When is the last time you talked with your team about your hospital’s marketing plan? Marketing plans aren’t always a priority for small hospitals, and marketing tends to be done on an ad hoc basis as ideas come up and needs are identified. Though it’s good to be flexible, the lack of an overall marketing plan can cause confusion and inefficiency and can reduce your team’s effectiveness.
It’s a good idea to sit down with your team and work out an outline of your marketing plan so that everyone is on the same page. Making sure your team understands what everyone else is doing as well as your hospital’s overall goals will make it easier to use your resources more effectively in the long run.
Dedicating the right person
For small hospitals, there often isn’t enough money in the budget for a dedicated marketing team. That’s why small hospitals often choose to spread some of the responsibilities to various members of their teams, or outsource to a firm that specializes in rural hospital marketing.
Though this is a good way to get more out of your marketing budget, it can prove difficult to coordinate when team members don’t know exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Have the conversation and ensure that everyone understands his or her responsibility and is able to execute every time.
For example, having the same person check the main email account every morning will ensure that it isn’t forgotten and that there is no case of “I thought someone else was supposed to do that.” Consistency and clarity are key to a smooth marketing operation.
Articulate your goals and set a timetable
Think about a real timeline—a month, a quarter, six months, a year. Assess where your marketing strategy is now and where you want it to be during a specific measurable period.
Keep your budget in mind when setting your marketing goals. Knowing what is realistic to accomplish with the resources on hand will help you adjust your strategy when necessary and prevent you from going over budget.
Setting realistic goals is also an important component of team cohesion. Goals that you can’t hope to attain can lead to frustration and disillusionment among your team members.
Keep your schedule in mind and prepare for it
Having your marketing materials ready in advance will help prevent panic as events and deadlines approach. Start the month with a timeline that will guide you and your team toward what you are preparing for. Choosing templates and designs that you can repurpose for future events will save you time and help you maintain consistency. If you have these materials ready to prep, you will prevent a lot of headaches.
A marketing plan pays
Planning and ensuring that people know what you are trying to accomplish and what their individual responsibilities are will help your hospital improve its efficiency. This approach will make your resources go further and will help save you time and money so that you can focus on other aspects of the hospital.
If you need help or advice for planning a marketing strategy for a healthcare facility, call SRJ Marketing Communications. SRJ works with rural hospitals to develop cost-effective marketing strategies and equip hospital leaders with the tools they need to communicate with patients. To learn more, please call 214-528-5775 for a free consultation.