7 of Our Favorite Doctor Marketing Ideas
There’s a certain magic that seems to happen when doctor marketing ideas payoff and goals are achieved. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the sense of achievement that Healthcare Success shares with clients, but it’s neither magical nor accidental.
Marketing for a doctor’s office is part science (applying proven strategies and tactics), and part art (creatively and effectively connecting with a target audience). Measurable results—even if they feel like magic—are the product of a carefully designed and well-executed plan.
That said, our experience has gifted us with a list of favorite marketing ideas. When possible, we like to apply them when and where they can propel success for a medical practice as part of a comprehensive plan. (To be clear, we’re not talking about “spaghetti marketing”. The “anything goes” approach is always a flop before it starts.)
Here's a roundup of some of our favorite doctor marketing ideas, strategies and tactics. (In random order…)
EMAIL MARKETING: Communicating on a one-to-many basis has many advantages including being:
- low cost,
- easy to deploy,
- quick to implement,
- precision targeting; and
- the ability to personalize.
Most importantly, research reports confirm, select forms of email marketing are among the most effective tools available for brand awareness, retention and for new business acquisition. [Gigaom Research]
It’s important to note that this is not appropriate for every doctor-marketing situation. And, to be effective, email marketing may need professional handling to bring together the right combination of creative elements (such as the list, content, and other key considerations), as well as abiding by anti-spam regulations, personal privacy restrictions and professional, best practice standards.
- EXTERNAL SIGNAGE: This subject wins a spot on our favorite ideas list because—done properly—on-premises signs are often the first and best marketing tools for a doctor’s office. Curiously, the advantages of having a good sign (or better yet, multiple signs) are never overlooked in the retail world, but often neglected in healthcare. Well-placed and highly visible signs are tireless workers, have a high Return-on-Investment (ROI), and diligently promote both your brand and your convenient location.
- YOUR INTERNAL AUDIENCE: For nearly every provider, this is all about building your business from the inside. Internal Marketing includes a range of strategies and tactics that tap into the power of your established patient base. What’s more, doctors also favor this idea because it’s low risk (and “feels safe”), and there’s little or no cost to utilize. Results are usually slow to build, but it can be an effective means to inspire patient referrals, provide additional or follow-on services, fuel word-of-mouth, retain existing patients for times of future need, and enhance your brand and professional reputation.
- THE POWER OF PPC: Computers and the Internet make Pay-Per-Click (PPC) a more “intelligent” form of advertising for several reasons. Because prospective patients frequently begin their search for health information and local providers via online search using Google, Yahoo! and others. When advertising is keyed to specific search terms, your message is only presented to pre-qualified prospects. PPC wins a spot on our list of favorite ideas because of its precision audience targeting and budget-sensitive system (you only pay for visitors who search for your product/service, look at your ad AND choose to enter your site).
- VIDEO VERSATILITY: The economic beauty of video as a doctor marketing idea is largely two-fold. First, video is a powerfully effective form of communications. Visual information gets to the brain faster and has more staying power than text. And second, a video marketing message is created (and paid for) once, but can be efficiently leveraged via a range of uses and multiple placements. Among other advantages, using video on a website (a “meet the doctor” profile, as one example) boosts the effectiveness and the Search Engine visibility of the site.
- TRACK: If successful business development has a mantra, it is: “You've got to track!” It’s how you “keep score” in marketing. Dollars IN divided by dollars OUT. The fundamental idea is; if you are not carefully, and systematically, tracking the source of each new patient you have no idea of what doctor-marketing efforts are working or not working. More to the point, with accurate tracking numbers you can to calculate the actual monetary Return-on-Investment from marketing. And knowing that, adjustments—either up or down—will make a campaign or program more efficient and effective…and boost the ROI.
- PLAY TO WIN: Perhaps our most favorite doctor marketing idea is all about having a winning attitude. Healthcare competition is increasingly fierce and medical practices that neglect or marginalize their need for marketing are, quite likely, getting further behind. The cornerstone of any successful marketing effort is to come out ahead in the game. Business savvy physicians devote enough time and resources to achieve their goals and to truly make a difference. Too little squanders precious resources and is worse than none at all. Our favorite and most successful doctor clients aggressively play to win...and they do.
For more of our favorite doctor marketing ideas, turn to the Healthcare Success blog pages where you’ll find about a thousand more insightful and helpful marketing ideas and success stories.