As the chief executive and leader of your practice, your efforts need to be focused on running the operations and managing the personnel. In order to accomplish this, you must surround yourself with well-trained staff who understand and know how to attain their products. It is also important to equip your marketing staff with the proper tools in order to be effective. When it comes to marketing, consider these four essential elements: a marketing program, a marketing budget, marketing structure, and proficiently trained marketing staff.
Annual Marketing Plan
Your staff needs to understand the vision of where you are going. If you don’t have goals or targets, you are aimlessly shooting for results and hoping for success. Your marketing team needs an annual marketing program to provide direction. This is the road map that your marketing director will follow when building out the campaigns and setting weekly and monthly targets. Your annual Marketing Plan is built off your annual Business Strategic Plan and the targets that you set for the clinic as a whole.
Your Marketing budget is based on the previous year’s gross income (GI). This number should be 1-3% of GI not including marketing staff payroll or 3-5% of GI if payroll is included. This budget is used for both internal and external marketing. Best use of internal marketing might include purchasing prizes for a patient referral raffle or patient compliance contest. The budget should be used for external marketing efforts to build community awareness as well as awareness of services offered to the referral sources. Participation in a community event or sponsorship can be an effective use of the marketing budget.
Well Trained Marketing Team
The first step to creating an effective marketing team is to search for the “PR Personality.” This is the person who is larger than life and has an outgoing personality. Once you hire this person, they need to be well-trained. They need to know how to interact with doctor offices, and how to survey patients. Your Marketing Director needs to know how to set targets based on your annual marketing program and plan out two-month marketing campaigns to accomplish those goals. The patient care rep works the internal marketing and social media to ensure that patient visits increase and that there is a positive, and patient-friendly atmosphere within the clinic. The Marketing Coordinator (or Director) manages and grows the relationships with the referral sources. They are in charge of the messaging and branding of the clinic as well as the public relations.
Two-Month Marketing Campaigns
Having a marketing campaign calendar that showcases everything your marketing team is doing – from social media posts to in-office engagement activities (contests, etc…), to doctor lunches and community events, shows you (the owner), what’s going on that’s moving the needle and working the practice towards the targets outlined in the Annual Marketing Plan and the Business Strategic Plan. Without the two-month campaigns, the marketing team could be completely off course from what activities are in line with the Annual Marketing Program.
In short, to be successful in marketing your practice you need to implement a marketing program, a marketing budget, marketing structure, and most importantly you need to hand select a marketing staff that you take the time to train. Without any one of these factors, marketing and growing your practice will seem overwhelming and ineffective.