5 Crucial Steps Before Planning a Healthcare Marketing Strategy for CME Promotion

meded-blog-steps.pngContinuing medical education (CME) is on the rise as more medical professionals attend courses to learn new skills and improve patient care. Yet with so much competition — there were 1,876 CME providers in the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) system in 2015course leaders are looking for innovative ways to attract attendees to their programs. If you are in charge of marketing an upcoming CME event, you'll want to keep these five key steps in mind. 

1. Schedule a Meeting With the Boss


Schedule a meeting with the director or leader of your CME organization, and come up with ideas for your healthcare marketing strategy. Your budget will likely influence your campaign, so make sure you know how much money has been allocated for promotion.

This meeting is your opportunity to exchange ideas and plan a rollout date for your promotional drive. Don't leave it too late, though. Some CME events take months to plan, so you want to make sure you have a proper marketing campaign in place early on.


2. Determine Your Goals


Determine your goals before you plow any money or resources into CME promotion, and focus on the core group of customers that you want to attract to your program. If you are planning a course for nurses in your local area, for example, you might want to generate interest on social media platforms like Facebook. If you are organizing an event for physicians, on the other hand, consider SERMO — a social network for verified doctors — which could prove fruitful.


3. Decide on the Best Marketing Channels


The success of your CME marketing campaign will depend on the marketing channels you use. Before you plan the nitty-gritty of your CME marketing, always choose the best channel to reach your target audience.

Ninety-six percent of doctors now own a smartphone, according to research, making mobile an effective channel to advertise your CME event. You could optimize your website for mobile search results, for example, and increase the number of doctors who visit your event pages. Other marketing channels to consider include social and display ads and email.


4. Think About Personalizing Your Marketing


Personalization works. This simple tactic could increase the number of sign-ups to your next CME event. During this early stage of your campaign, brainstorm some ideas for personalizing your marketing. For example, you might want to include the names of medical professionals in your email subject lines to increase readability and engagement.

Research shows that personalization provides marketers with lucrative results. One study suggests that personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than regular emails. However, 70 percent of companies fail to personalize their communications.


5. Decide How You Are Going to Measure Your Progress


Before you roll out your CME marketing campaign, think about how you plan to measure your progress. Analytics tools let you track your CME campaigns so you can find out which marketing methods provide you with the biggest return on your investment.

The best analytics tools come with performance metrics that measure engagement — how well your CME marketing resonated with medical professionals — and tell you which lead generation channels generated the biggest results. You should track your marketing with metrics at various stages of your campaign to optimize your conversion funnel.

These five steps will help you prepare for your next CME marketing strategy and encourage more medical professionals to sign up to your program. Taking the time to plan your marketing campaign properly increases the chances of your CME event being a bona fide success.


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