65
13Chapter
Marketing
Writing Guide
I. Questions to Answer
1. What business are we in?
2. How do patients, MCOs, hospitals, and other physicians view our practice?
3. How will we communicate with these publics about our practice, our services, and
capabilities?
II. Data Sources and Applications
1. Practice records of marketing eorts undertaken; patient and customer satisfaction
studies
III. Issues/Problems to Explore
1. What business are we in—what is the purpose for the practice?
2. What are the best ways to communicate with our public?
is chapter is the heart of a business plan. Physicians, like other professionals, have always mar-
keted themselves—the only dierence is in the manner and degree.
Marketing is not advertising. Marketing consists of four key elements:
1. Product: e scope of the services you provide
2. Price: Your charge master, special pricing, and discounts
3. Place: Where you oer your services—your oce locations, hospitals, surgical centers, and
other facilities
4. Promotion: Activities to communicate with your customers; includes advertising, public rela-
tions, promotions, special events, and the like
In this chapter, you are asked to answer the fundamental question to a business plan: what busi-
ness are we in? Are you a specialty practice? If the answer is yes, then do you limit your practice to
certain kinds of patients or accept all comers?
You are also asked to do what many nd very dicult—nd out what others think about you.
Satisfaction studies are not truly scientic in nature, yet when done well, they will reveal insights
66 ◾  Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook, Third Edition
into how patients and referring physicians interact with your practice (which includes the physi-
cians and your sta). When your public identies diculties in interacting with you, that is your
ag that you have a problem in your internal operating procedures. en you are asked to develop
your strategies to reach your customers and to develop the patient and referral base that will con-
stitute the practice you want to have.
Marketing Strategy
1. What business are we in?
2. Summarize the ndings of patient satisfaction study:
3. Summarize the key ndings of referring physician satisfaction study:
4. Summarize the ndings of quality of care indicators report from MCOs.
5. Describe the unique or compelling reasons why your customers—patients, managed care
plans, hospitals, referring physicians, and others—would/should choose your practice over
your competition:
Marketing ◾  67
6. Marketing strategy:
a. Who are we trying to reach? Identify any specic groups that you want to develop for
further business.
b. How will you reach MCOs?
c. How will you reach employers?
d. How will you reach others?
7. How do we reach them? Describe the methods that are most eective:
a. Check o which media are to be used for promotion of each major service:
Media
Service A
Service B
Service C
Website
Social media
Facebook
YouTube or other Video site
LinkedIn
Other online
(Continued)
68 ◾  Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook, Third Edition
(Continued)
Media
Service A
Service B
Service C
Radio
Television over air and
cable
Newspapers
Direct mail
Yellow Pages
Shoppers papers
Billboards
Seminars
Magazines
Health fairs
Promotional items
Other
b. Assess your image among the public:
Characteristic Superior
Above
Average Average
Below
Average Poor
Quality of care
Current, leading-
edge clinical
knowledge
Caring
atmosphere
Bedside manner
Responsiveness
to phone
calls, questions
Staff attitude
Access/parking
Fairness of fees
Other
Marketing ◾  69
8. Assess your areas of advantage over competition:
9. Assess your areas of weakness as compared to competition:
10. Assess the areas of competitive activity:
11. Assess the market opportunities for your practice to pursue:
12. Describe image you wish to achieve:
13. Describe the steps you will take to support this image:
14. Describe the marketing/advertising message or theme:

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