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Transcript
Developing Your Marketing Plan
What is a Marketing Plan?
Your marketing plan identifies the most promising opportunities for your practice.
It outlines how to successfully penetrate, capture and maintain desired positions
in identified markets.
Consequently, a marketing plan is the foundation on which your practice’s other
operating plans are built. It defines the goals, principles, procedures and methods
that determine your practice’s future. It is effective only to the degree that it
involves a commitment by all who must contribute to its success and to the
degree that it is kept abreast of the ever-changing marketing environment.
Planning is a continuous process — not a one-shot activity.
The marketing plan is also a communications tool which integrates all elements of
the marketing mix — sales, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, etc. —
into a single comprehensive program for coordinated action at all levels. The plan
specifies by product, target market, and region who will do what, where, when
and how in order to accomplish the practice’s goals in the most efficient manner.
A marketing plan should be
􀁺 • Simple – easy to understand
􀁺 • Clear – precise and detailed to avoid confusion
􀁺 • Practical – realistic in application and goal attainment
􀁺 • Flexible – adaptable to change
􀁺 • Complete – covers all significant marketing factors
􀁺 • Workable – identifies responsibilities
In addition, a marketing plan
􀁺 • Stimulates thinking to make better use of your practice’s resources
􀁺 • Assigns responsibility and work schedules
􀁺• Coordinates and unifies efforts
􀁺 • Facilitates control and evaluation of results of all activities
􀁺 • Creates awareness of obstacles to overcome
􀁺 • Identifies marketing opportunities
􀁺 • Provides an authentic marketing information source for current and future reference
􀁺 • Facilitates progressive advancement toward your practice’s goals
1. Establish Your Mission, Scope and Goals
The direction for developing a marketing plan is set by your mission, scope
and goals. These are established by top management and communicated
throughout the practice’s organizations.
Mission and Scope
Mission and scope refer to the nature of the practice’s products, services and
activities in terms of its ability to serve its referring physicians and patients. You
should answer the basic questions “What business are we in?”, “Where do we
want to go?”, and “What markets should we address?”. Also included should
be future growth and profit opportunities, guidelines and policies for planning
and current and planned levels of resources (materials, skills technologies, productivity and finances). Use the space below to begin.
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Goals
Goals are specific desired results of the practice’s operating plan. The plan is
supported by marketing strategies and by programs with specific objectives.
Whenever possible, goals should be defined in quantitative terms so progress
toward them can be measured. Define your goals for your practice below.
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2. Situation Analysis
A situation analysis provides you with the facts and assumptions on which your
plan is based. It does this by answering questions such as
• Who are your customers and how do you find them?
• What are your customers’ problems, needs and wants?
• Where are you now and where do you want to be “X” years from now?
• Why do you want to be there?
• What problems must be overcome to get there?
• Who are your major competitors? What is your assessment of their
apparent goals and strategies relative to both referring physicians
and patients? Market coverage? Pricing? Service? Communication
with their referring physicians and patients? Strengths? Weaknesses?
When you have answered these questions, you will be in a better position to set
your preliminary marketing objectives, or to revise your present ones.
Assumptions: Report on the economy and political environment (like managed care
and reimbursement issues). Identify trends and technical factors. List them below.
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Company Resources: Outline your key personnel, talents, resources,
capabilities and techniques.
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Market potentials, forecasts and facts: Acquire quantitative and qualitative
information on market size (dollars, referring physicians and patients), growth
rate, physician and patient profiles, physician and patient wants, needs and
attitudes.
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Market Share: What is your practice’s current share of the total potential
market served?
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Patient Volume History: Analyze patient volume over the last 3-5 years
(actual vs. market potential by referring physician specialty or exam types)
for growth opportunities.
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Current and New Opportunities: Research current and impending procedures
or markets that have a high potential of return for your practice. List them
below. Identify any resources or investments required to capitalize on the opportunities.
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Sales, Expense and Profit Forecasts: Based on your information thus far,
how might you predict the future in terms of patient volume, exams and
profit-investment? Develop specific plans to support your predictions.
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3. Marketing Objectives
After you have defined your goals and a situation analysis has been made, you can now
set your objectives. Objectives provide targets for direction and guidance of marketing
strategies.
When setting marketing objectives, test each by asking yourself “Will this objective
serve the best interests of the business as a whole?” They should be results-oriented,
measurable, attainable, specific, flexible, consistent with each other and challenging.
Below are examples of specific workable marketing objectives for sample marketing
criterion. They are not listed in order of importance. Adapt and expand the list to meet the
particular situation of your MR imaging practice or department. Add other categories if you
like.
Volume: Increase the number of referring physicians ____% by December 31, 20__.
Profitability: Increase overall return on investment by ____% for the next fiscal year.
Market Share: Increase market share in orthopedics by ____% before December 31, 20__.
Community Awareness: Increase awareness of imaging center / department among key
referring physicians in specific new markets by ____% by December 31, 20__.
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4. Selecting a Marketing Strategy
In its broadest sense, a strategy is a complete plan of exactly how you would make
the best use of your resources to achieve your objectives. In marketing, there are so
many strategies that including all of them would be impractical. You can, however,
narrow the strategic alternatives by considering only those that offer the greatest
possibility of success in achieving your objectives. Furthermore, all strategies
should be consistent with each other and with the objectives they are intended
to implement.
Brainstorm some strategies for achieving an objective you listed in Section 3.
List your ideas below. Evaluate them to determine those that can best satisfy
your objectives. Also determine which can be implemented efficiently within your
practice’s resources and capabilities and within the limits imposed by potential
problems. Finally, determine the strategy or strategies which will best meet your
objective. It is important that all of your operating plans and procedures support
your selected strategy.
Hitachi’s marketing team has listed other suggestions for strategies on the following
pages. Feel free to adapt any of them to fit your facility’s needs and goals.
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5. Formulate Detailed Actions
The next step in building your complete marketing plan is to list detailed actions
which will enable your practice to follow each strategy. This includes specific
courses of action with respect to your objectivism, sales, service, promotion, advertising, pricing, marketing research and new services
planning and development.
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6. Schedule and Assignments
This section answers the questions of who does what, where, how and when. It is
important to clearly establish structure and purpose, lines of authority and specific
responsibilities.
For each planned program or activity, you can convert estimated work-hours and
work-weeks into the number of people required to do each job. This figure can be
compared with the employees you have available, and questions of manpower losses
that may occur during the coming year. Then you can develop appropriate recruiting
schedules.
In staffing your plan, the important thing is to be sure that each activity in the master
program schedule is assigned to an individual. Everyone involved in the plan must be
instructed in his/her special role in meeting your marketing objectives.
Use the form below to organize this information and determine the required staffing
requirements for your practice.
Due Date
Date
Completed
Planning Activities
Department
Responsible
Person
Responsible
Assistance
From
7. Budgets
Identify the required resources, costs and risks associated with each of your
marketing objectives. Be sure that top management is committed to what it
will take to achieve your results.
Program
Resources Required
Budget ($)