Developing an Effective Healthcare Marketing Strategy, Part 3: Evaluation and Measurement
As in any industry, healthcare marketers need to track a campaign’s performance and measure the effectiveness of their marketing programs against the organization’s overall business goals and objectives. As we pointed out in Part 2 of this series, this is integral to success. Marketing plays a significant role in revenue growth and analyzing performance will help to get a clear picture of return on investment.
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If you set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to the target audience and time-bound – it will be easier to evaluate your marketing campaign. SMART goals do not reap murky results. Either you hit your goal or you don’t.
For example, if you’re a large healthcare system and one of your goals was to recruit 20 general practitioners and 10 specialists by August 1, it should be easy to assess this outcome. If you were specific with what kind of specialist you wanted, even better. How many recruits did you bring on board in orthopedics, palliative care, OB-GYN, and oncology by August 1?
Now consider how successful your social media campaigns have been. Which metric are you tracking most seriously here? Clicks? Shares? Views? Number of posts? Did you reach your goal?
If you were marketing your hospital’s open MRI machine, or a new neonatal intensive care unit, how successful was your outreach? Did marketing collateral left in doctor’s offices generate traffic to your website? How long were visitors staying on those landing pages? What other information did they seek? Did they set up an appointment through your online portal system or did they download a free e-book on a related topic? How much money did you spend for each line item in your budget?
Did you implement a digital marketing strategy that distributed targeted messages at certain points on the customer journey? What was the open rate for your email campaign? Did those patients or caregivers convert into buying customers? Meaning, did they use your products and services?
These aspects of content marketing and traditional marketing can be tracked, but mostly to measure the level of brand awareness and engagement. But when someone uses your call to action to book an appointment and have an exam at your healthcare facility, or chooses your birthing center for their delivery, revenue is generated. That is the true sign of effectiveness – when your content drives action and increases sales.
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By keeping tabs on what went right and what went wrong it’s easier to plan for the next program or campaign. Look at your original goals. Were they met on time and on budget? Why or why not? Did you exceed your expectations or fall short? Did anything surprise you? Also, consider what worked well and what did not. Conduct an honest assessment and discuss your findings with your team. Others may have valuable input, too.
A well-planned healthcare marketing strategy – from start to finish – will lead to better results. Take the time to conduct research on your target market and ideal customers so your messages have a better chance of being heard. Create a detailed content marketing calendar to stay organized and on deadline. Then, evaluate and measure results in quantitative and qualitative terms and report the findings. By following these guidelines your marketing campaigns and programs will have a better chance of being successful.
Marketing Partners specializes in placing marketing and creative talent in multiple industries, including healthcare. To find someone with the expertise you need, contact us today.
Vicki VanArsdale is a writer and content marketing expert who has a Master of Science in Health Communication from Boston University. McKinley Marketing Partners is proud to count her among its stellar group of marketing and creative consultants.