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 in an infomercial. But marketing is much more: It’s the whole range of activities that revolve around finding your customers, defining your product and sharing information about your product with your customers. You may find you have multiple customers (patients, providers within your organization and even payers in your region), each of whom will respond to a different marketing approach. Whether your marketing plan is simple or complex, 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.
The value and importance of a good market analysis cannot be overemphasized. It can spell the difference between success and failure of your program.
This module provides information on performing a market analysis and then developing a marketing plan to publicize your program.
The California Telehealth Resource Center, in collaboration with Nirav Desai has prepared a Marketing Guide to accompany this website Marketing Section. The guide is available for download. Simply click here for the guide.
View each section of this module by topic, at right »
Marketing is a term broadly used to describe activities associated with identifying markets, matching your offerings to those markets and then interesting potential customers and clients in your services. Marketing involves researching, analyzing, developing, promoting, educating, and informing. The following discussion looks at various aspects of marketing.
Marketing should answer two important questions
Is there a market for the service you are proposing to provide?
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 people and organizations in your target market about your telehealth program. A fully developed marketing plan 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.
Incorporating market analysis into evaluation and quality improvement activities
Market analysis doesn’t end when your service goes live. 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 in order to be sure that expansion is warranted.