How to Develop a Marketing Plan That Works

June 27, 2019

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Jane Weber BrubakerIf 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.

David Marlowe, author of Marketing Plans That Work

David Marlowe, author of Marketing Plans That Work

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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