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What to Include in a Marketing Budget

There's no magic number when determining how much you should spend on marketing. Instead, focus on finding the right marketing mix that gets results and fits your budget. Research estimated costs for each category and then create a calendar identifying which months you plan to use a specific marketing approach. Some tactics may include a one-time start-up investment with ongoing monthly expenses.

Create Categories

One way to get started is by creating high-level categories for the media you’re considering, such as:

  • Print advertising (newspaper, phone book – hard copy or online) – How can you best reach your target audience?
  • Print materials – Brochures, etc.
  • Radio, TV – The station may help you develop the commercials, but you’ll need to pay for their placement.
  • Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) – Consider which will be most effective.
  • Website – Will you create your own? What will it cost to host the website?
  • Special events – Do you plan to have an open house or educational session?
  • Direct mail – Will you need to purchase a mail list? What are the costs for design, printing and mailing?
  • Tradeshows – Will you want to exhibit at any health fairs or community events? What signage and support materials do you need?
  • News releases – Do you have news to share? Or, can you write an informative article for your local newspaper?
  • Sponsorships – Are there sponsorship opportunities to get your name out in the community? How can you leverage this sponsorship?
  • Email – Do you want to email an educational newsletter, provide health tips, etc., on a regular basis to patients or prospective patients?

Also consider opportunities to partner with others (as appropriate) for joint advertising. Is there another healthcare professional you could partner with for advertising?

Then, you can determine where you need to adjust based on dollars available for marketing.

Track Your Results

Equally important, be sure to track your results. Find out how each new patient found out about your practice. This will help you determine which media is most effective.

Review your marketing plan at least annually and make adjustments based on what’s working and what’s not. You want to give your efforts time to make an impact but if it’s clear something isn’t working, determine if it should be cut back or cut completely.

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