Typical lengths of healthcare marketing projects
The table below illustrates the standard realistic timelines for the healthcare marketing projects we typically deliver.
A typical website design timeline
Finally, this table shows an in-depth look at the timeline of a website project, which is the most common project we provide.
As a client, how can you help get marketing projects done on time and on budget?
Client budgets govern timelines because doing it faster costs more money in less time. You can maximise speed with the following approaches:
- hire an experienced marketing consultant with knowledge of your industry and the types of projects you want to complete
- smooth the way for your marketing consultant by making sure you (as the client) are prompt with everything they need from you (typically, that’s content, feedback and approvals)
- agree to realistic timeframe, so you don’t pay a priority rate to get things done faster than is realistic
Hire an experienced and industry-specific marketing consultant
You might think you can delegate marketing planning and execution to practice managers. We have found that the idea of expecting an already overworked practice manager (or any other staff member) who has little or no experience with marketing planning or execution is hugely unrealistic.
Furthermore, you want to get down to business as quickly as possible, and that requires your marketing consultant to be up to speed with your industry, your market, your competitors, your product or service specifications, your advantages, and the benefits you offer your customers.
Work with your marketing consultant to make progress as smooth and delay-free as possible
Surgeons must provide a significant amount of raw content, and this takes a lot of time to get. You’ll need to manage your time to budget for at least 1 to 2 hours of content development, review and approval per week for most projects.
For example, in the website project timeline above, the client must involve themselves in the following milestones:
- providing assets (logos, photographs, papers, content) in week 1
- reviewing and approving the concept board (the visual plan) in week 2 and 3
- reviewing and approving the information architecture (the site organisation plan) in week 4 and 5
- reviewing and approving prepared content for week 7
- reviewing and approving the final website in week 17
As you can see, most marketing projects take many weeks to complete, and that’s when approvals are fast and forthcoming. Often, surgeons take much longer than the five business days we suggest to approve things. Sometimes they take many weeks to review and approve what we do. Sometimes even longer. In some cases, we can proceed without the client’s approval. In other cases, future decisions depend so much on the current choices at hand that we cannot continue, so we must wait.
Sometimes, clients change their minds. One case I can specifically recall where a client affected the start of a video blogging project by changing their mind, was when the client chose to change their logo. Once we redesigned the logo, the video blogging could then begin.
It probably goes without saying that if something materially changes in your business then you must inform your marketing consultant as quickly and clearly as possible to avoid wasted time and effort.
Plan and don’t needlessly rush things
Remember the project management triangle. If you want it good and fast, then you’ll have to pay more. Further, expecting a deadline to remain locked while you delay the project with content, review and approvals is unrealistic. Yes, your marketing consultant may be able to speed things up to work around your delays without charging you extra, but then quality might suffer. At the end of day, most people would agree that getting things quickly is important, but getting them right is critical.