Solving the Budget Planning Puzzle for Healthcare Marketing

A painless hospital marketing budget

The fourth quarter is greeted with crisp weather, pumpkin spice lattes, falling leaves, and holiday festivities. There’s also a certain something hanging in the air – oh yeah, the dread of budget planning. This time of the year is when healthcare marketers need to hunker down, defend their ROI and put together a budget for the following year. To help ease the pain, we put together a simple process for budget planning for hospitals and physician practices looking to refine or revamp their budget process.

Hospital marketing budgets: Find your inner puzzle pundit

Picture the overall marketing budget as a jigsaw puzzle, except instead of ending up with a picture of sailboats in the harbor against a sunset, butterflies floating in a field of wildflowers, or a cozy cabin covered with fresh snow, imagine the finished product is a comprehensive marketing budget broken down by campaigns, projects and monthly cash flow.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but the best thing to do is back into the marketing budget. Start by getting the overall budget figure and business goals from the CEO, and then divvy up the dollars among the various hospital service lines, and again among their individual projects. The alternative would be assigning budgets blindly and hoping the total comes in under the overall marketing allowance.

Your finished picture (like the cover of the puzzle box) includes the overall goals, priorities, and budget figure shared by the CEO, plus tactical solutions based on last year’s analytics, and a marketing calendar crafted around national trends and competitor activity in the local market. To get there, the individual puzzle pieces need to be put into place.

To learn more about budgeting your marketing dollars, download our white paper, Budget Planning for Hospital Marketing.