Almost everyone with experience in physician marketing recognizes that word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising is (a) highly desirable, but (b) not an easy thing to inspire. After all, it’s far easier and more reliable to purchase time or space in the media and create a medical practice advertisement.
In contrast, WOM is far less tangible. Although it’s an appealing concept and there’s little cost, WOM often seems vague. You never know who’s going to say-what-to-whom. It’s a form of doctor advertising that’s elusive and unpredictable. There’s no controlling the message or the circulation, and what’s worse, sometimes word-of-mouth can be “negative.”
Actually, it is possible—more so than you may think—for doctor marketing to control, direct and track word-of-mouth advertising. We’ve written previously about WOM. Today’s additional post in this series takes a page from the world of brand-name products, and the professional group, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).
Although most doctor marketing and physician advertising does not operate on the same level as national brands (such as General Mills, AT&T, Burger King), healthcare marketing can draw on WOMMA’s list of five core elements to inspire, monitor and direct word-of-mouth.
They teach, “all word of mouth marketing techniques are based on the concepts of customer satisfaction, two-way dialog, and transparent communications.” The basic elements are:
You can click through here for previous articles in this series including A Word About Word-of-Mouth Advertising: How to Dispel Old School Misconceptions and How to Trigger Word of Mouth Advertising and Physician Practice Referrals.