The 10% Secret to Healthcare Marketing Plan Success

woman looking at healthcare marketing plan

In our 37+ years of working with hospitals and health systems, we’ve observed that the teams who realize the greatest success in executing their strategic healthcare marketing plan in the established timeframe have one thing in common – a specific amount of time set aside for working on the plan.

What's the 10% Secret to Better Healthcare Marketing Plans?

Actively Prioritize Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Your job as a healthcare marketing leader is to build brand awareness, improve engagement, enhance reputation, and drive growth. It can be very easy to lose sight of these core healthcare strategy areas and fail to prioritize them when you are constantly bombarded with requests for fliers and social media posts.

The 10% secret is a way to make sure you actively keep these four areas at the forefront of your thought process. It quite literally means spending 10 percent of your strategy time devoted to the upkeep of your strategic marketing plan. The remaining 90 percent of strategy time is spent executing the plan. By our calculations, focusing this specific amount of time on the mechanics and maintenance of the strategic marketing plan keeps organizational goals top of mind and important tasks moving forward.  

If you're curious about how to implement the 10% secret into your healthcare marketing department workflow, keep reading. 

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Have a Plan to Fully Execute Your Healthcare Marketing Plan

First, make sure you (and your team) avoid a set-and-forget mentality. You worked hard to develop a comprehensive, detailed plan for your health system that lays out how and when you will reach specific targets. Don’t let it wither away in the marketing department’s shared folder! As the final step in your healthcare strategic planning process, create a work-back schedule to hold yourselves accountable for reaching all those goals and metrics. 

Second, identify the biggest roadblocks that prevent you from meeting your goals in the established timeframe. Common culprits include:

To be clear, the issue isn’t the talent or dedication of your team. It’s a question of how they can possibly focus on increasing market share and referrals when their time is spent:

  • Working late nights and weekends
  • In a pressure-cooker environment
  • Never knowing what task will come next
  • Constantly feeling behind on their “real work”

This kind of environment – where department heads and leaders across the health system constantly disrupt your process - generates a culture of chaos and turns your healthcare marketing specialists into firefighter marketers.

5 Ways to Define Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy Time

All of this sounds great in theory, right? But what does the 10% secret look like in action? Well, once you have your strategic healthcare marketing plan created, potential roadblocks identified, and a broad work-back schedule in place, it’s time for some math. What works for your team? Do they prefer to meet less often but for longer periods? Do they want to talk through every detail and add it to your document in real time? Maybe they like to touch base every week or each day but only briefly. Below are five different ways you can subdivide strategy time and increase the chances of your team staying on track.

Year – Schedule two full workdays for a staff retreat. (One in the spring and one in the fall.) That’s 16 hours dedicated to gathering and analyzing data, tracking your KPIs, and quantifying how close you are to reaching set goals.

Quarter – Set aside a three-hour block once each quarter. That’s 12 hours of time focused on the details of your strategic plan.

Month – If your team meets monthly, dedicate two hours of that time to listing accomplishments since the last meeting and setting priorities – with timelines – for the coming weeks.

Week – A one-hour strategic plan check-up each week will hold you and your staff accountable for their assigned parts of the plan. This hour isn’t the time for a deep dive into every strategy and tactic. It’s an on-track/off-track kind of meeting.

Day – If you prefer bite-sized tasks, hold a 15-minute stand-up meeting every day to identify any hot topics and potential fires related to your plan and how to address them.

This Part is Not a Secret

Just like earned media and food diaries, you can’t improve what you don’t track. So, whether it’s monthly or quarterly, make those strategic marketing plan meetings happen. Breaking down the giant task into manageable pieces will benefit the department, the organization, and your sanity!

Need help putting all the pieces together? We love strategy and a good work-back plan. Connect with us to learn more.

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