What is a Healthy Healthcare Marketing Budget?

If you’re a hospital or large physicians practice, you pride yourself on the depth of services you can provide to patients in your area. Your doctors may be some of the best in the nation, your ER wait times may be some of the shortest, and you may have thousands of happy former patients who literally owe you their lives.

But what good is all of that if no one knows about it?

Healthcare marketing can seem daunting when you’re standing at the starting line. There are so many moving parts that must be coordinated to make the investment worth it, and speaking of investment, what will this all cost? Marbury’s president and creative director Rob Marbury provides some insight into what it takes to create an impactful marketing campaign that packs the biggest punch for your budget.

Don’t Be Single Minded

When laying out the battle plan for your marketing campaign, don’t throw all your eggs into one basket. You may think that social media is the way to reach your target audience (because it’s so darn cheap), or maybe you’re completely convinced that 30-second television commercials are the surefire way to get new patients in your doors (because TV = credibility). But the smartest marketing move is most likely a prescription for a combination of multiple channels to reach your target market.

First, think about who you are trying to reach. An expectant mother may not be listening to the same radio show as someone who needs a knee replacement. Parents of a child with a sports injury may not be opening the pages of their local paper like your future oncology patient. If you’re a hospital or large practice, your target audience is likely broad and diverse, so your marketing placements should be, too! Take the time to research each segment of your audience and discover where they spend the majority of their time. Once you know that answer, you know where to start planning to place your ads.

What Will It Cost?

Once you’ve developed your marketing plan, the next step is to go into production. Too often, hospitals and large practices will sink nearly all their budget into producing incredible campaigns…only to have them barely put before the eyes of their potential patients because there’s no money left for placement — their marketing budget has been sucked dry. At Marbury, we like to use our own “rule of thirds.” Ideally, creative and production of your marketing campaign should use one-third of your marketing budget. This leaves two-thirds of the budget to invest in placement. For example, a client may spend $50,000 on a creative concept, video and photo shoot, some brand-new graphics for social media and print, and a show-stopping email. Then we invest $100,000 in thoughtful and strategically-targeted placements to maximize ROI.

You should always consider approaches to maximize the use of your marketing materials, too. When you have a video shoot blocked off, plan for some time to shoot different styles of video. For example, once your 30-second commercial is “in the can,” set up a few key team members to do interview-style videos that can live on your website or go into a video library to pull from in the future. Try to develop as much evergreen content and pieces as you can, and don’t pigeonhole your marketing materials into only being usable on a single medium. Videos shot for television can easily be shortened into social media posts or extended for landing page videos. In addition, graphics developed for social media should be transferable to print, if the need arises.

The key word in healthcare marketing campaigns is this: integrate. There are many techniques, tools, and channels at your disposal when it comes to advertising your hospital or practice. Invest your marketing budget wisely with a campaign that can serve you on many channels for months or even years.

Need help building a campaign like that? The team at Marbury Creative Group would love to partner with you! Contact us today at group@marburycreativegroup.com for more information.

Share this post