Practice Marketing: Mission, Goals and General Marketing
The time has come to reflect on the data that you have collected from Sections I - IV and implement them to fit the philosophy of your practice. By defining a mission, goals and objectives you will know that your practice is going in the direction in which you want it to grow. Set your standards high, stay focused and you will succeed.
- Mission - A very specific statement regarding the core values of your practice (should only be one to three sentences).
- Goals - This is a general statement about purpose. Goals point towards a level of productivity that the practice wishes to achieve without mentioning specific actions.
- Objectives - Usually contains three standard “operating characteristics” criteria: patient load, earnings and profitability.
VI. General Marketing
Once you have established where you want to go, then you will have to work to get yourself there. Before you get started it is important to realize that regardless of who you are marketing to, there are “general marketing” issues that you need to do. It is vital that you develop a strategic marketing plan. Your strategies and action plans should be clear, precise and to the point. In developing and implementing the following points, you will create the foundation of a solid marketing department. Here are a few examples:
A. Create and implement a Strategic Marketing Plan - This Plan will be the “bible” of your marketing efforts. It is vital that you put everything in writing and make people accountable. Without it being in writing, it holds no merit. The Plan should entail EVERY aspect of marketing and should be monitored and updated annually. Also if there are any questions about what marketing is and what is does for the practice, you will have proof to show that marketing works - if done correctly.
B. Create Physicians Marketing Committee - This is an internal committee of physician(s) within the practice created to assist the Marketing Representative with marketing related issues and give insight into the direction of the practice.
C. Create print media - You will need an image brochure that tells people about your practice, the physician(s) and your services. This will allow you to mail information to new patients, distribute information regarding your practice at health fairs, to payors, etc.
D. Create practice website - Patients are becoming more and more computer savvy. If they are looking for a new physician, they want to research them to make sure they are credible. Plus, patients want to research their injuries, diseases and disorders. By giving them a resource of your website, you look credible to patients, referring physicians and the general public. Also, a website is a great way to tell potential physician recruits about your practice and its’ services.
E. Create a practice newsletter - Newsletters are a great way to reach patients, referring physicians, and payors about the happenings of your practice and new and innovative procedures. They are great for a positive public image and are a wonderful educational tool.
F. Create and monitor budget - You should spend at least 1% of your total gross revenue on your marketing effort. After the first year of your marketing effort, you should have a good understanding of what it will take. If you are going to commit to the marketing effort, you have to be willing to spend money, but spend your money wisely.