You know what’s so “last decade”? An email inbox flooded with requests that ultimately hold you back from planning and executing the important work you’ve been hired to do.
Planning continues to be a struggle for marketing professionals — not for lack of effort but for lack of time. Each of us is one person with about eight hours in each workday.
But giving up on planning isn’t the answer, because planning is essential to ensuring that your efforts are successful. We’re here to share the “2020 Vision” you need to prioritize planning without letting it take over your day.
Setting Up Your Team for Successful Planning
Before you roll your eyes, let us assure you: Preparing to plan isn’t the same thing as a meeting about a meeting.
For all professions, planning is usually the first step to accomplishing goals. But we have some relearning and rewiring to do first. In four easy steps.
Step 1: Know your purpose
Planning begins with purpose — knowing your team’s purpose in your organization. Purpose is essential to effectiveness. As a healthcare marketer, your core responsibilities are to:
- Build brand awareness: Creating and nurturing a consistent and not only recognizable but also memorable brand is important to your internal and external audiences. To maintain consistency, you need to develop certain tools such as brand standards and a message map.
- Enhance engagement: Connecting with each of our key audiences — such as employees, patients and consumers, and referring physicians — is where the magic happens. One of your most important jobs is to leverage relationships with your audiences to uphold your brand and keep the conversations going so it remains relevant.
- Strengthen reputation: Reputation now has the power to make or break an organization like never before, as social media gives individuals a platform and megaphone for sharing their experiences — good, bad and in between. The modern marketer must constantly monitor their organizations’ social media platforms and respond accordingly.
- Drive growth: It’s important to prioritize your efforts on growing the services that will produce the greatest impact. Ignore the squeaky wheels telling you that their service line should be the focus of marketing efforts, and let the data guide you.
Step 2: Update your identity
Once you’ve discovered, or rediscovered, your team’s purpose within your organization, it’s time to update your team’s identity to reflect that purpose. Think of this effort as a rebranding of your team, or even a job promotion.
If you were rebranding your health system, you’d hold launch events to educate employees on the new brand. And if a colleague gets a promotion, they or their supervisor would communicate to other colleagues how their change in role affects their job function.
Why not do the same as you update your team’s identity? Take the time to educate your internal clients on how you function now — strategically — and what the appropriate channels are for making requests.
Step 3: Stop fighting fires
We get it. You’re hard-wired to put your internal clients’ requests ahead of everything else, because you want to help — and, let’s be honest, it’s probably how your team has always functioned. But that’s no reason to continue the madness.
Being bogged down with a barrage of requests is killing your marketing strategy and keeping you from planning and executing your marketing plan. We call this all-too-common practice “firefighter marketing.”
Only you can prevent firefighter marketing! And you can do it with one final step…
Step 4: Shift your focus
Our secret planning strategy, called the 10% Secret, helps you shift your focus from fighting fires 100 percent of the time to spending 10 percent of your time defining your goals, developing your marketing plan and performing the activities you committed to performing annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. We’re not mathematicians, but by our math, that leaves you with 90 percent of your time to work your marketing plan.
The 10% Secret is all about working smarter and with intention. And get this: our philosophy doesn’t just help you with mastering the chaos of healthcare marketing; you can easily apply it to your personal life, too. Get ready to be amazed by how easily small amounts of time add up to big wins.
Enhance Your Marketing Plan to the Power of Ten
We’ve used our experience serving clients and working on marketing teams inside hospitals, ourselves, to create a user-friendly tool to help you plan: The Power of Ten Planner. This planner, which incorporates the 10% Secret, will help you stay focused on your purpose: building brand awareness, enhancing engagement, strengthening your organization’s reputation, and driving growth.
The planner is organized by quarter and includes quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily planning documents. We also set aside a special place where you can log each month’s accomplishments and look ahead to next month’s goals.
The planner also includes:
- Information on your team’s purpose as healthcare marketers
- An exercise on defining your goals based on the four purposes of marketing
- Information on the 10% Secret
Our Approach to Strategy
Our team of power planners has 30 years of experience working with healthcare marketing leaders on building and nurturing healthy brands. We’re dedicated to helping our clients solve their problems, both complex and straightforward, and celebrating their success.
Our strategy is grounded on our firm foundation of process, which first seeks to understand. We begin by studying each piece of our clients’ organizations, which gives us a clear picture of the way your audiences perceive your brand. But we’re also bold thinkers who aim high, and we work with our clients to achieve out-of-this-world results.
Start Planning Smarter Today
Are you ready to achieve some out-of-this-world results? To get started with planning smarter, download our Power of Ten Planner.
We also offer free 60-minute planning sessions to guide you through using the planner. Schedule your Planning to the Power of Ten phone call with our VP of Strategy, Jennifer Horton.