How to Develop a Marketing Plan That Works
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
If you’ve ever had a physician demand a billboard that wasn’t in your budget — and who hasn’t? — you can attest to the value of a well-constructed marketing plan. It gives you a blueprint to guide your marketing activities throughout the year, and arms you to defend against misguided requests.
What are the components of a marketing plan? What is the process to construct one? The book Marketing Plans That Work by David Marlowe, updated and rereleased by the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) in 2018, offers in-depth guidance on how to create and use a marketing plan that fits your organization and is aligned with its strategic plan. Marlowe is principal of Strategic Marketing Concepts, a health care marketing consulting firm in Ellicott City, Maryland, and is a member of the Strategic Health Care Marketing editorial advisory board.
A common misunderstanding about marketing is that it is mainly about promotion, just one of the four P’s of marketing, along with product, price, and placement. “Marketing is a fairly broad discipline [including] service mix, price, access, sales/liaison efforts, research, key audience relations, and satisfaction,” Marlowe says. “The majority of provider-based marketing functions are significantly focused on communications efforts. A marketing plan needs to address a broader range of concepts than just communication elements.”
Here, we’ll share some highlights from Marlowe’s book and show you why a good marketing plan is essential for all health care organizations.
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