How to Create a Hospital Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan for your hospital can either be daunting or it can be elegantly simple. Here are some easy steps to follow as you create a marketing plan for your hospital:
Indentify Your "Marketable" Service Lines. The first step in creating a marketing plan is research. Sit down and write a list of the services your hospital offers the community. Then place a check mark beside the service lines you especially want to market.
Map Your Service Areas. Next, get a map and plot the geographic service area for each of your service lines. Some service lines can only effectively reach individuals within 25 miles of your hospital. Other service lines (such as bariatric surgery for example) can reach a much larger geographic area.
Research Search Engine Data. You will need to research search engine keyword data for all your service lines. In order to do this you will need to have access to search engine keyword service that sorts search data by zip code. Use the service area maps that you generated in the previous step to identify the zip codes to input. Then input the names of your services into the search engine data research tool. The tool help you identify the most popular search terms that are being used by users in your geographical area. Write down the search terms that are being used and their popularity.
Identify The Most Popular Service Line Searches. Analyze all the search engine data that you have gathered. Compare the services that you offer, to the service terms that users are searching for in your zip code sorted search engine data. Then identify the service lines for which users are searching.
Create a List of Services to Market. Now it is time to create a list of the services you would like to market. The services you choose should be in fairly high demand by consumers. You determine the demand from the search engine data you have analyzed.
Set Up Response Tracking Mechanisms. You will need to be able to track the responses from your marketing efforts. It is good to set up both telephone and Internet response tracking tools. In order to track phone calls, you will want to set up a series of 800 numbers that you will use separately to track responses from different marketing mediums. In order to track website responses, you will need to track analytic data for both target web pages and user generated email inquires.
Identify Your Marketing Mediums. There are a wide variety of advertising tools and mediums that you can use to market your services. Some services will need to be marketed using a small, targeted approach. Other services will respond better to broad marketing efforts. TV and Radio ads are usually very expensive, while Internet advertising is usually cheaper and more effective.
Test Your Market Cautiously. We have found that throwing a lot of money at one advertising medium and one advertising campaign idea can be a costly mistake. You may need to try several different types of campaigns and advertising mediums before you identify the best solution for marketing a service line. A really creative ad is not always the most successful ad. Clearly communicating your message is often the most effective way to advertise. We advise our clients to embark on several smaller campaigns in the beginning in order to compare and refine marketing effectiveness.
Continuously Track and Refine Your Marketing Efforts. Each week analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by reviewing your tracking data. How many calls did Campaign #1 create this week? Where did the calls come from (radio, TV, Internet)? How does Campaign #1 compare to Campaigns #2 and #3? Is one campaign more effective than the others? Should we pause the other campaigns and broaden the scope of the successful campaign? These are all questions that must be reviewed and evaluated each week of the campaign. Make sure to document and chart your campaign results each week of the campaign.
Want to learn more? Please contact us today for a free consultation. We want to help you understand hospital marketing.