Strategic Marketing: Can It Take Your Practice To The Next Level?

By John V. Guiliana, DPM, MS

Assessing Local Demographic Trends And The Competition

After you have looked at your practice internally, it is time to look outside of your practice. Learning and understanding your market is vital to the success of your practice. An external analysis will allow you to gain insight into the communities you service. In evaluating your demographic area, you will see where and how your practice fits within your community. Accordingly, your demographic analysis should include the following:    •    general overview of the area;    •    population/age median;    •    cost of living/income data;    •    employment/unemployment;    •    payer mix; and    •    competitive analysis.    Indeed, it is vital to know your competition. The key to success is finding ways to set your practice above and apart from the competition. Emphasize your practice’s strengths and opportunities, and capitalize on your competition’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. However, do not get too caught up in what your competition does. Carefully evaluate the marketing strategies of your competition but stick to your own strategic marketing plan. Be proactive, not reactive.    In regard to the competition, identify where the competing practices are located, how many physicians they have, and their strengths and their weaknesses.

How To Define Your Marketing Mission Statement

Then reflect on the data you have collected. By defining a mission, goals and objectives, you will lead your practice in the direction in which you want it to grow.    The mission statement identifies the core values of your practice. It should only be one to three sentences. As for goals, devise a general statement about the purpose of the plan. Goals point toward a level of productivity that the practice wishes to achieve without mentioning specific actions. The objectives consist of a statement that contains the “operating characteristics” that you wish to change such as patient load, earnings and profitability, increase in surgery, etc.

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