Transform Your Healthcare Marketing Department into a Revenue-Driving Business Growth Unit
As many healthcare profit margins are squeezed tightly between rising costs of supplies and goods (inflation) and declining reimbursements across many areas, marketing your healthcare services to engage more potential health consumers and grow revenue has never been a more critical necessity than it is today.
Healthcare organizations must leverage varied marketing strategies across multiple promotional channels to reach, engage, and convert as many consumers as possible in today's competitive healthcare landscape. Additionally, it's paramount to develop and define clear measurement processes to confirm revenue growth and ROI from marketing efforts and campaigns.
Traditionally, healthcare marketing was seen in the past as a non-revenue producing cost-center. Marketing functioned as a "one to many" avenue of reaching a large volume of health consumers with a campaign designed to drive awareness and visibility, which may or may not result in engagement or conversions. However, in the age of digital marketing, healthcare marketing can and does drive engagement that directly results in conversions, consumer acquisition, and, thus revenue growth.
If your healthcare marketing department is not already functioning at a high level as an effective revenue-driver, you may need to reconsider and restructure the department and its functions and goals until it operates as a revenue-driver instead of as a cost center or additional overhead.
Incorporate a revenue-driving mindset in the healthcare marketing team members
If you haven't been setting revenue driving goals nor holding your marketing team accountable to meeting KPIs and providing measurable ROI, they aren't likely to achieve revenue growth. Now is the time to make that mindset shift to encourage effective revenue-driving strategies from your healthcare marketing department.
You can start by communicating with your healthcare marketing team members, and preparing them to collaborate across the organization with other departments including operations and finance to align the organization's marketing strategies with overall business goals, including revenue growth.
Set realistic and measurable goals, including specific KPIs to meet and exceed in the immediate future, which should ideally lead to revenue growth for the long-term future. Hold the team accountable to the KPIs and ROI initially and then set long-term, big-picture growth goals they're expected to drive after consistently meeting the KPIs.
Build a Revenue Generating Healthcare Marketing Team
You may have to rebuild all or part of your marketing team to achieve new goals and revenue growth if your current healthcare marketing team members are not on board with the new objectives. Additionally, some team members may not be skilled or creative enough to achieve the revenue-driving outcomes you need.
Hire the right healthcare marketing talent by selecting those with the business expertise and healthcare-related acumen needed to drive revenue growth for your organization. Screen prospective candidates for prior revenue-generating results and outcomes they've achieved in previous work for past employers. Additionally, provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities for your healthcare marketers through online courses, conferences, etc.
Train and require the healthcare marketing team to collaborate with other departments and achieve successful cross-functional synergistic partnerships interdepartmentally with finance, strategy, operations, etc.
One way to motivate the healthcare marketing team is to encourage a culture of innovation and experimentation to try a variety of new methods for achieving the growth goals via the KPIs and ROI. Additionally, allowing your team to have decision-making authority to experiment with creative solutions will empower them to thrive and succeed.
Develop an Effective Revenue Generating Healthcare Marketing Strategy
The healthcare marketing team should begin formulating your revenue-driving strategy by conducting market research and understanding your target audience of health consumers and prospective patients.
Next, outline and define clear marketing objectives and goals tied directly to revenue growth.
Create a comprehensive marketing plan with a multi-faceted, omnichannel approach, including digital marketing, content marketing, traditional advertising (TV, radio, etc.), and branding.
Implement effective lead generation and nurturing strategies via various marketing channels such as social media ad content marketing.
Utilize data and analytics for data-driven decision-making and revising strategies as needed.
Finally, work with the operations team to ensure that they are operationally ready to market the services you want to support. The last thing you want to do is drive business into an area that is not operationally ready to accept new patients or accommodate growth.
Leveraging Technology for Revenue Generation
To optimize revenue generation via your healthcare marketing strategies, you'll need to invest in some marketing automation tools for personalized and targeted campaigns.
For example, you can utilize customer relationship management (CRM) systems for lead management and tracking.
By implementing effective website analytics and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, you can drive more traffic to your website. When utilizing digital marketing and/or data-driven targeted advertising, ensure you comply with the latest OCR/HHS regulations governing the sharing of PHI with media platforms. If you're not sure how to comply, you may want to consult with a professional healthcare marketing agency or healthcare law firm. Meanwhile, until you're certain you're in compliance, you may want to stick with primarily analog, organic social media, or traditional marketing and advertising methods to ensure HIPAA compliance and prevent liability.
Ideally, you'll want to leverage social media and online advertising for increased engagement and revenue generation, as long as you're able to do so within the current guidelines and according to the current regulations.
Measuring Success and Optimizing Performance of Healthcare Marketing Strategies
There are 5 basic steps to measuring the success of your healthcare marketing strategies once they've been implemented/
· Establish clear KPIs and performance metrics
· Monitor and analyze marketing performance regularly - review traffic, clicks, engagement, new patients, new appointments set, conversions to surgeries, revenue driven by new patients, revenue driven by procedures (whatever metrics and KPIs you have established)
· Make data-driven adjustments to marketing strategies and tactics
· Conduct post-campaign evaluations, revisions, and continuous improvement
· Showcase results that demonstrate the revenue driven from marketing activities and show return on investment from the marketing spend.
Cross-functional Collaboration with Other Departments
Encourage cross-functional collaboration by helping your healthcare marketing team to connect and build strong relationships with other departments, such as finance, operations, and sales. This may include establishing joint initiatives or coordinating efforts on cross-promotional objectives.
There should always be a close alignment between marketing, operations, finance, strategy, and business development. Make sure that someone from the marketing team is communicating with operations and business development frequently to confirm what type of marketing collateral and outreach would be most helpful and aligned with the messaging and offerings that drive the most revenue.
Lastly, make sure you share valuable insights and results with leadership and stakeholders across the organization. Once you have shown to drive revenue, you become a trusted strategic advisor to the top level leadership.
Conclusion - How to Get Started Today
In today's competitive healthcare industry landscape, your healthcare marketing department must operate as an effective revenue driving unit, NOT a cost center or an overhead department.
It may not be feasible to flip a switch overnight to instantly transform the healthcare marketing department into a revenue driver. However, with continuous improvement and training to help your marketing team members adapt to changing market dynamics, you should be able to consistently drive revenue via your marketing department, decrease overhead, and improve your bottom line.
It all starts with a simple mindset shift in how you approach your healthcare marketing. Once everyone sees the benefits of a slightly adjusted approach to the expectations and measurement of healthcare marketing objectives, you can begin to lay the groundwork by setting achievable revenue growth goals, along with measurable KPIs and metrics to get to those goals.
Are you ready to implement these revenue-generating strategies in your healthcare marketing department? If you're not sure where to begin, or if you think your existing marketing team may need some external support to get on the right track to directly drive more revenue for your organization, then contact us today.