WHO: South Pacific Private
WHAT: strategy review and implementation, business development, profile raising
WHY: patient numbers not growing despite heavy investment in advertising
HOW: research, review programs and brand strategy, move from mass media to targeted marketing
The Chair and the Board had lost confidence in the marketing and intake teams. They also required a clearer direction to their corporate strategy. Patient numbers were not growing despite the heavy investment in advertising and promotions.
A review was undertaken of the facility’s corporate strategy, marketing strategy and supporting promotions and communications with the view to increasing enquiries, converting enquiries to patients, and building deeper relationships with healthcare professionals.
Existing marketing activities were reviewed against budget and the contribution to the facility in terms of patient numbers, revenue and reputation. The brand strategy was reviewed – particularly key messages per stakeholder group – and whether these messages were relevant to the audience and then promoted to the audience. Part of this involved further research – referrers and patients – to ensure currency of messages and understanding of key stakeholder perceptions and preferences.
A revised marketing strategy with supporting budget was developed and presented to the Board. The strategy moved away from an emphasis on mass advertising and promotions to one more focused on targeted communications and relationship development with referrers and influencers of clients.
Key components were: a review of the programs offered, research of stakeholder groups, change in approach to communicating with stakeholders, aligning external communications through stakeholder feedback, reviewing programs and repackaging communications, and database review and restructure.
The Board endorsed the approach and supported a number of broader management changes required to support a change of marketing effort. These consisted of process changes, new systems implementation and internal communications.
Four months into the strategy’s implementation, and results were showing: 11% increase in enquiries; 19% increase in admissions, 3% decrease in marketing expenses, and a 14% increase in admissions from referring GPs.