The importance of having a marketing plan for your medical practice
When it comes to business, Benjamin Franklin’s warning, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’, has never been more apt. Without a marketing plan, how will you know where you are heading and what you are trying to achieve? Without a plan, how will you ever evaluate whether your marketing attempts have been successful?
I’ve worked with hundreds of practices, and most medical professionals don’t know what a complete plan looks like or how to implement it if they do have one. This step will guide you through some of the basic elements required in a workable plan for your practice, while the steps to come will explain how to implement in your strategy.
Creating your marketing plan
Good marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You need a long-term approach. Having a solid marketing plan and systems in place to make it easy to execute it, month after month is key. You need to have all the basics in place to get results.
How much time should my plan cover?
Make sure you give yourself enough time to succeed. If you don’t, you will experience an undercurrent of urgency that will stifle both your creativity and your energy.
Usually, the entire process of creating and implementing an initial marketing plan takes about fifteen months:
- The first three months are dedicated to the planning and creation stage.
- The implementation stage runs for a year.
You should begin the creation stage of the second year’s marketing plan three months before the end of the current year’s implementation stage, and so on.
Who should create my marketing plan?
An individual medical practice owner may find it difficult to know which marketing efforts will best work for their business. If marketing does not come naturally, a trusted medical marketing consultant or strategic adviser can help guide you. Relying on experts to select the most appropriate and effective marketing mediums to grow the practice may also allow you to focus on what you do best, providing quality medical care to the community.
Whether you are creating your own plan or employing the expertise of medical marketing consultants, identifying your goals, developing a marketing budget and maintaining oversight of the process is crucial.