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One of the most important steps in a properly-executed marketing strategy is one that is commonly missed – having an objective.  Defining what you are actually trying to achieve – in specific terms – is essential to gauging the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, and should be used as point of focus for your entire team.

Defining the marketing objective draws many parallels to the creation of patient goals used to guide the clinical plan of care.  Objectives (marketing or clinical) must be functional, measurable, achievable, and time-based.

  1. Functional – Marketing objectives should articulate with the larger goals of the practice.  Increasing gym memberships by 10% in 2012 may not make sense if achieving this objective doesn’t result in a significantly improved bottom line.
  2. Measurable – Marketing objectives must be specific and easily measured.  A specific number of new referrals, gym memberships, or client sessions can be easily measured whereas loose objectives such as “revenue growth” does not allow for detailed measurement against marketing efforts.
  3. Achievable – Everyone wants to increase volumes by 200%, but taking a realistic approach to marketing objectives will keep the team motivated and intent on actual attainment.
  4. Time-based – Defining when your marketing objectives will be achieved is as important as defining them in the first place.  Without a defined “due date,” objectives lack accountability for execution.

Nail your marketing objective and set yourself up for success with your marketing efforts.  You’ll waste less, achieve more, and have a lot more control over the process.

An edited version of this article was published in the May 2012 issue of Impact, a publication of the Private Practice Section, APTA.