used to assess the situation of a business, either new or existing. It consists of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are specific to your organization, whereas Opportunities and Threats have to do with the situation such as competition and the economy.
Once you do it, don’t sit on it: use what you have in your SWOT analysis to determine what you need to do in order to meet your goals.
Decide Your Marketing Activities & Budgets
Now that you know your target audience, your goals, and your situation, you can decide which marketing activities you will invest in, and how much you want to invest in each. It’s tempting to just do everything all at once, but there are some things that matter more than others. For example, if your goal is to grow the number of patients in your practice, focusing on search engine marketing (SEM) and paid social media will likely be the key. However, if your goal is to improve your reputation, you’ll want to invest in reputation management, social media marketing and public relations.
Determine your budget based on how much you want to spend on each marketing objective. Assign the bulk of your budget to the most important activity. Remember the 80/20 principle: 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities.
Now that you’ve decided what you’ll be investing in, you have to decide on metrics for success. You need to be able to monitor the results of your marketing activities and make adjustments as needed, otherwise you’re shooting in the dark.
Your KPIs should be based on your activities and your goals. For example, if you’re trying to grow your practice and are investing primarily in SEM, you might want to track the amount of traffic to your website, your rankings on search engines, and the number of new patients you’ve acquired. If you’re trying to improve your reputation, you might be looking at the number of reviews you’ve received, improvement on patient surveys, and the reduction of negative reviews.
Sequence Health offers healthcare marketing services to help medical practices in all stages of the marketing process. If you’re looking to grow your practice, improve your reputation, or simply grow your brand awareness, learn more about medical marketing strategies!