By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
By Gil Zeimer, HSS Account Manager/Senior Copywriter
Ordinarily, we don’t do much chest thumping, but we can’t help a little “pointing-with-pride” in this success story. Many readers will relate to the familiar back-story, so other medical practices will likely find useful insight and marketing lessons.
Our story begins about a year ago…
In Greenville, South Carolina, Ivy League-trained, Board-Certified vein specialist Dr. Michael Traurig is decidedly shy. “I’m kind of bashful,” says the good doctor. “It’s never been my nature to brag. In fact, my mother always told me that my work would speak for itself.”
Simply being a good (or even great) doctor does not assure success. His practice—Vein Centers for Excellence of Greenville—was popular, well established…but growth was stalled with another marketing company. The problem had three main faces: (a) growing competition in the marketplace; (b) low name-recognition with the public; and (c) no plan in place to respond to these changing conditions and inspire growth.
A comprehensive (and more aggressive) marketing makeover was needed. And shy or not, the revised plan included several significant efforts to no longer be the “invisible” practice in the marketplace. This included a new website, TV commercials, newspaper ad campaign and sales support that do all the talking for him. Some of the key components included:
Branding: Focus on a Series of Firsts
The new website is a cornerstone for the branding message, and focuses on what makes Dr. Traurig unique in the Upstate region of South Carolina:
- First in the area to offer comprehensive vein care
- First Ivy League trained and Board Certified vein specialist in Greenville (since 2003)
- First fully certified, independent vein center in South Carolina
- First South Carolina vein center accredited by the Better Business Bureau
- Winner of the Vitals.com Patients’ Choice Award 5 years running
Free Vein Screenings Feed The New Patient Pipeline
While Dr. Traurig had hosted occasional free monthly varicose vein screenings, Healthcare Success recommended a series of monthly screenings on specific dates to attract potential patients who were suffering from varicose vein disease symptoms such as aching, swollen, restless legs and varicose veins.
Since the branding, website and advertising campaign began in April 2013, Vein Centers for Excellence of Greenville’s new patient count has surpassed that of 2012 by over 500–in six months. Dr. Traurig is now set to surpass his 2012 patient count by October.
“For our busiest time of the year (April–June), we saw about half of our new patients for the year,” says Dr. Traurig. June was the second best month of all time for us: 85 new patients. We also had over 100 calls in September from our advertising campaign.”
Now who’s talking, Dr. Traurig? The numbers speak for themselves.
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Healthcare Success Account Manager Gil Zeimer has strong credentials in account management and writing for all media during his 25-year career in working with LASIK surgeons, cosmetic and family dentists, periodontists, chiropractors, laparoscopic surgeons, colonoscopy devices, dental products, health insurance companies, hospitals, and more. His background includes familiar brands such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California/ WellPoint, St. Francis Hospital, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, St. Mary Medical Center and others.