Three Tips to Building a Successful Market Strategy for Palliative Care.
Tip #1: Define Your Target Market
While it may seem obvious to think through who your top referral sources will be, many will breeze by this step not fully examining the depth of their geographic area and how they may strategically partner with the variety of other providers in their market. Don’t risk overlooking hidden gems in your market.
The first thing to consider is what other services you currently offer and how your whole organization contributes value to a potential referral source. Organize a focus group including key sales and operational staff to outline all the ways your company provides value and to whom (hospitals, SNF/TRC, senior living, group home, etc.). From there, stack rank them in order of who will receive the greatest benefit from your service to prioritize how you will strategically focus your efforts. Then identify what key relationships or contacts your team has with existing or prospective referral sources. Start by focusing on where you have existing relationships and then from there, focus on your highest-ranking market segment from your list.
Tip #2: Position Your Message Accordingly
While everyone understands the importance of effective marketing communication, not everyone will take it as far as tailoring their message to their target audience. Once you have your value proposition outlined, consider the finer points of what the services you provide can specifically do for a given niche. Use this exercise: We provide _______ to _______ so they can _______. Or to help you with _______.
Consider their unique pain points and how you solve them and then articulate that with messaging points that speak to them directly. This will build trust as it demonstrates a high level of expertise and professionalism that further reflects your high quality of care.
To round out an impactful marketing message, leverage the power of empirical evidence by measuring your effectiveness and incorporating statistics into your message to establish your authority in your target market. Consider something like this: Over XX% of our palliative patients see pain brought to a comfortable level within 24 hours and XX% of our patients report a willingness to recommend our palliative care to others.
By reinforcing a tailored marketing message that has a clearly defined value proposition with demonstratable performance metrics, your organization will be well positioned to accelerate key strategic relationships that will drive success in your target market.
Tip #3: Allocate Marketing Staff Specifically to Palliative Care
Many organizations that start a palliative care service line go through a start-up phase where they use existing staff and resources to lay the foundation and get the business line started. For most, that looks like loading up your existing marketing reps with new talking points, brochures and an expanded value proposition that your company can deliver. While this may seem like a low-risk effort, many struggle to make inroads into their geographic market with this approach.
It has been proven by much trial and error by many organizations that while a marketer can promote a company, referral sources see you for one thing and remember you for what you are most prominent for in their mind. So, consider this lesson learned by many organizations by having a focused marketing effort, with marketing representatives dedicated to your palliative care offering. You will be much more successful in growing your service line by focusing your staff, time and resources on a specific palliative care strategy.
While this simply may not be feasible for some organizations who are just starting out, it is best to differentiate as soon as you can to build key relationships and make an impact in the market you serve.