Setting goals for 2017 and improving your focus

The year is flying by! As we get closer to the holidays, it is time to start evaluating your 2016 marketing strategy and start planning for 2017.

Did you reach your hospital’s outreach goals this year? How are your social media benchmarks looking? If it’s time to make some changes, identify areas where you can make improvements and change course to make your goals a reality.

It is essential to monitor and evaluate your marketing plan’s performance and to identify what is working and which areas are a little weak. The healthcare market is constantly changing in nearly every part of the country, so your marketing strategy needs to change as well.

Of course it’s easy to set vague goals, such as “This year we are going to be the best clinic in the state.” Don’t fall into that trap. Set realistic, attainable goals that will help push your marketing strategy in the right direction.

How to better evaluate your marketing performance

    1) Set a timeline and monitor your marketing strategies and their effectiveness at regular intervals. Don’t be flexible about your approach. Set calendar dates and crunch the numbers. Having a data set is essential to making accurate judgments about your strategy.
    2) Identify gaps in performance and determine why you fell short. Was the messaging wrong? Were you targeting the wrong patients? Could a different tool have helped?
    3) Look for opportunities. What are other hospitals in similar markets doing differently? Which new tools are other healthcare facilities using to make the most of their messaging? Think about ways to shift your resources and to emphasize a different aspect of your marketing plan to reach your target.

Be adaptable and do your homework

Monitoring requires that you identify which programs are not working, and then take action to change course or move resources. After identifying and evaluating weak spots, brainstorm ways to reach a different audience and to use resources in a more cost-effective way.

Don’t be afraid to ask your team for input. In fact, you should constantly encourage people to get everyone involved—from the reception area to the medical staff—to propose new ways to improve. A variety of perspectives can be useful in finding an effective solution.

Do your research. Spending time researching your customers’ expectations, specific needs and communication habits is crucial to developing an effective, targeted marketing approach. Research the way the market has changed over the past few months, and look at how your competitors are responding. Is your hospital keeping up with trends in healthcare service?

Successful hospitals don’t repeat the same strategy every year. They adapt to changing market conditions and tailor their strategies to reach the right audience.

By constantly monitoring your performance and identifying weak spots, you will curb wasteful spending and take steps to improve your hospital’s standing in the wider market and your local community.

SRJ Marketing Communications has worked with businesses and hospitals to develop targeted, strategic marketing plans that promote awareness and increase market share. To learn how SRJ can help your hospital better succeed, call 214-528-5775 for a free consultation.