1. Assessment: Consult business plans, patient satisfaction surveys, volume reports, community surveys and any other information you can gather. Consider market dynamics such as seasonality, shifting alliances between physician groups and other “political” issues.
2. Comparative analysis: Study your competitors, considering their historical advertising levels, any new product launches that may be forthcoming, and the overall competitive nature of your market. Develop your own unique selling proposition. What makes you different from your competition?
3. Define your vision and strategy: Where do you want your program or organization to be in three to five years? How can marketing help realize this vision? Make a list of all the tools at your disposal and determine what options will work best for your product, marketplace and expected budget. Among other tools, consider:
- Networking/sales—Go where your market is; develop presentations.
- Direct marketing—Use letters, fliers, brochures, postcards.
- Advertising—Consider print, broadcast, outdoor, special publications such as chamber of commerce directories and sports programs.
- Training programs—Increase awareness of your services by offering training to your customers.
- Free media—Write articles for news media; make your organization known as the expert.
- Public relations—Consider sponsorships that “fit” with your service; hold events, tours, open houses.
- Website/emerging media—It’s not just for young professionals anymore; fast-growing segments of the elderly and minority populations are using the Internet to gather information on their health care options.
4. Build support and enthusiasm: Locate your champions in the organization. Find the experts who will help support your marketing efforts through speaking engagements, newspaper interviews, and quotes for newsletters and media releases.
5. Segment your market: Consider target audiences and think outside the box. Look inward first, as your employees can be some of your best customers—and your best marketers. Know where your business comes from: Is it driven by physician referrals or do patients refer directly? Make a list of target audiences and identify the best ways to reach them.Share this post