Setting marketing goals is an art. It requires a delicate midpoint between achievable milestones and unattainable dreams. If you allow it, setting and maintaining goals can be a somewhat torturous deliberation. Understanding that the key to success is not in squashing goals and moving on but in setting them so that each marketing effort serves a purpose. Goals should be set to influence the long-term purpose of your organization. The AMA of Tampa Bay is here to help!
So, how can we keep long-term excitement in our goals?
Follow these three steps to master the art of setting goals:
Step 1: Define your success – The most basic concept when setting marketing goals is to define what success looks like to your company and to your department. It is important to support your ideas with research. This step will insure that your long-term actions towards achieving goals will create a significant and positive impact on your company. It will not help to make up this information. Spend the extra time studying your past trends to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Discover what the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. Ask yourself; what qualities do my company, or products have that will add value to our market? Do I want to get more patients in the door? Penetrate a new market? Get more leads from social media? What metrics need to be hit for us to feel successful? Be sure to explore all areas of your marketing efforts and define your success in detail.
Step 2: Write it down – Now that you have dreamt up the most successful, well-researched goals, you must solidify them. This means physically connecting to your goals by putting the pen to paper, or the marker to the whiteboard if you are collaborating with a team. This will provide the visualization necessary to both prioritize and create a long-term, tangible relationship with your goals.
Tip: Set a 15-minute time limit to write down every imaginable goal you can think of: big, small, silly, unrealistic, serious, quantifiable, or ambiguous. Once you’ve done this arrange them into categories. You may be surprised by the trends in your ideas.
Step 3: Break it down – Once you’ve written your goals, it is time to break them down. Pick two or three focus points that tie into your major business objectives and define them; these are your core goals. Then you can define sub-categories for each one; these are your supporting goals. Be sure to write your goals in the present tense, be specific, and quantify it with an end date.
Example Goal Layout for Healthcare Marketing
Core Goal #1 : Get New Patients – Use marketing efforts to increase strong patient leads by a quantifiable 10% at the end of the 1st quarter.
- SEO – Gain new patient awareness and conversion through blog content and calls-to-action, attracting 1 new patient/week to request an appointment online.
- PR – Plan to host an open house in quarter 2 and send a press release out to local media, inviting them to attend. Create a relationship with a media contact to write a follow-up article in the local news about your event.
- New Ad routes – Explore an innovative advertising route that saves money. Track the success and ROI and compare to previous efforts’ success.
Core Goal #2 : Build Patient Relationships – Brand our patient experience so that patients feel at home when they are in our office and share their feelings with their friends and family through a Friends & Family Referral Program.
- Incentivize staff-patient engagement – Staff will create a memorable experience with 3 patients a week, advising them to share their experiences on social media/review sites.
- Make website user-friendly – We will add more engaging elements to the website by the end of Q1, including contact forms.
Core Goal #3 : Adopt New Trends in Health Care – Explore some of the new trends in the industry and take the first step to adopt one of them. Set quarterly goals with an end-goal of complete adoption after one year.
- Create an app – Come up with a concept for an app that either your patients or referring physicians can use to make their experience with you more seamless. Find a local developer to help you get it created that is within the budget you set and create a timeline for rolling it out.
- Get ahead of price transparency – Gather pricing information and create a true self-pay rate for your services and procedures so that your patients can act as consumers. Roll out a marketing plan by summer for marketing price.