Whether you’re starting a new medical practice, expanding on your current practice, or simply looking to bring in more new patients, at some point you’ll need to figure out a marketing budget. Every practice needs to have a marketing budget. It doesn’t matter how successful your word-of-mouth marketing has been, you need to invest in your practice, because like any business, stagnation can lead to less revenue. This makes your practice more vulnerable to your competition. One question that I frequently encounter by different plastic surgeons and medical professionals is “what kind of budget should I set aside?”
The simple answer is: it depends. A well established practice typically will dedicate about 10% of all revenue to marketing. For newer practices I recommend a budget of at least 20% of all revenue. Of course, for a brand new practice you’ll need to invest marketing dollars before there is any kind of return or incoming revenue; such is the case with starting any business.
Once you’ve established the percentage of your budget that you’d like to dedicate you’ll need to figure out how to divide up the funds. Let’s say, for example, your practice earned $1 million in revenue and you want to use 10% of that revenue on marketing. That’s $100,000 split up over 12 months, so about $8,300 a month (or $25,000 a quarter).
Next, you’ll want to decide how much to dedicate to offline marketing and how much to dedicate to online marketing. A lot of offline marketing is essential, such as flyers, brochures, business cards. These are typically more set up expenses and relatively inexpensive. TV, radio and print advertising on the other hand, can be very expensive. Typically, print advertising will give you “more bang for your buck” than radio or TV; however, I recommend doing significant research on local publications and magazines before investing. You will also want to look into direct mail marketing to your existing patient base.
When analyzing where to invest your budget online you’ll want to consider SEO, social media marketing, blogging, video marketing, press releases, website maintenance, email marketing and much much more. Unlike offline marketing, which I can easily break into TV, radio and print advertising, there is so much more to consider when coming up with your online marketing budget.
You’ll want to determine and categorize services that your staff can do in-house, services that your staff can do with some training, and services that you’ll need an agency to handle. The important thing is to be aware of every tool that can potentially market or advertise the practice to bring in new patients. This requires a lot of research and due diligence.. Whatever you decide to invest in, you’ll need to have a way to track ROI (return on investment). If you don’t know your ROI then you risk throwing A LOT of money away.
If you have any questions about developing a marketing budget then contact TRBO ADvance today, or call 877-673-7096 x2.