The practice of developing a marketing plan in healthcare is indeed integral for effective service delivery. Creating a market plan in healthcare organizations has become an important process that aids in creating desired goals and formulating appropriate steps towards attaining the set objectives (Gershon & Pattakos, 2004). This paper explores why marketing plan is needed in healthcare practice.
Reasons for developing marketing plan
Have financial investments
Marketing is a process that has been condsidered to entail all those activities that precipitate the knowledge on the availability of certain products and services so that appropriate levels of production can be attained in accordance with the movements in demand and supply. It also features the strategic movement of finished goods and services to various points of sale as dictated by demand. All this processes should be geared towards ensuring that a business enjoys maximum success. Planning a successful marketing plan that will ensure funds are available for completing marketing activities require financial investments. According to Ellis (2009), this will cushion a healthcare marketing activity from failing. It will also provide necessary and adequate funds needed for profitability in the future.
Financial investment is a critical component in market planning in healthcare. It may guarantee a healthcare organization better gain in good time as well as secure investments. Using economics theory, investments in marketing require considering aggregates in demand and supply and functions of interest rates and income. An increase in marketing activities in healthcare will lead to a rise in income generation. In making investments, planning plays a crucial role in determining how much to commit in lending, when to borrow and make deposits in any healthcare set up.
Develop a manageable marketing plan
Though analysts indicate that management forms one of the most important aspects for success to be realized, marketing is considered to be equally critical in the sense that it links a business with consumers for profits to be realized. Ellis (2009) argues that healthcare organizations should develop marketing strategies which work at their level and reflect their current position and the amount of resources they have or need in respect to the competitive environment they are operating. Indeed, by careful planning, a healthcare setting can demonstrate its uniqueness through product or service marketing strategies which can also lead to better services and higher profit margins.
Focus on execution and attainment of goals
According to Ellis (2009), focus forms a crucial pillar in healthcare marketing since it provides sustainability and ensures that the set goals are attained. Many healthcare providers have too much marketing activities to carry out but lack enough resources to accomplish the tasks. Planning a marketing activity is important in the sense that it aids a health care organization to channel its products and services to specific markets. Focusing on a marketing strategy positively compels healthcare givers to aim at higher priorities only. This is achieved through having less priorities and objectives. For instance, selecting target markets to focus on, unique service and product offerings and focusing on the strength a company has.
Internal marketing to patients’ base
One of the marketing strategies healthcare providers need as pointed out by Ellis (2009) is internal marketing to a health care patient’s base. Planning internal marketing plays a significant role of ensuring that all functional processes are meticulously aligned at all levels of management, a consideration which leads to the provision of satisfying customer experience. Healthcare providers can conduct internal marketing through employer brand management creating an enabling culture, demonstrating fairness, employee behavior and employer branding.
External marketing is a concept that has not received much attention among many healthcare providers, especially those that do not practice advertising. Planning an external marketing activity is critical is guaranteeing consumers and clients through education that the services and products you provide are effective and efficient. Rooney (2009) argues that external marketing is a tool that reaches many potential prospects that may be looking for the unique services a healthcare giver provides. External marketing may therefore include the use of Yellow page, television and radio broadcast, billboards, magazines, newspapers, websites and direct marketing.
Professional referral marketing
Professional referral marketing is an important practice that has been lauded for its effectiveness in attracting a wider client base. Healthcare providers need to plan their marketing activities to include word-of-mouth referrals as they are valuable and trusted methods and have also been considered very efficient. Planning for professional referral marketing can be set to be conducted online through social networks, internet marketing and viral marketing. Besides, offline referral marketing can also be done through endorsements via direct verbal recommendations, letters, postcards, public speaking engagements and newsletters.
How to apply marketing plan in my healthcare organization
To achieve an effective planning as described by Joel Ellis, I will ensure that I carry out strategic planning whereby I will look at critical factors such as my organization’s ability in terms of resources, the nature of marketing required and whether to make financial investments to determine how well my organization can succeed in the market. It will be a kind of planning that will provide guidance on how best to proceed with marketing operations, allocate resources and meet target goals. Through planning, I will be able to establish the ideals that characterize the target market and therefore proactively determine how they would be addressed. To add to that, it will establish the procedures that would be followed to achieve the set objectives.
Ellis, J. (2009). Why Your Healthcare Practice Needs a Marketing Plan. Web.
Gershon, H. J., & Pattakos, A. (2004). Creating market opportunities: Innovation is the key. Journal of Healthcare Management, 49(1), 9-11.
Rooney, K. (2009). Consumer-driven healthcare marketing: Using the web to get up close and personal. Journal of Healthcare Management, 54(4), 241-251.