University of Pennsylvania Basic Marketing Plan & Coastal Medical Center Paper

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Getting Started

“Marketing is the management of exchange.” – Philip Kotler

The marketing plan is a “blueprint” to guide the organization’s exchange of goods, services, or information throughout the next 12 to 18 months. It needs to be flexible, coordinate with, and follow other plans such as the strategic plan. Development of the marketing plan involves the entire organization/division/service line, including those in the C-Suite. A marketing plan must include measurable results, laid out in advance. While there is no “right” format for a marketing plan, the proof is in its results. The plan must be implemented and become a part of the organization’s culture.

Upon successful completion of the course material, you will be able to:

  • Create appropriate communications strategies to achieve organizational goals.
  • Develop a basic marketing plan.
  • Analyze information to support a decision or recommendation.
  • Evidence critical thinking and analysis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and express ideas in writing.


  • Textbook: Essentials of Strategic Planning in Healthcare (2nd ed.)

Background Information

There is no “right” format for a marketing plan or a right way to do one. The proof of the plan is in the context, not the format. The plan itself is just a “blueprint”, it does not delineate every detail and step. A marketing plan:

  • Needs to be flexible, but not fluid.
  • Is near term in scope, 12 to 18 months.
  • Coordinates with and follows other plans, such as the strategic plan.

Here is an example of how the marketing plan and the strategic plan might coordinate.(see attached picture)

The marketing plan involves the entire organization. It cannot just be the responsibility of the marketing department or a contracted marketing firm. In order to determine the success of the plan, measurable goals and objectives must be set as part of the plan. Indicators or measures must be tracked and monitored. Finally, the market plan must be implemented. Otherwise, it is just an exercise in paperwork. Implementation of a good quality market plan means it becomes part of the organization’s culture in the same way the strategic plan should.

Adapted from Healthcare Marketing Plans that Work by David Marlowe

Marlowe, D. (2014, October). Healthcare marketing plans that work. Paper presented at the Nebraska Healthcare Marketers, Lincoln, NE. Retrieved from


  • Read Chapter 5: Healthcare Marketing in Essentials of Strategic Planning in Healthcare.
  • Research healthcare marketing plans.
  • Review Coastal Medical Center (CMC) Comprehensive Case Study.
  • Outline a general healthcare marketing plan for CMC.
  • The plan should include:
    • A market audit – key observations/major driving factors
    • An analysis of CMC’s market position – overall
    • Market strategies – at least three specific initiatives.
    • Quantifiable objectives – SMART, measurable
    • Market actions – description of actions and priority

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