It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is right around the corner. Are you ready? If not, that’s ok. We all know that preparing begins with a well-conceived marketing and budget plan based on research and specific goals. That’s easy to say, we know. But the question is, how do we get there? Each business is different, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan. But read on for our marketing resource guide for elective medical providers.

Creating a marketing and budget plan for 2022

Having a marketing and budget plan is essential to the success of your business. The marketing plan details the strategy you will use to market to your patients. It’s the blueprint to not only help you identify and reach your ideal prospects but also secure and retain them. The use of metrics will help you to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. A timeline will help you manage your time more effectively and will help ensure that all actions are in line with the focus and direction of your practice.

Having a budget plan helps you to financially reach your goals. Otherwise, you may overspend, which is a recipe for failure. You need to know how much money you spend and where it’s allocated to achieve your objective. Planning your 2022 marketing budget in advance enables you to move forward with more certainty, knowing that you will have the funding necessary to execute your plan.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

What should be in your marketing and budget plan? Let’s break it down:

Market Research

  • Customers – Who are they? What are they looking for? How can you help them with their pain points?
  • Product – What new products, services, or niche options can you offer to your customers?
  • Sales – What are the average costs and revenue associate with the services or products you provide?
  • Benchmarks – How is the larger market compared to your practice?
  • Market dynamics – Is there a slow season? When are people more likely to be looking for this service, and how can you capitalize on that?

Sales Cycle

  • Understanding your sales cycle – Where are most of your consumers? Awareness? Consideration? Decision? Each segment of the sales cycle needs consideration for advertising, so you can reach prospects wherever they are.

Goal Setting

  • What are your business goals? Be specific. Think bigger than “increasing revenue.” How will you get there? And what is your strategy? A SMART goal is something like “increase sales by 20% by the end of the year” or “gain 10 new patients a month”

Marketing Strategies

  • Advertising – What platforms will you use? Hint: The more solutions you use, the better your results. Multichannel marketing works)
  • Training programs – Webinars and live events are a great way to position yourself as an industry leader, and educate your future patients.
  • Networking – Are you attended conferences and trade shows to build your network and learn how to improve your practice?
  • Direct marketing – How can you get in front of your prospective patients easily and seamlessly? Consider a solution that sends a customized, branded postcard from your practice to all qualified website visitors within 48-72 hours of their visit – even if they don’t leave their contact information.
  • Website maintenance, blogs, and social media – You should know by now, digital marketing is a necessity for any business. Get up online, keep it up to date, and connect with your consumers.

Monitor and Adjust

  • Survey customers – Are your consumers happy? Are they writing rave reviews? Or is there a disconnect somewhere?
  • Track sales and platforms – Which segments of your marketing are performing the best? If a platform isn’t producing as you’d like, it’s always an option to move money where it’s performing best.
  • Monitor ads – Make sure to shake things up! Change your ads from time to time, to ensure your audience is seeing new, fresh content from you. Adjust the copy, images, or message to determine what resonates most.
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Sales Lead Nurturing

Building relationships with prospects is crucial. You want them to select you over your competition. And let’s be honest, decisions like that simply don’t happen overnight. Most prospects need time to weigh their options and need to be confident with their decision that you are the right doctor. They need to be engaged and educated about who you are and what you do.

Simply put, they need to be convinced. Cultivating a sensitivity and understanding with your prospects will create an ongoing personal relationship, which many times proves to be the determining factor in them ultimately choosing you.

Build Trust in your Brand

Building value requires you to gain positive promotion of who you are in the marketplace. Since the patient journey begins with asking lots of questions and wanting answers, they will search for you and your practice and what they discover will invariably influence their decision. Since trust plays a major role in the medical industry, it’s vital that your marketing is helpful and informative and not self-promotional. You can boost you and your practice’s credibility and reputation by continually delivering honest, relevant information which will build value in your position as a sincere, trustworthy authority in your specialty. This will resonate well with people and will not only help distinguish you from your competition but also help you ideally attract the right prospects.

Once prospects become your patients, provide them with an exceptional, customer satisfaction experience. This type of positive quality service will further endear you to them and will increase customer spending, encourage positive word of mouth, and inspire patient loyalty.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is the most cost-effective marketing solution to increase brand awareness and visibility. The number of social media users in the US is 240 million in 2020, meaning 72.3% of Americans are actively using sites monthly. With so many people devoting time on social media, it’s important to develop your social media content strategy. Strategic social media posting increases brand visibility and awareness and helps grow your clientele. It also enables you to better understand your patients on an individual level while cultivating relationships with prospects. Authentic, relevant, informative content updated regularly will help establish you as a contemporary thought leader. Earning their respect, confidence, and loyalty leads to long term relationships.

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Percentage of Americans on Social Media

How do we do this? Remember that social media platforms are pay-to-play. Organic views have been decreasing for years. The way to get your business and services in front of more people is to promote a post on your newsfeed or create ads that target specific audiences.

Online Reviews Matter

It should go without saying, but people prefer choosing a doctor they feel secure with. Unlike years ago, when there were very few online reviews of doctors, today things are different. More and more people post reviews and ratings of doctors. And they make a difference! In fact, about 95 respondents in a 2018 survey said they find online ratings an reviews of doctors “somewhat” to “very” reliable. People search online reviews, and their decisions are influenced by positive word-of-mouth, even from people they don’t know. This is especially true in healthcare, where one’s health and quality of life is paramount. Many individuals will even pay more for a physician with a positive online rating. A good reputation is invaluable to one’s practice.

If you aren’t actively encouraging your patients to review you online, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity. Consumers of all types rarely make blind decisions – and the stats are even lower when it comes to a medical decision. It doesn’t matter where you collect the review – it can be social media, Google, or wherever is easiest for your team to monitor. But it’s essential to get the good word of your practice out there.

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Online Shoppers that Avoid Businesses with Negative Reviews

If you aren’t actively encouraging your patients to review you online, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity. Consumers of all types rarely make blind decisions – and the stats are even lower when it comes to a medical decision. It doesn’t matter where you collect the review – it can be social media, Google, or wherever is easiest for your team to monitor. But it’s essential to get the good word of your practice out there.

It’s important not only to ask for reviews, but also monitor them. Did you know one unhappy customer can do a lot of damage if there isn’t a response from the business. Why? A recent study showed that 94% of online shoppers avoided a business because of negative reviews. That’s huge! It’s not a good idea to ignore them. A positive response to a negative criticism demonstrates concern and sensitivity and acknowledges a commitment to a better patient experience. You can turn your negative reviews into your advantage, which is vital to your professional reputation.

Ready for the Next Step?

LeadingResponse provides you with a detailed marketing roadmap and the marketing solutions deck will pave the path for you to attract new, qualified prospects and turn them into your patients. Plan your successful 2022 journey now.