A while ago a doctor came to us with the complaint: "I haven't been in practice 15 years...I've been in practice one year 15 times." That conversation lead us to help him discover medical practice marketing opportunities that not only enriched his business, they enlivened his professional satisfaction.
There's more to discovering new healthcare marketing opportunities than waiting for them to knock at your door. In fact, there's a systematic beginning to how and where you turn over rocks to reveal the gold. (More about that in a moment.)
As with our physician friend and client, everyone has at least one reason to pursue fresh ideas, markets or challenges. Pick your flavor: Healthcare reform. Economic downturn. New practice and/or new partners. More competition. Nearly everyone can relate to this short list of why providers—including individual practices, hospitals and medical groups—need or want to market.
In healthcare delivery, just as in the retail world, the prospect of success is strongest at the point where "what you do" intersects with "what they want." The classic mistake is to believe that "what you do" is the driving part of the equation. It's not.
The element that's critical to success is to first identify the need (or needs) of the prospective customer, and shaping and delivering services to satisfy those needs in a way that's superior to the competition.
One or more of these four fundamental marketing approaches are needed to reach new business opportunity in healthcare. The specifics for each situation require careful evaluation, and what's right for one practice marketing plan will be unique. Nevertheless, there are only four areas to consider when evaluating new healthcare business opportunities.
This initial evaluation opens the door to building a new or stronger marketing plan. What's more, this exercise opens the door to an even closer, SWOT analysis. Strengths and Weaknesses are the internal evaluation components, and Opportunities and Threats comprise the external evaluation.
Continuing to do what you are already doing can only produce the same results. A more aggressive marketing stance is needed to reach and attract patients in greater numbers (and away from the competition).
By definition, a marketing plan is a strategic document that is designed to facilitate the achievement of specific business goals and objectives over a specific time period. Begin with a detailed one-year plan...and make it a year that's different and better than your previous year.
There's more about building a healthcare marketing plan in this Healthcare Success Library article.