Stop! Don’t Redo Your Website (Not Just Yet)

cart without horse The idiom, Don’t put the cart before the horse,” might have originated a couple thousand years ago. And roughly 500 years ago, the expression was a common figure of speech during the Renaissance.

But as recently as last week, the age-old problem of putting things in the wrong order is, quite unfortunately, still alive and well…and wrecking healthcare marketing opportunities.

It’s crazy how often we run headlong into the situation where a new client will confess that they delayed calling our company for marketing help “until they had completed their website.” Innocently enough, they said they “wanted to finish the website before they begin marketing.” (“BEGIN marketing?”)

The only appropriate response to that notion is: “URGH! What were you thinking?” (You’ll recall that “URGH!” is an early 16th century marketing expression of exasperation, annoyance and distress. See also: “bass-ackwards.”)

Here’s the point: Stop! Don’t redo your website. The site needs to be designed around your well-considered marketing strategy, not the other way around. It simply doesn’t work without an overarching plan.

The undesirable results of doing it backwards—you know…the cart-and-horse approach—include wasted resources, having to re-do the site yet another time, and an upside-down (and ineffective) marketing attempt.

Instead…

  1. Don’t redo your website; not just yet;
  2. Get professional planning help and begin with the building blocks of a marketing plan;
  3. Concurrently, develop a budget, timetable and resources to support the plan;
  4. Plan around the six ways of marketing any healthcare organization:

In today’s healthcare marketing, the Internet—your website and online presence—is the “new front door” for attracting and retaining patients. But the website isn’t an independent and disconnected bit—it is a critical and integrated component of a smart marketing strategy.

And, to extend the equestrian analogy, if you put the cart before the horse, you’re actually stopped in your tracks and you aren’t going anywhere.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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