People often think of marketing as advertising – the ads you see on billboards, in newspapers, on television or the internet. Or you might think of a sales person pitching their latest invention or discovery on an infomercial. But marketing is much more and it should begin with a market analysis.
The value and importance of a good market analysis cannot be overemphasized. It can be the difference between success and failure of your program.
This module provides information on performing a market analysis and marketing your program.
View each section of this module by topic, at right »
Marketing is a term broadly used to describe activities associated with identifying markets as well as interesting potential customers and clients in your services. Marketing involves researching, analyzing, developing, promoting, educating, and informing.
Before you begin to consider your new telehealth program, it is important to perform an environmental scan of your current system. You should be completely familiar with your organization’s current programs and those of your competitors. You should understand current services available in the target community, the geographic distribution of those services, current referral patterns out of the community for those services, partner organizations, and other organizational initiatives.
A marketing program provides the opportunity to educate and inform the many people and organizations that will come in contact with your telehealth program. A fully developed marketing program can assure that your telehealth program is positively received by major stakeholders and it can be instrumental in the positive adoption of telehealth in your community.
Why does market analysis need to be incorporated into evaluation and quality improvement activities?
Market analysis doesn’t end when your service is first implemented. It should be used regularly as an ongoing component of your program’s operation and administration and should always be performed when an expansion of services is being considered.