Sunday, December 6, 2015

How is your hospital/system marketing allocated for 2016?

Marketing budgets for 2016 are almost completed if the provider is running on a calendar year or pretty close to it.  Though, I do know of some hospitals and systems that still haven’t figured marketing spend and won’t for a couple of months into the New Year.  But let’s assume for the discussion that at least one knows the total direct marketing spend allocated to tactics.
Much of the allocations assigned to the strategies/tactics by the marketing plan based on the strategic, operational and financial plan of the provider have been outlined.  But be that as it may, the question becomes has one seriously looked at the channel tactics, or was it just a rote exercise of assigning percentages based on what marketing has always accomplished?

This is an important question.

Health care is far more consumer and medical retail focused than in the previous year, and that trend is not slowing down or stopping anytime soon.  The result requires a change in tactics and the corresponding dollar allocations to reach patients and the healthcare consumers where they are, not where one wants them to be.  It is also important to shift from features and benefits marketing to value marketing to drive revenue and growth for the hospital or system.

Today’s marketing in providers should be all about value, price, outcomes, and experience to give patients, physicians or healthcare consumer a reason for choosing you.  A new messaging mindset and execution are needed as well as tactics to meet the needs of the audiences.  In considering and responding to the needs of the provider audiences, appropriate utilization, revenue and growth will occur.  It is a pretty simple straight line to brand and revenue growth.

That is if the provider is willing to change.

As a recommendation that takes into account all that we know about healthcare consumers and patient, how they make choices, search and spend the $350 billion they will shell out of pocket for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, marketing needs to change.It’s all about adding value and how the hospital/system adds value to someone’s life. And one can’t do that in provider marketing if one continues to allocate and spend marketing dollars as always.

Everyone’s budgets are different so here is some food for thought and consideration on the direct marketing spend and percentage of dollars to apply.

Inbound Marketing 40 percent allocation:
Content creation, social media, SEO, website, mobile, blogging, thought leadership, behavioral emails, experience, engagement, value

Public Relation/Media Relations 25 percent
Press relations print and electronic, speakers and events

Voice of the Customer/research 15 percent

Outbound/ interruption marketing 10 percent
Sponsorships, emails, advertisements, direct mail

Marketing systems   10 percent
CRM, marketing automation, marketing analytics, ROI measurement

In a healthcare consumer retail medical retail focused marketing environment, it’s all about driving revenue and growth by giving individuals a reason to choose you. 

It’s simple, but hard to do.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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