What’s the one question every practice owner asks themselves almost daily?
It’s, “How can I attract more patients and continue to grow my practice?” Before we explain exactly what to do, let’s clear up a common misperception.
Everyone wants a magic pill, an instant cure that makes them instantly better, or makes them instantly successful, which is why the pharmaceutical companies do so well. But not all medical or marketing solutions come in the form of a pill. Right?
The same is true with marketing. Most people are looking for that magic pill, the one that will instantly flood their practice with patients. Is it online marketing, pay-per-click advertising, Facebook, Twitter, a video, or that “free” ad from one of your suppliers?
Marketing is just like medicine. It’s a science.
The first step before you prescribe anything for a patient is to diagnose the problem. Determine the causes so you can prescribe the appropriate course of action, one that will solve the problem, not exacerbate it. Isn’t that what you as a savvy medical professional do?
Here’s how it works with marketing:
A. Diagnose your marketing situation – Ask yourself:
- What’s the size of the population I am marketing to?
- How many competitors do I have?
- What marketing am I doing currently, online and off?
- What types of marketing are working for my practice and why?
- What types of marketing haven’t been working and why?
- How successful is my existing online and offline marketing?
- How aggressive are my competitors online and off with their marketing?
Depending on your marketing situation, online marketing can help you attract 2-5 times as many patients. Or if you live in small town with a limited population, direct mail, could be the solution. Or if you live in big city with a competitor on every corner like Starbucks, ramping up your referral strategy may be the fastest way to grow your practice.
Here’s the mistake we see all too often. A practice owner gets a call from a marketing firm, from someone promising top search engine rankings, who wants to sell services but not more appointments, which is the only result that really matters. They sign up for activity instead of results.
Bottom line, pick the marketing strategy which will get results.
Want help analyzing your marketing? Talk to us.
B. Make a Plan
Below we’re going to list the marketing strategies that have generated over $100 million in sales. But like any strategy, before you apply these, the key is to determine which will work for your practice.
The top 3 marketing strategies currently are:
- Online marketing – We’re talking more than just a typical branded style website. The only way to make online marketing work is to use a proven direct response website that’s updated weekly and monthly with a built in path to action for patients, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, review marketing, and press releases.
- Database marketing – What we mean here is a lot more than quarterly newsletters. What works here are consistent monthly marketing campaigns. Monthly emails and direct mail marketing get dozens if not hundreds of patients on the phone and walking in the door every month so you can sell them additional services or resell them on current solutions
- Referral marketing – Not the hope it rains kind, but systematically asking patients and physicians using a proven referral generating system one that can double your monthly sales.
Are online, database, and referral marketing magic pills?
The answer of course is NO. 91% of practices that use one or more of these don’t get the results they want. Why?
Because they inadvertently sign up with magic pill type providers, marketing firms that are focused on selling services, not on proven systems that get results.
Want to use scientific marketing to attract patients? Talk to us.
C. Select The Right Marketing Partner
When you pay for marketing, what are you getting? If it’s just someone working on a website, or your search engine marketing, or sending out mailers for you, that’s all you’re going to get – marketing activity.
But is that what you really want?
Marketing is simple, if you take a few seconds to think about it. It has only one goal, to get more patients into your office so you can help them live a better life, and in doing so, live a better life yourself too.
You only need to ask one question to determine if a potential marketing partner is focused on helping you or just focused on helping themselves. Ask them, “Do you track how many calls your marketing generates and how many of those calls convert into appointments for my practice?”
If they can’t show you how the marketing activity converts to calls and appointments, they don’t actually have the data to determine what works and you aren’t paying for results.
Want to find out how to easily track your marketing so you know what’s working? Talk to us.