As an independent practice physician, how can you help your clinic get the business and marketing edge it needs to succeed? We’ve compiled some ideas for independent medical practice marketing to help you in your 2016 marketing endeavors. Start by identifying your target market and vehicles that effectively reach the desired market. Creating a marketing budget, setting goals, a plan for implementation and periodic assessment should be done annually. Marketing is an area that is particularly important to the success of your business. Driving sales not only by volume but attracting and retaining your preferred clientele can really boost overall revenue and not just sales volume. Develop several patient archetypes that work best for your practice physicians, staff, locations, and culture.
Your target market should focus on not only what makes you money, but what types of patients you most enjoy working with and benefit from your expertise. Identifying what the commonalities are such as family status, income, occupation, lifestyle, age, insurance type, a type of health concerns and attitude they share.
Optimally, having patients that are ready to pay any fees or have insurance that largely covers your services is extremely beneficial to your overall financial model. This willingness to pay associated fees may be less about financial status and more about health attitudes or perceived value.
The following are several ideas on marketing strategies:
Social media advertising – The Pew Research Center’s Social Media Update reported that Facebook continues to be the most popular social network with 71 percent of U.S. adults being active Facebook users. When considering online marketing, it is imperative to have a clear cut plan otherwise you’ll end up spending more time than it is worth. For a medical clinic, one of the most important pieces of an online marketing plan can be online testimonials. Just like other businesses, there are many places where your patients can leave reviews about your care. (i.e. www.healthgrades.com). Providing your social media savvy patients with the tools to write a recommendation on a specific site, such as a patient comment card or practice e-mail that includes the website link. Writing content can be easier than you think with tools that schedule posts in advance. This can also help your content reach your patients during peak hours during the evening and weeks. Get the conversation started with a relevant and timely question. Questions can be a great way to connect with new and potential patients. For example, discussion about how your family physician can partner with patients to be successful in their New Years weight loss program.
Relationship marketing – Networking with referral partners, referrals from past/current clients.
One of the best ways to start this process is to consider from where your current clients have come. In the medical field, chances are higher than normal that the majority of your patients have come from some type of referral either from a professional in a similar practice, or from a past patient. Relationship marketing and building strategies to strengthen these types of marketing efforts should be at the top of the list for your clinic.
Patient referral program – Identify strategies to help patients refer their friends and family. What is unique about your staff experience, services and focus areas? For example, create a referral process for annual check-ups for high-school athletes for a physician specializing in sports medicine. Use social media to promote a physicians participation in an athletic event, or volunteering for the day of the event. Practices that engage existing and future patients through social media contact can create trust and new word of mouth referrals.
Community involvement –Similar to relationship marketing, building brand awareness in your community through sponsorships of events is another way to reach patients through a low touch, high affinity marketing strategy. People to buy from those they like. Sponsorship of your community’s local summer event has the potential to raise awareness about your clinic and help a potential new patient make the choice to come to your clinic over your competition’s clinic.
Traditional advertising – Print, radio, and direct mail all still have a role to play in a marketing program. They are good ways to continue to build brand awareness in your community. Targeted to your local market with, traditional advertising vehicles can be a very cost effective way to boost your clientele.
Practice growth is a key area of Outsource Receivables growth. We help our clients gain market segment, identify profitable and unprofitable areas, leverage cost effective technology, create efficiencies to better manage volume, and increase the quality of customer service. We partner with independent practices throughout the phases of growth as it results in mutually beneficial outcomes. To set up your consultation and complimentary analysis of your current clinic business, call Dan Smits at Outsource Receivables Inc. today at 763-398-5209 or 866-585-2800 (option 1).