Increase patient volume. Boost website traffic. Launch new services. Improve brand awareness. Strengthen online reputation.
These are all examples of healthcare marketing goals. But “goals” is rather a vague term. If you genuinely want to set goals, you have to take a strategic approach. The history is full of healthcare brands that quickly attracted patients but never made a dime, and medical practices that had great ideas about launching new services couldn’t quite make the rubber hit the road. If you want to set realistic goals, you must have a solid, robust healthcare marketing plan in place to support and give direction to your goals.
Goals without action plans are just wishes!
The real challenge is not to set goals. The more significant challenge is to create an action plan that will help you achieve your goals.
Create an Action Plan To Achieve Goals
Almost every medical practice has goals, but some accomplish them more than others. That’s because marketers who accomplish goals are those who use a systematic method of setting and attaining goals.
If you want to achieve goals successfully, create an effective action plan.
What is an action plan?
It is a document that lays out the steps or tasks you must complete, the people you must involve, and all the resources you need to accomplish your business goals. An action plan breaks down the goal into small, actionable steps and makes it easier to measure the progress as all the tasks in chronological order.
Why do you need an action plan?
A practical, robust action plan will make it easier for you to achieve and track your goals. It simplifies planning by outlining what needs to be done but helps identify the key performance metrics for better control.
Here are five steps that you can take to create an action plan that works:
1. Make sure goals are SMART
SMART goals are concise, specific, and give you a deadline for achieving them. SMART goals are:
Specific: This means your goal must be clearly defined. “I want to increase website traffic,” is vague. “I want to increase website traffic by 20% in the next four weeks,” is specific.
Measurable: This means your goals are quantifiable.
Attainable: Make sure your goals are realistic. By setting impossible goals, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
Relevant: Your goals must be related to your medical practice’s mission and vision.
Time: Attach timelines and deadlines to your goals.
2. Prioritize tasks
Create a list of essential tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. This step includes dividing your key goal into time-bound, small steps. By doing so, you can make the main goal seem less overwhelming and move closer to achieving it in a planned manner. Make sure the tasks are attainable and related to your goal. For instance, if you want to improve organic search engine ranking of your website, you may have to perform several actions or tasks to achieve this goal, such as search engine optimization, content marketing, or website redesigning. Clearly describe each task that will lead you to your key goal.
3. Set a timeline
If it is a big goal, set a series of small tasks with deadlines. A deadline acts as a “forcing system” on you as well as your employees toward achieving goals on schedule. For instance, if you want to attract more patients, you may set a three-month or six-month goal, and then break it down, month-by-month, so that you know how much you have accomplished and how far you still have to go. There are no impossible goals, only unattainable deadlines.
4. Identify resources
If you are chasing a big goal, you will likely be juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. Consider delegating some of these tasks to the right people. Assess their skills and abilities to determine who’s qualified to perform which task. Then, pin down who will be in charge of each task and the resources needed to complete the task, such as tools, equipment, and budget.
5. Track the progress
By tracking each task in your goal action plan, you will have a clearer idea of the progress you are making toward your goal. Identify and outline the measures and metrics you will be using to monitor the plan’s progress, such as the number of tasks completed.
Achieving your medical practice’s goals is what determines the overall success of your healthcare brand. Considering numerous distractions and a fast-paced healthcare environment, you may find it difficult to always stay on track. This is where an action plan can help you deploy the right strategies, keep you updated, and achieve all your goals and objectives.