The healthcare industry spends about $30 billion a year on marketing.
It’s a competitive space, but there is a lot of money to be made in the healthcare industry. If you want your marketing dollars to work for your healthcare organization, you need to have a healthcare marketing plan.
Read on to learn how you can create a marketing plan that gets results for your healthcare company.
1. Understand Your Products and Services
You start your marketing journey by doing an audit of your own products and services. You want to map out the reasons why people would find your products useful.
This doesn’t mean that you should list the features of your products and services. Rather, you need to list the benefits of your products. This distinction forces you to think about your customers and why they need your products and services.
2. Know Your Buyers
Once you know your products and services and what makes them attractive, you need to understand the core emotional needs of your audience.
It helps to create buyer personas for your audience. A buyer persona is a story about who the person is, what their day is like, how much they make, and the challenges they face.
In the case of a pharmaceutical company, you’ll have at least two types of buyers. You’ll market to consumers to raise awareness of your products. You’ll also market to doctors.
The pharmaceutical industry spends about $20 billion each year to influence doctors to prescribe their products. You’ll need to create a buyer persona that dives into how your products can help doctors and their patients.
If you have more than one type of audience, you have to create a buyer persona for each audience. By the end of this process, you should be able to connect the benefits of your product to your buyers’ needs.
3. Perform Market Research
What is the competition doing? What are the external factors that are going to impact the market for your products? How does technology influence the delivery of healthcare information?
These are important questions that you need to address in your marketing plan. Market research takes a broad view of the industry. This will allow you to spot long-term trends and know where the market is likely to head.
You can see more here for additional information about market research in the healthcare industry.
4. Develop Goals and Objectives
Your marketing plan needs to have goals and objectives. This will help you measure the success of your marketing campaign. Your goals should be written in a way that is specific.
For example, a goal can be to increase the number of prescriptions from doctors by 15% in 10 months. Another goal could be to raise awareness of your organization by 25% in 12 months.
You’ll need to take baseline measurements before you launch the campaign.
5. Create Your Big Strategy
Your strategy is the broad view of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. The best way to describe strategy is to compare it to going on a trip.
You have your destination, which you outlined in your goals. Now you have to decide how to get there. Will you drive, fly, or take the train?
Your healthcare marketing strategy could be to rely on digital marketing to reach your target market.
6. Outline Your Tactics
Tactics are the things that you’ll do to achieve your goal. Common marketing tactics include social media, blogging, SEO, pay-per-click ads, television commercials, and remarketing.
Your tactics should be congruent with your objectives and aligned with your target audience. For example, if you’re going to use SEO as a marketing tactic, you need to know the search terms your target market uses to discover your products and services.
7. Finalize Your Budget
It’s true that a lot of money is spent on marketing healthcare. That doesn’t mean that you have a blank check for your marketing plan. You have to have a budget and get that budget approved by higher-ups in your organization.
After you outline your tactics, you’ll need to attach a budget to each item. You may have to cut down or prioritize tactics based on your budget.
8. Execute and Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
You have your marketing plan laid out. This is the time when you put it into action. A healthcare marketing plan can be complicated with a lot of moving parts.
You want to have a system in place that allows you to manage each tactic and task. You should assign a specific task to someone on your team, have a deadline, and hold them accountable.
This system, whether it’s a spreadsheet or project management program, should be available to everyone on your team to keep everyone on the same page.
After a short period of time, you’ll be able to measure the initial results of your campaign. You can choose to make additional adjustments according to your reporting. You’ll continue to make adjustments based on data for the remainder of the campaign.
This system will give you an opportunity to test and improve your campaign for better results.
A Healthcare Marketing Plan That Works
When you have a healthcare marketing plan, you have done the research into your competition, target market, and your product or service to know why people would use your organization.
You understand the benefits and have created key messages that appeal to the needs of your audience. Your marketing strategy gives you the best tactics to use to reach your audience where they are.
At the end of the day, you have a solid healthcare marketing strategy that you can execute and adjust as needed. Ready for more marketing insights? Head over to the homepage for more articles.