The year is coming to an end, and that means it’s time to gear up for a fresh start. Most healthcare leaders have some form of strategy in place for the year, but many fall short in giving it the kind of TLC it really deserves.
The desire and demand to get results now makes it tempting to skip the strategic planning process and assume that what worked last year will work again. In fact, when you look at various studies, you’ll find that anywhere from a measly three percent to one-third of companies actually succeed in developing and executing an effective, impactful strategic plan.
So where’s the disconnect? Why are so many healthcare leaders failing to follow their plans, and why are so many downright skipping this part all together?
Here are some key “big picture” points to consider as you start to shift your focus to 2018.
Strategy First, Then Budget
Budget is important. I hear you. And because budget is so important, it’s easy to believe that your budget is your strategy. But successful healthcare leaders know that there’s an enormous difference – and they know to focus on strategy first.
What’s your vision for 2018? How will you leverage the shift in market trends, buyer needs and behaviors, and technology? How will you invest in innovation to foster growth? How will you dominate your market and challenge incumbents? There are many paths to consider and it’s important to ponder these foundational questions first, and then develop your strategy through the lens of your budget and available resources.
By putting strategy first, you’re avoiding the pitfall of selling yourself short or simply tweaking last year’s strategy.
Tips for Your Planning Process
Of course, you’ll want to conduct the ever-relevant SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and Porter’s Five Forces. But beyond that, you’ll need to dive deeper into what causes a customer to buy so you can act in an informed and effective manner. You can use proven theories like “Jobs to be Done” and conduct market research to understand the changing needs and problems of consumers, as well as what products and services customers will “hire” to get the job done.
Ask questions like:
- Were last year’s trend and customer behavior predictions correct? How are things changing in 2018 and beyond?
- How is technology impacting our customer on a daily basis, and how where does our brand fit into that narrative?
- Which innovations and strategies have our competitors pioneered and seen positive results from?
- Do we currently have the systems, processes, talent, and resources in place to implement radical or incremental innovation?
- Does our entire organization understand and actively implement our strategy with 100% commitment?
- Where can we improve leadership, training, and cross-functional cooperation to hit the 100% mark?
- How can we create a brand that customers immediately think of to “hire” for us the job?
- What experiences do we need to provide customers with in order to get the “job” done perfectly?
Digging Deeper into KPIs
Most healthcare brands include key performance indicators (KPIs) in their strategic plan. But where many brands fall behind is actually having clarity on how these will be measured.
For example, say a healthcare provider wants to improve reimbursement claim accuracy. This can be measured in several ways, like billing turnaround times, re-billed claims, and clean claims as a percentage of total claims. Once the hard metrics are established and you assign numerical values (80% total clean claims, for example), the provider will then need to set up a tracking and documentation system to ensure the numbers are consistently met throughout the year.
How will you measure performance in 2018 besides the bottom line?
How Legacy DNA Can Help
Doing the job right takes time, research, and forward-thinking – all of which can be the final straw on the backs of healthcare leaders or a marketing department that’s already stretched too thin. Our healthcare innovation consultants and marketing experts can help you develop a strategic plan that’s grounded in the most current theories and marketing science catered to your specific growth goals.
Call us at 407.523.0604 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 60 min. consultation and get started on your 2018 growth strategy.