It’s time to start planning your 2017 marketing strategy!

I’ve met a lot of hospital leaders who wait until the last minute to lay out a marketing strategy—if they even create one! Given the hectic schedules of today’s hospital teams, this is understandable. But waiting until the last minute often means doing the same thing that was done the year before and missing out on a lot of opportunities to grow.

If you want to get serious about increasing exposure and awareness, now is the time to start planning a winning marketing strategy. With good planning and research, your marketing team will gain focus, identify weak spots, and build a plan that reaches the right audience using a range of targeted strategies and marketing tools that will help increase awareness throughout the entire year.

A professional plan will help you target the right audience

During my experience of working with hospitals, I’ve seen a lot of wasteful marketing plans. This is especially important for smaller hospitals. Often, there is too much energy and too much money placed on strategies that are just too broad. With limited resources, small hospitals need to focus on the right audience by figuring out exactly who they need to reach in their communities. Learning to connect with the local community is critical.

Are you using the right tools for the job?

Each component in your marketing toolkit serves a specific purpose and is important for building an effective overall strategy. Social media is one way to connect with the community and create a dialogue, while direct mail and advertising have a different impact.

Choosing how to use each tool takes consideration and foresight. That is especially important when it comes to leveraging online platforms. Web marketing isn’t just for big corporations. Small businesses—and especially healthcare facilities—need an effective online strategy that complements offline materials.

Consistency matters, too. Graphic design should be consistent across all platforms and communicate your hospital’s message with confidence. This has an effect on each tool in your kit, which is why SRJ has spent so much time developing an approach to marketing that incorporates visual marketing, public relations, and community outreach to build a comprehensive strategy.

Community involvement: What are you planning?

Now is also a good time to start planning how you are going to engage the community in the coming year. Think about what events your hospital will host and brainstorm ways your team can participate in the community throughout the year. Planning ahead will allow your team to more effectively allocate resources and will make sure you aren’t caught off guard. As anyone who has experience with community events can attest, those dates have a tendency to sneak up on you if you aren’t planning ahead.

Is it time for professional guidance?

It is important to be deliberate and create a marketing plan with purpose. Good marketing plans are meant to increase exposure. More exposure means greater awareness, which in turns leads to more sales and greater patient retention.

SRJ has built a reputation as a leader in results-driven marketing plans for rural hospitals. Our team works to bring hospitals and the community closer together through comprehensive marketing strategies.

From online marketing and public relations to community outreach, SRJ believes that rural hospitals can make a huge impact in their communities and become local leaders. To learn more about the services SRJ offers, please call 214-528-5775 for a free consultation.