How will you know when you reach the Super Bowl?

Posted on February 1, 2011


Well for the Packers and the Steelers, the answer is fairly clear. It's also obvious that the Packers will prevail, but that's another story - and I would never want to be biased, even if I am just stating fact.

When it comes to healthcare marketing, when have you reached the big game? As obvious as it is that Big Ben will be sacked six times on Sunday, you'll achieve your goals too - if they're clear, concise and defined.

How many times have you been asked to prove the effectiveness of marketing? If you haven't done the hard work up front, answering this perpetual question is a daunting task. On the other hand, if you've defined your goals in terms of measurable data, the answer to whether or not you achieved your goals is easy to determine. Either you accomplished your goals or you didn't.

Part of defining these objectives is framing the case in terms of an overall effort, and not the effectiveness of one print or TV ad, for instance. Furthermore, goals should often be organizational in nature - where a number of disciplines such as administration, business development, quality, customer service, medical affairs and marketing - worked together to achieve these goals.

Goals can be based on direct business measurements (e.g. market share, new patient increases, etc.) and communication goals (e.g. increase in percentage of unaided awareness of a particular service line, number of web site visits, community education attendees, etc.). They should have a defined time period and a tangible result. Granted, in the art of healthcare communications, there are often anecdotal or even political successes.

Research is often the key for determining and measuring goals. You need to start with a baseline and then assess your progress. Make sure these goals are assertive, but yet attainable. As a healthcare marketer, you are and should be accountable for your results. Before you even start that next ad campaign or community outreach effort, spend focused time on these goals. Build consensus and agreement with your senior management team. When you have your leaders' buy-in and understanding, they'll support you and give you the resources to succeed. And when you do achieve your results, you'll even further strengthen your credibility within your organization - and your leverage at budget time.

Whenever possible, try to specifically define upfront what you hope to achieve - with the same precision as Aaron Rodgers rifling a bullet into double coverage of the overrated Steelers' defense.

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