What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Plan and a Marketing System?

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Marketing Chart
By Paul Gough, BSC (HONS), MCSP, SRP, HPC

Here’s a common question I get asked by business owners:

“Paul, I’m confused about the difference between a plan and a system—I hear you talk about both.”

A marketing plan is something that acts as a road map toward your goal. The goal could be something like $10,000 per month revenue from cash-pay patients as well as from direct-access referrals. If you are an in-network provider, setting a plan like this and executing it, is likely to be the best money you’ll ever earn.

Why? Because if 80 percent of your business that is reimbursed by insurance is averaging $110 per visit, and you can bring in an additional 20 percent of revenue at a cash-pay rate, the additional profit is all yours. Note: If you are a cash-pay clinic, having a marketing plan is an absolute must. In-network providers have a fallback plan in seeking referrals from doctors.

So, what’s a marketing system? It’s how you do the work of fulfilling the plan. It helps you to hit the numbers that you set out as your goal, easily. So the inevitable question is, which one should you concentrate on first? Both are important, just pick one and get started!

Paul Gough headshot

Paul Gough, BSC (HONS), MCSP, SRP, HPC, is a former professional soccer physiotherapist and founder of the Paul Gough Physio Rooms, a four-location physiotherapy practice in the UK where health care is free. He can be reached at paul@paulgough.com or www.paulgough.com.

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