Monday, 2 January 2017

Marketing your health and social care business

Many will agree that effectively marketing your business is essential for survival. However, with the pressures on health and social care providers and the tight squeeze on budgets, a focus on marketing can often be side-lined in favour of more pressing priorities.
Whilst this may be the case and the experience of many providers and operators in the sector, the unpredictable economic climate, increase in demand for services, coupled with the relentless challenges of the adult social care market, that has been described as ‘fragile’ and approaching ‘tipping point’, means companies cannot ignore the necessity to market their business.
Nowhere to hide
Service users are now more discerning than ever before and thus have high expectations of what they want from a service and indeed from the provider. Material on the internet and in the media, means that people are exposed to information about service performance, inspection reports, news of poor practice and even neglect or abuse. Providers have nowhere to hide!
Since information is so easily available, comparison between providers is made that much easier to help service users become more astute in their decision-making and in their understanding of what creates value for money.
If providers are to survive in this challenging and unprecedented environment, it is vital that they commit to their marketing strategy and take control of how their services come across in the market place.
No one size fits all
For over 20 years I have worked across the health and social care sector supporting both private and not-for-profit organisations of all sizes to implement strategies that protect their business, effectively reach their audience and secure income to make sure their business is financially viable.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach as all services within health and social care must make sure that their marketing strategies are carried out in the right way, in the right places and to the right people.
The target audiences vary considerably, often having a range of needs, attitudes, priorities, tastes and expectations that have to be borne in mind when developing the marketing and communications strategy which appeals and engages a wide audience.
It’s for this reason that I set up Lynden Consulting Ltd – a strategic management, marketing and communications company helping health and social care organisations develop their marketing strategy to build and protect their reputation and effectively communicate with their target audience.
Competitive advantage
Creating a competitive advantage in this economic climate is essential for business survival. It takes time and commitment to see long-term results. Whatever size of budget a business has, it is not the cost of marketing that determines a business’s success. It is about ensuring that the strategy clearly identifies the target audience and understands how to meet their needs in a way that is meaningful to them. It is about effectively engaging your audience and persuading them to buy from your business as opposed to that of your competitor, in a way that is sustainable for the long-term and cost effective.
Edna Petzen @LyndenConsult is director and marketing consultant at Lynden Consulting, a strategic management, marketing and communications company. Lynden Consulting has a proven track record in implementing successful strategies to achieve excellence and tangible results for providers in health and adult social care.
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Contact Edna Petzen on 07397 158596 or