By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
[One in a series of posts about finding and using free, low-cost, affordable and effective tactics to make your medical marketing sizzle without breaking the bank.]
In our experience, “marketing-on-the-cheap” has never been a useful or effective solution to anything. Over the years, we’ve often received an urgent call after some well-meaning (but ill-advised) stabs at marketing have either fallen flat, or worse, have ended up creating costly consequences.
Some of the most common (but bad) promotional ideas are listed in our previous post, How to Spot the Born Losers of Healthcare Marketing. They are the “free” or low-cost opportunities that enrich some enterprising salesperson, but generate zero return for the business.
But let’s face it, resources can be scarce and competition is tough. Although a complete marketing plan requires the support of an appropriate budget, there are some highly effective doctor marketing strategies that are low in cost and high in effectiveness. Two of the best—and most often neglected—strategies are:
- Ask for Patient Referrals: The process is simple, painless, cost-free and with almost no effort, it produces remarkable results. The only problem is, physicians don’t ask. The concept of “asking for referrals” is nearly universally known, but—for various (often lame) reasons—it’s widely ignored or neglected. This is one strategy that works from the start because most satisfied patients would happily refer and would love to be asked.
- Give a One-Minute Message: Take an extra 60 seconds or less to give each patient a short story about how you (or the practice in general) can help people in need. Think of it as a brief, benefit-laden “commercial” that’s about a service you’d like others to know about. The fact is that few patients are aware of the practice capabilities, and it’s probably useful information for them or someone they know.
And how do you implement these ideas? Click through to the details in our previous post, How to Get Your Patients to Refer in Droves. You’ll find out how to overcome the common concerns about, and how to begin, asking for referrals. It also provides an example and outlines the steps to begin the one-minute messages.
Here’s a free bonus idea…
- This is a searchable blog: There are hundreds of useful articles at your fingertips right here. We’ve written at least one post about nearly every medical marketing or advertising subject, so use the search box (in the upper right corner) to locate a timely topic of interest.
If you have not already done so, subscribe to our free healthcare marketing newsletter, and watch for additional articles in this series.