There are different views as we discuss marketing activities in the healthcare arena. Yet, while some may even consider marketing healthcare services unethical the reality of the situation is that technology changes are forcing us to rethink strategies in terms of how to capture customers and run a successful business.
Marketing itself is a tricky area as you can throw money at it and never get the desired outcome. Another point to consider is that there is no such a thing as a sure-fire method that will work for everyone every time. Last, no marketing campaign can be allowed to become stagnant as this will be a sure way to lose customers.
Regardless of who you are, a healthcare professional or a decision maker in a healthcare organization, we recommend some simple steps as you embark in marketing your services or organization:
- Develop a marketing plan. A marketing plan doesn’t have to be a complex document, but it always helps to write some ideas down as a basic guideline of your goals, assumptions, methods and timelines.
- Decide upon what are your goals (educate, increase sales, etc.). Just writing an ad or creating a website is not enough if you don’t know what is the desired behavior you want from your customers. If you want to increase sales then, you may want to consider a weekly special. On the other hand, if you want to educate you may want to consider blogs or even podcasts as a tool.
- Define your customers. Once you know your customers you can then study their behavior which by default should indicate the best method to reach them and how to attract their attention.
- Identify potential competitors. Lack of competition may indicate a need to educate your target market about your products/services.
- Establish a budget. Marketing efforts can be a bottomless pit so instead of throwing away money decide upon how much are you willing to invest and what will be a realistic return of your investment.
- Make metrics part of your plan. At times we have embarked in marketing campaigns using multiple methods of communication. Surprisingly enough, we have found that in some cases, a cheaper initiative brought better results than an expensive alternative.
Healthcare is becoming quite competitive and having a license does not warranty success, however, the right marketing campaign may make all the difference in the world.
Learn more about marketing at the Compliance and Healthcare Innovation Conference.