Just Say No to Spaghetti Marketing (Follow a Marketing Plan Instead)

spaghettiCan you guess what spaghetti marketing is? (A lot of healthcare businesses do it.)

Simply spend a lot of marketing dollars randomly, throw a bunch of “spaghetti” against the wall, and see if anything sticks.

As you might suspect, we are not big fans of spaghetti marketing.
You could throw a lot of spaghetti — actually your hard earned money — against the wall before you ever get anything to stick.

The truth is, under the best of circumstances, marketing a private practice is rarely easy. Competition is at an all time high, and continues to increase each year. Media costs are through the roof. Patients are more cynical and time stressed.

We recommend that, instead of wasting your time and money on more spaghetti marketing, you create a one year marketing plan for your practice.

You should consider your target audience, your competition, the services you want to promote, the cases you want to attract, the image you want to portray, your offer, etc.

Generally, your marketing plan should include some of the following strategic categories:

  • Internal Marketing – Build systems to get more referrals from your patient base
  • Branding – Build and actively shape your reputation so that you stand out from the pack
  • Publicity – Getting free press
  • External Advertising – if appropriate
  • Internet Marketing – You need more than a web site, you need methods to generate traffic
  • Professional Referral Strategies – Extremely important for specialists

Make sure you budget specifically for each month, and include Return-On-Investment (ROI) goals for each individual tactic.

Typically, you will want to initially test a variety of marketing tactics on a smaller, risk-controlled basis, then roll out the winners in a larger way. Remember to evaluate your plan’s success periodically, and make adjustments as required.

By creating and following your marketing plan, you vastly increase your chances of finding some breakthrough successes. And you won’t have to clean up all that spaghetti.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”


– Jonathan Calure, MD