So I was doing my free, in-depth practice analysis with a young doctor yesterday and I asked one of my standard questions: “Who is the head of your Marketing Division?” His answer: “I don’t think we have one. (Big laugh and big pause) Oh, I guess it boils down to me, eh?” Bottom line, they are living on word of mouth referrals and have a so-so website that doesn’t go anywhere much.
All of that is not the end of the world if you are acquiring a goodly number of new patients each week to make you more than happy and busy. But if not, then maybe he should consider getting a Written Organized Marketing Plan going and acquire some help, either from talented staff or from an outside source.
What kind of things should/could he be doing?
Types of Marketing:
Word of mouth. This doesn’t happen by accident. How patients or clients are treated on the phone, in person when they arrive, by the delivery staff, and back to reception as they are paying, rescheduling and leaving. This is all internal marketing and the better it is done, the more word of mouth you will receive.
A form of word of mouth: Google Review, RateMDs, etc. You can encourage your clients or patients to post on these venues. People (especially younger) always check these sites before choosing their healthcare providers. If you are not able to be found or have only bad reviews, you will lose their business before they even walk in the door.
Asking for referrals. Often they just don’t even think about the concept of doing this unless you put it in their heads. Most are quite willing to tell others about you if they are happy with your service.
Social Media Marketing. This includes a really jazzy, friendly, inspiring, up-to-date website and an active Facebook page, Instagram, Messenger, etc. We cannot ignore these activities anymore as it is how a goodly number of people will find you if you have them properly done.
Email newsletters. So easy and so inexpensive (no postage, letterhead or envelopes, etc.). These are going to your patients or clients of record and are totally okay to send them. Don’t make them long dissertations, but rather, keep them short, bright, fun, lively, informative. Also, post them on your website, Instagram, your Facebook page, etc.
Traditional Marketing. Don’t throw out the idea of hard copy fliers door-to-door. If they are correctly designed, they still attract a fair amount of business. There are a hundred and one wrong ways to write and design them. A couple of key points:
Do not to try and put too much on the card. Simple and easy to read is best.
Don’t list your services like a menu – ask questions instead (e.g. for a dentist: Would you like your teeth to be whiter?). You’ll engage them in a thought process and are more likely to get a result.
Door knockers are a little more expensive but work very well.
Send out enough to get a result. It’s a quantity game.
Don’t forget to keep up your marketing over the summer! It often gets forgotten in the rush to get to the cottage. LOL. Maintaining consistency in your marketing will help promote a steady flow of new business.