The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It

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By the time you finish the book, you can have a complete, written marketing plan for your own business. If you go to the AMACOM website, you can download my computer marketing plan [what if] software models, free of charge.

Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans

These allow you to insert your own data into the files and see the results for your business. The web address is www. For best results and ease of use, you should download the software to either a CD or your hard drive. Then you can go try different data until you get the results you are seeking, such as the most effective positioning of your business, your best target audience, most favorable.

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. Your research may even bring to light some problem areas in your practice as well as solutions you can implement right away. Conducting market research is often the most time-consuming step in this process. Analyze the research. Next, you need to analyze the raw data you collect and summarize it into meaningful findings that will be the foundation for determining which marketing strategies make the most sense and will get the best results for your practice The research will identify the wants and needs of your current and potential patients and will help you to define your target audience for more on target audiences, see step 5, below.

Based on your research findings, you may need to modify some of your goals. A strategic marketing plan requires that your practice be defined in terms of what it does for patients. What sets your practice apart from your competition? Do you offer a broader scope of services than the competition?

Is there a service you provide that no one else in the community currently offers? Your competitive edge may lie in your style of practice, the range of services you offer, the ease of making an appointment or the way you and your staff communicate with patients. To gather the kind of information you need to develop a strategic marketing plan for your practice, you need to conduct market research on your practice, your competition and your community. Although it will take some time to gather this information, a number of resources are available that can make the process easier for you.

Much of the information you need about your own practice can be found through discussions with staff members and other physicians, or by reviewing your patient records. Here are some of the questions you need answered about your practice:. What is the background and history of your practice? Has it been in the current community for a long time?

Are there problems with scheduling, cancellations, staff turnover or reimbursement management? Who are your current patients in terms of their age, sex, ethnic origin, type of insurance coverage, chief complaints and where they live? What are the services provided by your practice? Who needs these services? Are these needs changing? You need to find out who your competitors are and what they have to offer.

To assess your competition, you need to ask the following questions:. You can find answers to the following questions by contacting your local Chamber of Commerce, your state vital statistics department or the U. Census Bureau www. Census data is available for every state, county, city, ZIP code, neighborhood, etc. Is the population expected to grow or shrink? What are the demographic characteristics of the population in your area?

What is a marketing plan?

Who are your potential patients? Are their wants and needs being met elsewhere in the community? If not, how can your practice meet those needs? Identify a target audience. Keep in mind that your target audience should not only be the patients you want to attract but also the people who can influence and provide exposure to that segment of the population. For example, if you wish to treat patients with arthritis, you might want to get involved in the local and regional Arthritis Foundation and explore senior organizations in the community.

If you want to treat young athletes, you might consider giving talks on sports safety and first-aid tips to coaches and athletes at the local high schools, colleges and YMCAs. The key to marketing lies in targeting the audience that your practice can serve better than your competition — and communicating this to that group.

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Determine a budget. Before you can decide what specific marketing strategies you want to implement to achieve your goals, you need to examine your financial information and come up with a marketing budget. Marketing budgets vary by the type of market a practice is in, the age of a practice and whether the practice has marketed before. However, in our experience, practices in open markets have spent 3 percent to 5 percent of their annual gross incomes on marketing.

If your practice is new, in a highly competitive market or has never been marketed before, or if you intend to roll out an ambitious new program or service, you can expect to spend 10 percent or more of your annual gross income the first year you implement the plan.

Some of the initial marketing activities can be expensive. On the other hand, some of the best marketing activities cost practically nothing. Big or small, these are all worthwhile investments that will give the community a positive image of your practice.

7 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Develop marketing strategies. With your budget in place, you can begin to define specific marketing strategies that will address your goals, reach your target audience and build your patient base. Remember to focus your strategies on the elements of your practice that can be used to create a special value in the minds of patients and referral sources. Each strategy should be related to a specific goal and should be made up of numerous actions. Also by decreasing outside businesses input it will increase the efficient use of inputs into the business.

Another benefit of vertical integration is that it improves the exchange of information through the different stages of the production line. Also if the business is not well organised and fully equipped and prepared the business will struggle using this strategy. There are also competitive disadvantages as well, which include; creates barriers for the business, and loses access to information from suppliers and distributors. In terms of market position, firms may be classified as market leaders, market challengers, market followers or market nichers.

As the speed of change in the marketing environment quickens, time horizons are becoming shorter. Nevertheless, most firms carry out strategic planning every 3— 5 years and treat the process as a means of checking whether the company is on track to achieve its vision and mission. Strategies are broad in their scope in order to enable a firm to react to unforeseen developments while trying to keep focused on a specific pathway. A key aspect of marketing strategy is to keep marketing consistent with a company's overarching mission statement. Strategies often specify how to adjust the marketing mix ; firms can use tools such as Marketing Mix Modeling to help them decide how to allocate scarce resources, as well as how to allocate funds across a portfolio of brands.

In addition, firms can conduct analyses of performance, customer analysis, competitor analysis , and target market analysis. Marketing strategies may differ depending on the unique situation of the individual business. According to Lieberman and Montgomery, every entrant into a market — whether it is new or not — is classified under a Market Pioneer, Close Follower or a Late follower [93].

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Market pioneers are known to often open a new market to consumers based off a major innovation. Preemption of Assets can help gain an advantage through acquiring scarce assets within a certain market, allowing the first-mover to be able to have control of existing assets rather than those that are created through new technology. By being a first entrant, it is easy to avoid higher switching costs compared to later entrants. For example, those who enter later would have to invest more expenditure in order to encourage customers away from early entrants.

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If there is an upside potential and the ability to have a stable market share, many businesses would start to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers. These are more commonly known as Close Followers. These entrants into the market can also be seen as challengers to the Market Pioneers and the Late Followers.

The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It
The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It

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