2017 is here! Now is a great time to work on a marketing plan to put your best foot forward. Here are five ideas to consider when planning for marketing and advertising this year, or any year.
- Look Back
Learning from the past is the best way to not repeat mistakes, and to make the best use of what went well. Review carefully what worked and didn’t work last year by determining the return on your investment. If you can look at an advertising activity and clearly see that it helped you achieve the goal you set, then it was successful. For example, if your practice participated in an event to generate new referrals, did you get the referrals? Did you have a method to track them? How could you improve the engagement? Also, take time to think about things you could have done but didn’t. Are there programs that you have not explored which may bring a new patient base? Finally, be sure you are getting feedback from employees in a variety of areas of your practice to see what they think is working. Sometimes you think something is working but it needs to be changed because it isn’t achieving your goals.
- Define Your Goals
Marketing goals should be measurable and realistic. For example, do you want to create a new website in 2017? Then you need to have an action plan to do this and realistic time frames and budget to support your goal. You will need time to hire a web development firm, work on content and do thorough testing of the site. Or, maybe this year you want to increase the number of referrals you are getting from a certain other type of practice. You will want to have a plan to market to those practices and a method of measuring which patients came from the program. Having defined and measurable goals this year makes next year’s planning easier, too.
- Create a Calendar
Try to plan what you can, but allow for changes. Reach out to publications and other outlets where you are interested in advertising and find out what their schedules are so you can be sure to meet their deadlines. Make a list of events you want your practice to participate in and schedule in time for preparation, such as creating a booth or preparing content. Think about any milestones your practice is celebrating this year, such as a big anniversary or another announcement, and plan how you want to publicize it, such as through media advertising or press releases. The key is allowing yourself lead time to prepare for all your marketing activities so you are not always playing catch up and you can make the most of your time and budget.
- Set a Budget
Using your look back to 2016, determine what your new advertising budget should be. Think about your target audience, such as other practices for referrals, and find out the best way to reach them. Consider how each dollar you spend will be returned to you in new business. To do this, look at the types of marketing you are interested in, such as SEO, print, outdoor, television, etc. and find out from the provider what the usual impact is as far as audience reached and trackable returns. The bottom line is that you want your investments to have the best return for your money, so know who your audience is and the best way to reach them using the least expensive and most effective methods.
- Get Ahead with some Help
Consider hiring an advertising agency such as Lippman Media to create and execute a marketing plan for you this year. Lippman Media has an expert team that manages online advertising, web design, graphic design, newsletters, social media presence, press releases, reputation management and more. The team utilizes various tools to assist with web search optimization, and provides result reporting on lead tracking and other strategies as part of their marketing package. Plus, they negotiate lower rates for space in publications, billboards, bus shelters, radio and television air time, passing the savings on to you. For information on how Lippman Media can help you with your 2017 advertising program, visit http://lippmanmedia.com or call 702.595.4896. Happy New Year!