This post is the fifth post in a seven-part series on healthcare marketing, which outlines the six critical phases of marketing that healthcare marketers should master if they want to accelerate growth, increase revenue, reduce marketing expenditures, and build a high-performing internal marketing team.
We call these six critical phases OPTICS, and in this post, we present the fourth phase, Implement, where all previous phases come to a head and the rubber meets the road. In this phase, we build and manage the machine. We address the remaining phases in subsequent posts weekly.
Checkout the entire series:
Ready, Fire, Aim!
That phrase often describes what happens when marketing teams put tactics before strategy. After a barrage of rapidly taken shots in hopes of hitting something, the marketing tactics miss their mark and the bullets (your hard to come by marketing dollars) are wasted.
Sadly, most marketing departments have largely become a dumping ground for tactical requests without any cohesive strategy or goal in mind. This is especially true in healthcare marketing.
That’s also a fairly simple thing to fix.
When you implement the OPTICSTM Framework in your organization, you not only make your marketing process more efficient, but you improve outcomes in your marketing campaigns, your marketing tactics, and your marketing investments as a whole.
In other words…
OPTICS™ helps you take the guesswork out of your marketing.
The Implement Phase: Build it Right, and They Will Come
You’re now at the fourth phase of OPTICS™ marketing, and it should now be apparent to you how much more effective your marketing tactics will be.
You’ve established a baseline (Orient). You’ve clarified and articulated your short term and long term goals (Predict). You’ve got a crystal clear vision of your ideal client, where they hang out, what they’re thinking, how you can reach them, and why you’re their best option (Target).
Now it’s time to start implementing your marketing strategies at the tactical level, while at the same time documenting and revising any Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so that your team can continuously improve even in the face of turnover.
The Implement Phase is clearly about implementing tactics, but at its core, it’s about building a repeatable, scalable, effective marketing machine.
To simplify things for this post, I’m going to break the implementation phase down into five key areas:
- Partners, and
Product, of course, refers to what product or service you plan to offer in the marketplace, and how much revenue or how many customers you expect to drive from your marketing efforts.
If you pick your product according to these selection criteria, you will likely have the greatest impact on revenue and profits:
- Which products or services provide the highest revenue per client or patient.
- Which products or services can generate clients with the highest lifetime value to your company.
- Which products or services offer the highest contribution margin.
- Which products or services have the highest positive networking effect (might provide the highest activity in terms of referrals or good ratings on Google).
Once you've decided which product or services you are trying to market, now it's time to look at the processes needed to manage and execute the marketing successfully.
Having the right processes in place to manage your marketing is critical if you want to have an effective and efficient team.
In the case of process management, your efficiency may be limited by the weakest link in your MarTech stack, but it’s really easy to overcomplicate things by throwing too much software into the mix. There are literally thousands upon thousands of options when it comes to marketing software, as the graphic below indicates.
The key here is to maintain the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid – for those who never get out much).
For most small healthcare businesses, you can keep your MarTech stack trimmed down to these things:
Any good project management system will have the ability to create a campaign calendar from which you can manage all campaigns and see them in a monthly calendar view. In an ideal world, your campaign calendar should be able to drill down into channels, content, and checklists. The best campaign calendars also have the ability to switch views into a gantt chart, or a Kanban board.
If you don’t use a tool like Zoho Projects or Asana to manage your projects, you can always build a content calendar inside of a tool like Notion. In the OPTICS™ Academy, we provide participants with an entire suite of Notion documents and tools that include an advanced campaign calendar template that offers gantt chart views and Kanban functionality to simplify campaign and channel management.
Documenting, managing, and optimizing Standard Operating Procedures is probably one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated aspects of process and project management.
Let’s face it... turnover occurs, and plugging in a new employee is hideously expensive. That cost can be mitigated greatly by maintaining a library of SOPs that include video-based training to quickly bring new employees up to speed and operating within consistent standards.
The best project management systems allow you to create templates with embedded SOPs and checklists, so that each time a campaign is created, incorporated tactics automatically populate with checklists and links to recorded SOP training.
With your MarTech stack in place, you need to make sure that everyone involved has the expertise and the capability to execute. That means someone needs to have the training and skill set to either do the task at hand, or make sure that any outsourced vendors have been properly vetted and can deliver according to established expectations and standards.
For instance, if you’re building a new website or a new online marketing funnel to drive conversions for a specific product or medical service you offer, someone on your team needs to be able to tell if your outside vendor is delivering quality work or total garbage.
That doesn’t mean that the people on your team need to be experts at doing the work themselves. They just need to know enough to inspect and accept or reject the work that the external vendor is providing.
In one case a few months ago, a client of ours asked if we could take over the management of their website -- which was almost complete. After looking under the hood at the site construction, we immediately knew that it was built in a way that only the developer could manage.
The website was built in WordPress, but instead of taking advantage of the functionality built into WordPress or using a quality theme to build the site, the developer coded the site using custom fields to compose every headline and every paragraph on every page. The site used over 14,000 lines of custom PHP spread across 65 custom PHP files, in addition to 7,000 lines of custom CSS. All tolled, the site took the developer 170 hours to build – not including design time.
Needless to say, we told them we couldn’t manage a site like that without charging them a small fortune every time they wanted to make a simple edit to a page. We ended up rebuilding the entire site in only 28 hours and only used 3 lines of custom CSS.
Now our client can make changes with their own staff to their website in a matter of seconds without any specialized training or skills.
Great teams are a product of great leadership, and great leaders know how to recruit, train, and motivate great team members.
There are several key elements to achieving superior performance out of your marketing team.
Here are a few that really deserve extra attention:
If you’re familiar with EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), then you’re probably familiar with the GWC method for evaluating employee performance and job fit. When it comes to performance evaluation, GWC, very simply, asks the questions 1) do they get it, 2) do they want it, and 3) do they have the capacity to do it.
In other words, to fairly evaluate an employee's performance, you need to assess whether they understand the job and have the skills required to execute well (Get it), have a desire to do the job and enjoy doing it (Want it), and have been given the time allocation and training to execute properly (Capacity to do it).
Beyond Get it, Want it, and Capacity to Do it questions, the GWC model evaluates employees against their alignment with the company's core values. For instance, at Bizzuka, our core values are Learn, Teach, Grow, Serve, Innovate, and Execute. We evaluate employees quarterly against our six core values, and we continuously coach employees to level up as follows:
- Learn: Always be curious. Never stop learning. Seek out all avenues to become a master of your craft
- Teach: When you learn something new, make sure to share that knowledge with others. Don’t hoard knowledge. Knowledge is wasted if it isn’t applied or shared.
- Grow: Have a growth mindset. Know that anything is possible and understand that your only limitations are self-imposed. Seek ways and dedicate time to grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
- Serve: Know that you are here to serve not only our clients, but their client and your fellow employees, as well.
- Innovate: Never assume the way it’s being done is the right way. Always look for ways to improve, simplify, cut costs, or improve profitability. Never fear tossing ideas out there. Any idea can be or lead to a gold mine.
- Execute: Always strive to exceed expectations, meet or beat deadlines, and live up to your commitments.
Hiring for skill set is one thing, but you should also provide a path for internal education, so that all employees have an opportunity to upgrade their skills and their position within your company. Documenting your SOPs and providing video based training are great ways to cross-train employees and provide a path for upward mobility.
If you really want to get the most out of the employees on your marketing and business development teams, hiring a mindset coach is probably one of the best things you can do. In marketing and in sales, mindset is absolutely critical to achieving and maintaining peak performance. There are plenty of mindset coaches out there, but very few businesses have the foresight to offer mindset coaching as a benefit to their employees.
When it comes to sales and marketing, mindset training can be a total game changer for your entire business. While it can be positioned as an employee benefit during the recruiting phase, you shouldn’t underestimate the value that mindset coaching will bring to your company and the cohesiveness of your team.
A lot of small- to medium-sized businesses fail their marketing teams, because there is no cadence between executive leadership and the people at the executional level of marketing.
In some organizations, meetings take place so rarely that marketing teams are left to their own devices. In other organizations, marketing teams become a dumping ground for every idea that comes out of the chief executive officer’s mind. And in other companies, meetings drag on far too long and too often. In those companies, little is accomplished, while morale and performance drop off a cliff.
We’ve found that the best structure is to have daily stand-up meetings with your marketing team to simply see who is on track, who is off track, and if there are any issues that need discussing. This is known to EOS enthusiasts as a Level 10 meeting. To those who are familiar with Agile Marketing, this is roughly the equivalent of a standup or daily scrum meeting.
Marketing tasks and campaigns are broken into 2-week sprints, where groups of tasks are assigned to team members based on complexity, effort, and availability. The idea being that the workload becomes more balanced, and a campaign or project can be developed faster as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) where we can continue to iterate the project to an optimal state more rapidly.
This process keeps people from experiencing meeting fatigue, and it also ensures that people are fully “employed” rather than effectively “unemployed” by burning their productive hours trapped in endless meetings.
As noted in the WordPress example above, picking the wrong partner can end up in disastrous consequences.
It's imperative that you have a system for appropriately evaluating outside marketing vendors and managing those relationships. In a typical small business, that can be handled through a simple spreadsheet. In a larger business, you might want to utilize software to manage your outsourced marketing relationships. In our experience, a spreadsheet will suffice for most businesses.
Some key partners and software providers that need to be thoroughly vetted for quality and integrity include:
One of the more common ways for managing profitability at the campaign level is to assign KPI accountability. That means giving specific individuals responsibility for a specific set of KPIs. Each individual's job is to make sure those KPIs are maintained within a certain range or tolerance level. If a KPI gets out of whack, then it comes up as an issue in the morning scrums or Level 10 meetings.
For organizations with a marketing budget in excess of $250,000, one of the best tools I've ever seen for managing marketing budget and ROI is Plannuh.
Plannuh helps you monitor and manage your marketing performance and quickly see how your marketing dollars are being allocated, spent, and optimized. The tool gives you the ability to reallocate budget based on changing market conditions as well as campaign performance levels.
The bottom line is you need to be managing your campaigns for ROI and profit, but also striving to maximize customer lifetime value and lower customer acquisition costs at the same time.
Tools like Plannuh put those metrics at the fingertips of the CEO and CFO, as well as at the forefront of your marketing team’s mind.
The Implement phase is the biggest phase of all six critical phases of marketing in terms of workload and effort; however, that load is significantly lightened and the results far more evident when you’ve done the preceding phases correctly. That fact cannot be overstated.
When you execute the first three phases (Orient, Predict, and Target) with extreme focus and great attention to detail, the results have a snowball effect on the rest of the OPTICS™ process.
And now that the implementation is complete, it’s time to monitor KPIs and refine for maximum results. We call that the Calibrate phase, but in reality, calibration really never ceases, as there is always something that can be tweaked for better results.
We’ll dive deeper into the Calibrate phase in the next post. In the meantime, if you want to see how your company stacks up in each of the six critical phases we’re reviewing in this series, take our no-cost, 5-minute self assessment to identify quickly and clearly which of the six critical phases are holding you back from achieving your revenue growth goals.
If you're unsure if OPTICS™ will help your organization, schedule a no-cost, 1-hour Marketing Diagnostic Consultation with us. We'll help you uncover any weak spots in your marketing process and identify new ways to accelerate your patient/client growth over the next 90 days.
If you want to get started right away implementing OPTICS™ through our immersive training, sign up for our next cohort here.
This post is the second in a seven-part series on healthcare marketing. This installment looks at the first of six critical phases healthcare marketers need to go through to accelerate patient/client growth, increase revenue, reduce marketing expenditures, and build a high-performing internal marketing team. We will address the other phases in subsequent posts bi-weekly.
Checkout the entire series:
Check out the rest of the series:
November 15, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 1 of 7)
November 17, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 2 of 7)
November 22, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 3 of 7)
November 22, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 4 of 7)
November 22, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 5 of 7)
November 22, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 6 of 7)
November 22, 2022
(Healthcare Marketing OPTICS™ Series - Part 7 of 7)