Medical Marketing, How To…
When looking into marketing your medical practice, are you seeking new patients or building your brand? Do you know which you would prefer? Do you know which you should prefer?
With today’s environment and constantly evolving media platforms, having all the details as to what your team needs to understand to effectively be able to market your medical practice is essential for consistent growth and branding. Making sure the right information is available and the proper message is being sent out is crucial. Understanding your own goals is the first step you’ll need to decide. What you are deciding is whether or not your marketing will take a tactical approach or a strategic one.
Tactical Medical Marketing
With the Tactical approach, you might be advertising that you accept certain insurances, or have a certain area of expertise, and you will attract those patients that are seeking exactly what you happen to offer. This will bring in the potential of new patients, and those that need to have specific needs met. Whether it is convenience, coverage accepted, specialist approach, location based or another situation where your marketing was precise in its’ target, this is a direct way to present your practice.
Strategic Medical Marketing
With the Strategic approach you will be sharing the history of the practice, why you got in to the field of practice you are in, what you feel gives you the added advantage over similar physicians and why a patient would want to come and see you. This is relationship and brand building which fosters a longer term and potentially very loyal patient. This will bring in new patients as well, and those that believe that they have found the right medical professionals to manage their healthcare needs.
What is the Difference?
The differences these two deliver in short term processes are the way these patients discuss their experience with your practice. With the Tactical approach, new patients can say that you were great because you accepted their insurance or because they received the right treatment for the specific needs they had. With the Strategic approach, you will get those that discuss the experience, why they love the practice and why they loved their new Doctor. This type of branding spreads itself heavily through social media platforms, the newest number one way to get word of mouth out there.
When asked back in 2012 in a survey that The Mayo Clinic produced, 41% of people would choose a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation. Of those surveyed, one-third of them now use social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and online forums for health-related matters. This number has only grown in the past few years as people rely on the opinions and information they receive on social media platforms.
This is not all that matters though, as much as the online and social media platforms have gained leverage, traditional media is still very important.
Why is it that TV, print, and outdoor media still work for the healthcare industry? It’s because everyone has different media preferences, and often times consume both offline and online media before making a decision. In a Google/Compete Hospital Study, 84% of patients use the combination of both online and offline sources for research.
What should you do with Marketing your Medical practice?
Either way you decide to market, your team should make sure they have the basic knowledge and understanding of on and off line platforms and why they are all so important. They have to be able to communicate properly with the right firms you might contract to manage some marketing tasks. If they don’t know the right questions to ask then they might not be able to find out if the team you are dealing with is truly capable and qualified to handle your account. With the huge variety of platforms that can all function in different capacities with various results, today’s professional practice has to be forward thinking with the goals they intend to reach. They have to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done for the type of practice it is.
All medical offices in any aspect, from straight to patient or direct to business must have the right people working on the variety of platforms. They range from Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Instagram, Online and Offline Public Relations, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Outdoor (OOH) Media such as digital or static billboards or local guerilla marketing efforts. They can all work together as well, when utilized properly, in the right order and with the right message. Take the time to decide which style you want to use to deliver the success your practice deserves. Once you confirm this important preliminary step of the Marketing plan, you can then begin to Step 2.
“How to be successful by separating the practice in to two parts.”