The new year is an exciting time because it holds promise for the future, but it also is an apt time for reflection. Hospital marketers saw a lot of successes in 2011 by making strides in new media, revamping the patient experience, and even starting to spend a little more. Here are five resolutions to ensure that 2012 continues on the same path.
Spend smarter and track better
Marketing budgets are slowly making a comeback after being slashed across the board during the 2008–09 recession. In many regions, hospital promotional spending is creeping up.
But smart marketing executives know that when hard times come, their initiatives are among the first on the chopping block. To mitigate cuts when these situations inevitably arrive, every single marketing initiative must directly support the organization's strategic plan.
Track financial ROI for as many marketing initiatives as possible. And when you can't trace efforts back to dollars and cents, track as many other results as you can: patients reached, page views, event attendees, phone calls, app downloads, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, email open rates, media inquiries, and so on.
Anecdotal feedback is reassuring and nice to share with staff, but in today's competitive market that cannot be considered ROI in and of itself. The more stats, facts, and figures you have to show your CEO and support your initiatives, the more secure the marketing department will be in 2012 and years to come.