The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review all your 2012 marketing efforts and use what you have learned to create your 2013 marketing plan. I think there is too much going on at the end of the year, plus the year’s not even over yet to do it in December. January is a fairly slow time in O&P so why not take advantage of the downtime and put together your 2013 plan? You really only need to ask yourself four questions:
1. How much money did I spend on marketing for the year?
2. How much did I spend on each specific marketing activity?
3. Can I measure the results?
4. Knowing the answers to the above, would I do that again?
Let’s consider each question separately.
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How much money did I spend on marketing for the year? Should be pretty easy to figure out as long as you know what you consider marketing expenses. Often when I ask someone what their marketing budget is they answer honestly. The answer is usually “I don’t know.” Well, Adding up all the money that you spent on marketing for 2012 will at the very least give you a starting point for a budget for 2013.
How much did I spend on each specific market activity? You would think that this one would be pretty simple too and for most activities it probably will be. Just don’t forget to add in all the ‘hidden’ costs that you might not associate with the activity itself. For example, did you host an open house or event? Did you include the costs for the food, entertainment, additional staff, giveaways, printing, etc.?
Can I measure the results? The answer to this question can be a simple “yes” or “no.” “Yes, we hosted a new technology event and we ended up with three new AK patients.” Or, the answer may not be so simple. “We sent out a mailing to all the physicians in the surrounding towns that might have contact with amputee patients informing them about our services, but we have no way of telling whether it worked or not.”
Knowing the answers to the above, would I do that again? If you did a mailing to all the physicians in the surrounding towns that might have contact with amputee patients and you have no idea whether it worked or not, then the key might be the amount of money you spent. Knowing whether it was a $40,000 mailing or a $4,000 mailing might help you decide if it is worth doing again.
I know you’re busy but I highly recommend that you take the time to make a list of all your marketing activities and ask yourself the above questions. Knowledge is powerful and having the answers, even if it’s “I don’t know what the results were” will give you a greater feeling of control over your 2013 plan.