Welcome to Points Group’s newest blog segment, Ask the Agency. Each blog will feature our employees’ top answers to common marketing questions. This first installment features the very high-level question that we often hear from prospective clients looking to start marketing their practice, Where do we begin?
Okay, Points Group, top five answers on the board … (Yes, this is a Family Feud reference, not that we do a lot of feuding around here!)
This was far and away the most mentioned must-have for your practice and with good reason. Nowadays, a website legitimizes your business. You pretty much don’t exist if you don’t have a website. Not only does a website allow prospective patients to find you, but it lets your current patients get to know you better, discovering useful information about the practice (e.g., office hours, patient forms, etc.). Since your website is the first impression for many and the reinforced impression for some, make sure it accurately reflects your brand. Your website should be modern and easy to navigate, with easily accessible information. But, not all websites are created equal. If you are hiring someone to build your site, we recommend using the WordPress platform. Hiring an agency with experience in healthcare is also a plus!
#2. Referral Marketing
Second on our list is referral marketing. While it is absolutely true that the internet is (and will continue to be) the future, there is no denying the benefits of good old face-to-face relationships. Referral marketing is imperative in building relationships with the physicians in your referral network who can refer to you. But, referral marketing can actually go beyond introducing your practice to potential referral sources. It can also be about community outreach. Having a presence at health fairs and community events is a smart way to spread the word about your practice.
#3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
One of the quickest ways to generate new patients and/or direct patients to a newly launched site is SEM (AdWords). If you know who your target patients are, chances are they will be searching for your type of services at some point, and SEM ensures that they will find you during that search. Moreover, it bridges the gap while you are still in the process of search engine optimization (SEO), which takes time.
#4. Patient Experience
The importance of patient experience is two-fold. First, a positive patient experience will help with patient retention, and ultimately, produce word-of-mouth referrals from your patients. Second, it ensures that you don’t miss out on any leads. For example, a positive patient experience is essential when you are about to embark on a marketing campaign. Flooding your practice with calls after a successful marketing campaign is not the best way to expose your internal process issues. Time and time again, we have seen practices miss valuable lead opportunities when they initiate a marketing campaign with poorly-trained staff or no scalable internal practices. For this reason, we recommend investing in healthcare-specific customer service training to ensure your staff is ready to handle the increased volume a marketing campaign can create.
#5. Catch Basin Analysis
I want to start by stating that this is technically not marketing in the truest form, but our team felt that it is important to start with analysis and strategy to build a targeted and effective marketing plan. Points Group’s Catch Basin Analyzer is a useful tool in determining who your patients are and where they are coming from. Utilizing demographic data from your practice, the analyzer maps out the geography of your patients, filtering the information by age, gender or service received. With this upfront information, marketing plans can be designed to directly target the areas that will quickly drive growth.
While these are the top five answers on where to start, they are by no means all of the answers. There’s always more that you can do and different avenues you can try. Each practice has a unique set of circumstances and goals. Marketing is certainly not a one-size-fits-all operation. It takes a customized program tailored to the practice’s needs to truly achieve growth. If you are interested in growing your practice and learning how Points Group can help, contact us today!
Have a healthcare marketing question you would like us to answer? Submit your question below, and we just might get to it!