There are many facets to medical marketing. In order to be successful one must consider where the bulk of the revenue generated is coming from. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the revenue a practice generates comes from 20% of patients (customers). Rather than focusing your marketing efforts trying to attract business from all of your patients consider implementing programs that are attractive to your ideal patient.
In order to do this successfully you must determine who your ideal patient is. What patients does your business best serve? If you would like to grow a specific product or service line, figure out what consumers would be most interested in these services as well as have the best outcome and target them. Next, you need to understand where to find your ideal patients. By understanding more about where your ideal patient can be found, you can target your marketing more effectively and efficiently.
Regardless your specialty, your ideal patient will have the following characteristics:
- Satisfied with the services you offer and the results they receive
- Pay on time
- Refer your practice to friends and family
- Trust the recommendations made by your providers
- Are within a targeted age group relevant to the products, services or procedures you are marketing
- Are loyal to your practice
Once you have identified your ideal patient you can begin to market to them so they find your practice. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Ensure your practice’s brand represents you properly. Your brand is the way your practice is perceived by a consumer. Make sure it is memorable. Geico has done a great job using a gecko to help you remember them. And who can forget the Clydesdale horses of Budweiser? Your healthcare brand can also make an impact in the minds of consumers. Once you come up with a memorable brand you are proud to share, share it everywhere. Consistency is key in staying top of mind, so that when consumers need a doctor they think of your practice.
- Optimize your website for the services, products and procedures you want to focus on. Search engine optimization can help strengthen your online presence so that when prospective patients are searching for healthcare providers offering the services you provide, your name shows up at the top of the page. Fifty percent of patients will select the business that has multiple search listings on the first page. That means it’s important for multiple pages of your website to show up. Social media and a blog can help with this.
- Ask your top 20% of patients for referrals. Chances are your best patients are friends with other “best patients.” Most satisfied patients are happy to give the referral of a provider who delivers exceptional care.
- Survey your patients. One of the best ways to know the kind of experience your patient is having is by asking them about their experience following each visit. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. There are many automated programs that will send out an email after the patient checks out. We find that the best surveys are the ones that are simple and easy to complete. Have patients rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 5 and then ask them to share a brief statement about their experience. That’s it. Keep it simple and you will have a greater completion rate.
- Be ready to give exceptional patient experiences. The patient experience begins the moment the prospective patient contacts your office. The way they are treated on the phone by your office staff can cause the prospective patient to book or hang up and call a competitor. If they decide to make an appointment with your office it is imperative that they are treated well by all patient facing staff. Make it crystal clear with your team what your expectations are for the way patients are treated. Do not tolerate poor quality of care. The majority of complaints received by a doctor’s office are not about the doctor, but about their staff. Protect your practice by delivering exceptional care to every patient.
Stop trying to appeal to everyone and start strategically marketing your medical practice. The patient’s you should focus the bulk of your marketing dollars on are the ones that generate the most revenue for your practice. They are the patient’s who sing your praises and trust your recommendations. They are the patient’s who will grow your practice, but only if the right foundation is set.