Whether it’s cardiology, women’s health or cancer care, attracting and retaining patients for key service lines continues to be a priority for hospital growth. If you’ve been asked to put together a service line marketing plan and collaborate with busy (and overloaded) service line leaders, get on the right track by following these tips.
At Ten Adams, we use a discovery process to help service line leaders better understand their role in marketing health-related products and services. This chart spells out assumptions and expectations for both the service line leader and the marketing team.
In our model, the service line leader acts as the business expert. This person focuses on the overall vision, specific goals and the best use of operational data – not how many flyers need to be printed. The service line leader taps experts to define and analyze trends and share data about the service line and the direction it’s heading.
Here’s what we love about this approach: It allows key stakeholders to share what’s important to them, while enabling the marketing team to gain access to crucial information they may not regularly see. Truly a win-win. This type of collaboration also jump-starts buy-in for your service line marketing plan right from the start.
Now let’s clarify the role of the marketing leader – developing a go-to-market strategy. Whether it’s competitor intelligence, leakage reports, patient satisfaction or quality scores, data provided by the service line leader is crucial to creating a solid foundation for a service line marketing plan.
Using research elevates the plan beyond a list of tactics or random distribution channels. From messaging to media, it ensures that all assets work together to drive results as well as a return on investment.
So, as you can see, by specifying the roles and expertise of both the service line and marketing leaders, everyone stays focused on moving toward the same goal. Teams may have different perspectives, but they all combine to make a solid plan for increasing utilization.
Listen to Frontline Experts
Once roles and responsibilities are ironed out, it’s time to hear from the people who spend every day doing service line work. They have first-hand knowledge of patient pain points and institutional barriers. Their collective expertise stems from in-person interactions with patients, providers and the new equipment the hospital wants to promote.
To maximize time with the service line leaders and clinical staff, we pose the same 20 questions to each service line team. We cover topics like goals and measurements, internal information, patient experience and competition. Here are five of the 20 questions:
- How can we track new appointments/patients?
- What is the biggest obstacle to adding new customers?
- What is your current level of capacity?
- Who is your ideal patient (demographic, insurance, etc.)?
- Who are your toughest competitors and what are they doing right?
Employing the same list of questions for every service line provides consistency in answers, design, execution and tracking. It allows for the ability to build a successful plan that puts the right information in front of the right people at the right time.
Now that you’ve spent time listening to and learning about the key services at your hospital, it’s time to develop your marketing plan. Need help? Ten Adams is here to guide you and make it happen!