By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
It’s more than simply good fortune that our company enjoys a positive working relationship with our clients. The fact is that people want to do business with people and companies that they like and respect. And that’s a two-way street.
This engenders a healthy environment and partnership attitude that drives new business and opportunity. There’s a positive energy at work when Healthcare Success clients understand—and are aggressively supportive of—the need for marketing and advertising.
Given the dynamics of change in healthcare delivery today, it’s still something of a surprise to run headlong into the old-school attitude that “doctors don’t advertise.”
With the intensely competitive environment surrounding most medical practices, we don’t hear the head-in-the-sand attitude quite as frequently. But, over the years, we’ve heard countless reasons and rationalizations. Here are a few of our favorites:
“Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a ‘highway billboard.’” Like it or not, medicine is a profession, but healthcare is a business. It’s only sound business for doctors to care for both aspects of the practice.
“Healthcare advertising means ‘needy, cheesy, sleazy or greedy.’” This is more imagined than real. Ethical and highly professional marketing efforts are the rule. Consider Cleveland Clinic, to pick one recognizable name among hundreds.
“Only bad doctors have to market.” (See the item above.) Further, consider that effective communications informs people in need with a qualified resource for professional help.
“Our ‘marketing committee’ is considering it.” In our experience, marketing-by-committee often leads to analysis paralysis, indecision or inaction. It’s tough to satisfy multiple (sometimes competing) interests without responsible leadership.
“All I have to do is be a good doctor…” Well… nobody meant to lie to you in medical school, but simply being good is no assurance of business success.
“We stopped marketing to save money.” Decidedly one of our favorites…best answered by Henry Ford: “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” You might also consider saving energy by switching off the light at the end of the tunnel.
Successful healthcare providers—as well as health systems and hospitals—recognize these as expressions of risk avoidance, fear of the unknown, resistance to change and other ill-founded rationales.
Healthcare marketing and advertising has become an essential pathway for attracting new business, communicating a branded message, establishing and extending a professional reputation.
Avoiding or ignoring this business reality is one option. The eventual outcome of that approach, however, is to deliver your market share to the professional colleague down the street who has defined business objectives and an assertive plan to achieve specific goals.
If you’d like to talk about a sensible and professional marketing plan, please reach out to us today. We’re here to help.