By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
Competition in business is one course of study that is seldom taught in medical school. But it’s often the first thing we hear about when healthcare providers knock on our door looking for marketing help.
You can list “competition”—or some offshoot consequence of same—as the leading reason why individual doctors, group medical practices, hospital executives are deeply concerned about the business side of the organization.
Nobody meant to lie to you, but simply being good does not guarantee success. The widely held, but mistaken belief, is that patients in need will simply seek your professional services and ultimately assure success.
The reality is that increased competition and other dynamic changes in healthcare require a professional approach to marketing in order to enhance your reputation, extend awareness and boost your bottom line.
It doesn’t happen automatically (or magically), but marketing is a necessity for any number of extremely valid reasons. Over time, Healthcare Success has compiled a list of the most common reasons why healthcare organizations market.
Check as many as apply, and feel free to add something you think we missed. You set the priorities. Your personalized list will be reminders—and the measure of your motivation—to answer the competition and to grow your healthcare organization with a defined plan of action.
- Achieve desired mix of cases
- Add or change practitioners
- Attract cases that you enjoy or have special expertise
- Attract more new patients
- Become less dependent on doctor referrals
- Build the organization’s reputation
- Ethically attract cases that reimburse well
- Extend provider’s reputation
- Fight back against aggressive competition
- Get to the next level
- Improve marketing Return-on-Investment
- Increase doctor referrals
- Increase revenues
- Increase volume of ancillary or cash services
- Increase your marketing effectiveness
- More consistent revenue flow
- Multiply patient referrals
- Operate more profitably
- Protection in a soft or declining economy
- Support new location(s)
- Support new provider(s)
- Support new technologies or capabilities
- Target upscale or fee-for-service cases
- Win at Internet marketing
- Work smarter not harder
Exactly where are you on the list?
“Marketing,” author and educator Philip Kotler reminds us, “is the art of identifying and understanding customer needs and creating solutions that deliver satisfaction to the customers, profits to the producers and benefits for the stakeholders.”
Transform your reasons for marketing into specific and quantified goals, and define a plan of action that answers the competition, wins patients, grows revenue and enhances your reputation. Let us know if you need help with that. There’s a free (and confidential) Marketing Assessment available on this page.
As challenging as it is, the objectives are solid and achievable. And your unspoken super benefit is that success can enable you to rest easier.