How Much Do Doctors Spend On Advertising in USA?
Range is $600 per month to $15000 per month, depending on specialty and competition.
The actual advertising budget for each clinic and practice is different. Some clinics/doctors are very aggressive and spend $1000 per day (or more) and some spend $1000 a month on advertising. We also have few clinics/doctors who do not spend any money on online advertising, they doctors rely on referrals and very strong SEO rankings. This data refers to online advertising, not offline advertising spend. For example we have a medical practice with 30+ locations, on average they spend – per location – $1600 per month on online mediums and $1000 per month for offline, traditional mediums. Another medical practice with 5 locations, spends $5400 per month per location, entirely on online strategy. They are no longer spending any advertising budget on offline, traditional advertising channels. A single location in 8 exam rooms, with extreme competition, spends $15000 per month on online advertising, with average patient count of 80 -110 patients per day. A plastic surgeon with medium competition spends $8000 per month on online advertising.
Also you have to understand that every practice area is different. If it’s a brand new practice, and they are just starting out, they will need to spend more $$ on the initial launch. If a practice is going through some issues (legal, business related, partnership related etc) they may pause or stop all advertising. For example let’s review specific specialties:
Medspa and aesthetic practices
For Medical Spas and Aesthetic practices, it is highly recommended to have online advertising budget. The typical range is $3000 to $10000 per month, with average budget of $4210 per practice in USA.
Plastic surgeons need online advertising, more than any other category. It is next to impossible to be successful without proper online advertising budget. The typical range is $5000 to $15000 per month, with average budget of $6677 per practice in USA.
The typical range is $1000 to $4000 per month, spend on average spend $1960 per month per location. However these are “average” locations with medium competition. If a dermatology is also focused on cosmetic procedures, their budgets are more like Medical Spas and aesthetic clinics.
Urgent care centers
The typical range is $1000 to $9000 per month, spend on average spend $3600 per month per location. However these are “average” locations with medium competition. There are many factors, number of exam rooms and how many providers, and fixed overhead also dictates how aggressive each owner is. Brands and chains spend more on advertising than stand alone locations. We have also noticed if the owner is a doctor/physician, vs a business person, doctor/physician owners will have a hard time understanding value of advertising. doctor/physician owners view advertising and marketing as an expense, rather than an “investment” with an ROI (Return On Investment).
Walk-in primary care practices
Walk-in Clinics – with primary care services and some “urgent care” services spend $1000 to $3400 per month, with an average monthly budget of $1900 per month.
Primary care practices
Primary care doctors spend $600 to $1300 per month, with an average monthly budget of $890 per month.
Naturopathic, wellness focused care practices
Primary care doctors spend $800 to $1900 per month, with an average monthly budget of $1230 per month.
Pediatric care practices
The typical range is $600 to $1600 per month, spend on average spend $900 per month per location.
Sexual healthcare practices – multi-focus
The typical range is $3000 to $8500 per month, spend on average spend $4200 per month per location.
Sexual healthcare practices – Erectile Dysfunction
The typical range is $4000 to $10000 per month, spend on average spend $6700 per month per location.
Fertility healthcare practices
The typical range is $3300 to $7500 per month, spend on average spend $4700 per month per location.
Dental practices – General dentists
The typical range is $750 to 1900 per month, spend on average spend $1230 per month per location.
Dental practices – Specialist dentists
The typical range is $1300 to 3210 per month, spend on average spend $2540 per month per location. These type of practices include Endodontists, dental implant focus, Invisalign focus etc.
Dental practices – Celebrity & cosmetic focus
The typical range is $8300 to $18850 per month, spend on average spend $9600 per month per location. These type of practices include dentists who do not accept insurance, and accept limited amount of patients, but each patient is treated as a “celebrity” with extreme focus on customer service, and results for each patient. Services include invisalign, porcelain veneers, whitening, bonding, laminates, implants, and orthodontics.
Podiatrists – Foot and Ankle Doctors and Surgeons
The typical range is $800 to 2200 per month, spend on average spend $1655 per month per location.
The typical range is $800 to 1900 per month, spend on average spend $1380 per month per location.
Women’s Health and OB/GYN
The typical range is $500 to 2700 per month, spend on average spend $1600 per month per location.
Medical Fat loss / Physician Supervised Weight Loss Practices
The typical range is $2100 to 8700 per month, spend on average spend $4300 per month per location.
Integrative practices – Serving multiple focus areas
The typical range is $1200 to 3210 per month, spend on average spend $2341 per month per location. These type of practices include multiple focused areas, like heart health, general wellness, diabetic patients, mind – brain wellness, pain management, hormonal imbalance and many other areas. These type of practices have to compete with traditional non-integrative practices, so conversion cost per patient is higher than traditional primary care practices.
Sleep clinics and TMJ clinics
The typical range is $500 to 1580 per month, spend on average spend $940 per month per location.
Pain clinics – Chiropractors
The typical range is $1200 to 2200 per month, spend on average spend $1400 per month per location.
Pain clinics – Spine focused – minimally invasive pain management and regenerative medicine
The typical range is $1500 to 3000 per month, spend on average spend $1900 per month per location.
Physical therapy care practices
Physical therapy clinics have expanded into many areas and they offer services overlapping with other practices also. For example here is list of services for physical therapy practice : post-surgery rehabilitation, senior rehabilitation programs, work injury rehabilitation, back stabilization, balance training, functional capacity evaluations, neurological rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, pain management, physical therapy, wellness & weight loss program, vestibular sports medicine, graston technique, fitness program – So this can be quite large. Most clinics like these spend $1200 to $3400 per month, with an average monthly budget of $1900 per month, per location.
Data from 2018 to 2020. Also note that brands spend much more than non-brand focused medical practices, they also have more patients and perceived medical care provided is of higher value to patients, as evidenced by reviews received by the medical practices. The data is here for your guidelines and not guaranteed to generate same or similar results.
4 Components of a Marketing Plan for a Medical Practice
Traditionally, marketing experts tell us that there are 4 key components of your Medical Marketing Plan.
- The Product or Service – This will be service offerings for your medical practice. For example if you an Urgent Care clinic, do you offer service to patients based on 12 major categories. Examples will be Onsite X-ray, DOT Physical exams, Lab-test results, Ports Physicals, Simple Fracture treatment, Travel medicine, Immunizations etc. If you are MedSpa / Esthetic based practice, you may want to define your product/service strategy based on competition and availability of your staff’s credentials. For example if you want to offer “CoolSculpting”, you will need to make an investment in purchasing this technology and then training of your staff.
- The Price of the Service – In many cases, this is driven by the insurance company payouts to you. But there are certain procedures that are not covered by the insurance payments. There are additional strategies available to you here. Each patient can be divided into 3 main categories.
- PPO or Full Insurance – These insurance plans pay fixed amount for each procedure for in-network vs out-of-network procedures.
- Self-Pay Patients – Patient pays directly to the provider – you have leverage to provide better service than your competitors and charge more.
- High-Deductible plans – In this case, as an example, patients typically have to pay initial $4000-$10000 out of their pockets. After ta patient has spent these amounts on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, then the medical insurance plan pays 100% of the costs of covered benefits. Many patients consider that first $4000-$10000 as something that have to “shop” for prices, hence you have an opportunity to apply your own marketing strategy on how to attract these patients to your practice.
- The Place or Location of Service – For most parts, healthcare delivery system in USA and Canada is very local. Telemedicine can change this in the future, but for now patients typically go to a “local” provider. This is evidenced by 2000% plus increase in Google searches for “Urgent care near me” or “Sleep Apnea doctor near me” or hundreds of other variations based on mobile patients searching fro services “near” a patient. So your Place or Location matters.
- The Promotion(marketing) or Advertising of Service – This is one area, where you have true leverage to dominate your medical field. Your medical plan must include the promotion of your service. There are generally 2 main sub-areas for promotion of medical services:
- Offline Promotions – Traditional marketing – includes newspapers, yellow pages, billboards, referrals from peers, networking with other providers and suppliers.
- Online Promotions – This refers to digital marketing and digital advertising to acquire more patients and retain existing patient base.
Healthcare Advertising VS Healthcare Marketing
Many healthcare professionals confuse Healthcare Advertising with Healthcare Marketing.
Advertising is just ONE of the many "things", "programs" or "techniques" launched to achieve a successful Marketing Program. So Medical advertising is one, but very important part of Medical Marketing for a practice. For example if you are a pediatric physician with focus on urgent care for children, and your goal is to acquire more patients, you may want to "market" your practice in 20 mile radius for potential parents of patients who may seek Pediatric Urgent Care. For this effort you would typically have many things to do :
Step 1: Sign for the building
Step 2: Business cards
Step 3: Doctor's bio printed and promoted to local primary care physicians
Step 4: Providing free "meet-and-greet" for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 5: Collaboration with local schools for "low-cost" physicals for school athletes
Step 6: Mail drop in 5 mile radius using USPS mail and flyers for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 7: Networking with other local businesses close to your own location
Step 8: Using social media campaigns
Step 9: Making the lobby of the clinic a pleasing place for parents of potential pediatric patients and for children
Step 10: Referral program to market using existing for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 11: Launching your online strategy to market your practice
Step 12: Offline advertising offline for your healthcare practice
Step 13: Online Advertising for your healthcare practice
Healthcare Advertising Defined
Advertising for doctors can be offline or online. Offline advertising for doctors refers to Billboards, Newspapers, Paper Yellow Pages, Ads in Cinemas, Radio Ads.
Online Advertising for doctors refers to advertising focused on internet based mediums. For example:
- Google search advertsing
- Facebook display ads
- SEO / Search Engine Optimizations
- Website conversion techniques to improve the actual patients generation from your website
- Advertising on Instagram
- Email marketing
- SMS/Text based marketing
- Display advertising
4 Good Examples of Medical SEO for Your Practice
Medical SEO Example 1 : Patient Searching for “invisalign cost toledo ohio”
Medical SEO Example 2 : Patient Searching for “pediatric urgent care orlando”
Medical SEO Example 3 : Patient Searching for “med spa newington nh ”
Medical SEO Example 4 : Patient Searching for “physical exams in easley sc”
Physician Marketing for Medical Practices Can Be
1. Offline Traditional Marketing
2. Internet or Digital Marketing
We highly recommend digital marketing for 99 percent of healthcare practices. Both of these approaches have merits and limitations, costs and ROI (Return On Investment) is not the same. Online advertising is a big part of digital marketing. It can be the most expensive part of your overall online marketing plan. The actual cost of advertising is always extra, with any service. Some clinics/doctors are very aggressive and spend $1000 per day (or more) and some spend $1000 a month on advertising. We also have few clinics/doctors who do not spend any money on advertising. Our data shows that proper advertising produces more patients for 99 percentage of the clinics/doctors.
13 Examples of offline advertising for physicians:
1. Newspapers (see list of top newspapers in USA)
2. Yellow pages (see list of Yellow pages in USA)
3. Billboards : Out-of-home advertising - Out-of-home (OOH) advertising or outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home media or outdoor media, is advertising that reaches the patients while they are outside their homes.3. Referrals from peers and other entities like hospitals.
4. Networking with other physicians - This has been traditional way to expand. For many specialties, this still works. Building a nice referral network of providers who do not compete with you, will always benefit you.
5. Printed flyers - This has worked for physicians since late 1800's. For example for a 5000 print run, 8.5 inch by 11 inch full color both sides, tri-folded on 100 lb gloss paper will cost you approx $492.48. Then delivery cost is extra. For example to mail this to 5000 residents close to your practice will be extra cost. Some techniques used for delivery are direct-mail, packaging inserts, point-of-sale display, leave behinds and sales helpers.
6. Business cards & event marketing - This approach has been very successful for physicians who offer a complex service. For example a medical practice that offers medical weight loss program. The practice may decide to offer a 2 step process. In the step 1, a free seminar is offered and promoted. And in steps 2 the attending patients are "sold" the package. Consider costs below: in this example you print 1000 flyers and distribute them to many places. Design setup $500, printing $172, distribution $500. Total costs $1172.
7. Indirect messaging / co-branding – Using this strategy, some physicians have seen very good results. For example, the manufacturer of CoolSculpting offered you a co-branding campaign. They pay a part of the marketing costs and you pay a part. The end result is that both parties benefit.
8. TV Ads - These ads work. Digital Ads for specific medical procedures are on the rise. However cost can be much higher that other mediums. Ultimately, the ROI from each medium determines the value.
9. Radio Ads - Physicians who use radio advertising to promote services over the radio, typically in 30 or 60 second spots. Radio can be more expensive than some newer advertising methods, but it is a very strong medium, reaching 93% of American adults weekly according to Nielsen data. With an adequate marketing budget, you can use radio to work for your medical practice. Radio advertising costs can range from $2000 to $5,000 per week depending on your location. You will also need to factor in the cost of producing the commercial, including copywriting, voice talent, and audio / visual editing, which is additional cost.
10. Magazines – Marketing and advertising in magazines has been effective to create awareness.
11. Car Wraps – Cost of full wrap is between $2,500 and $5,000. With proper messaging and exposure, compared to other outdoor advertising, your vinyl car wrap pays for itself within the first few months on the road! However this type of marketing is not for every medical practice.
12. Local movie theaters – This has been effective for many providers. However it is difficult to measure the net impact. Local movie theaters marketing costs $1000 to $4,000 per month depending on your location.
13. Mail drops – Still the easiest way to be placed in your local patient’s mail boxes, marketing costs $500 to $1,000 per mail drop per 10,000 residents, depending on your location.
Online marketing for physicians can be further divided into sub areas:
- Search or PPC ( Pay-Per-Click ) Marketing – Google, Yahoo and Bing are very common examples for this type of advertising. Some physicians equate this to Search Advertising. There are hundreds of variations within this category alone.
- SEO - Search Engine Optimization - This refers to techniques and content placed of your website so search engines like Google can find you and rank you higher for specific keywords. Consumers (your patients) use mobile devices and computers to type in phrases like "Medspa Near Me West Palm Beach FL" and search engines display relevant listings. More and more patients are speaking to devices rather than typing text. This is call Speech Based SEO.
- Local SEO Optimization - There are over 200 directories for medical practices. Most of them have no to marginal impact on your practice. The most important business listings are 1. Google Business Page 2. Facebook Business Page 3. Yelp Business Page. 4. Healthgrades and few other healthcare specific directories are also important. As a practice manager, you need to make sure that your listings are accurate and that you are posting on Google Business Page and Facebook Business Page regularly.
- Speech Based SEO – New Emerging Area – As more patients are “speaking” to devices.
- Display Advertising – Interest Based Advertising - there are many variations.
- Video Advertising - Advertising on YouTube for doctors can be effective.
- Social Media Advertising – Interest Based & Demographic Advertising. Can be visual, textual, video based.
- Mobile Advertising - Based on mobile ads and user's location.
- Geo-Targeted / Geo-Fenced Advertising – Used by Apps, Search, Social Media and Location Aware apps, among others.
- Re-Marketing – Based on a User’s Past History, Past Interests and Predicted Behaviour.
- Similar Competitive Interest Based Advertising
Some physicians consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a part of Online Advertising. There are dozens of other variations based on these 6 major types approaches.
6 Pillars of Healthcare Marketing for Physicians.
8 Strategies That Work for Physician Marketing
- Awesome website – must be intelligent and focused on conversion. Intelligence means conversion tracking CRM for your website. 88 percent of the patients looking for medical services will contact you by calling you or simply finding you on a map. Majority of the time it is Google Maps. To read more about Conversion Websites for doctors, please click here.
- Google SEO Optimizations for specific keywords, like “Urgent Care OKC” – in this case a patient is looking for an Urgent Care in Oklahoma City. To read more about SEO for doctors please click here.
- Google Local Optimizations. To read more about LOCAL SEO for doctors please click here.
- Content of the website. To read more about Content Marketing for doctors please click here.
- PPC Advertising (specifically Google PPC). To read more about PPC for doctors please click here.
- Facebook Advertising. To read more about Facebook Advertising for doctors please click here.
- Monthly Email Marketing. To read more about Email Marketing for doctors please click here.
- Patient Reviews Marketing & Reputation Management – Minimize negative reviews, Maximize positive reviews. To read more about Reputation Management for doctors please click here.
3 Key Elements of Facebook Marketing For Physicians
It is easy to be confused by how and when to use Facebook platform for medical marketing. There are 3 key areas for Facebook marketing.
No 1. Facebook Posting
Facebook posting allows you to engage with patients who like your Business Page. We have seen very good results for physicians and medical practices who provide useful information about their services. Facebook Posts are designed for engagement and it takes a significant amount of time and money to develop a healthy following using Facebook Posts for doctors.
No 2. Facebook Apps
Facebook apps appear at the left column of your Facebook Business Page. They allow you to engage with patients who visit your Business Page. In a way, Facebook Business Page is evolving to be a simple website for your medical practice. So each tab or the app can be used to capture leads, book appointments, show your promotions to your patients. We have seen very good results for physicians and medical practices who provide HIPAA compliant apps on Facebook Business Page.
No 3. Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising costs extra, and this is how Facebook as a company makes money. Just like Google advertising, Facebook advertising can be very effective to attract new patients to your practice. We have seen very good results for physicians and medical practices who advertise their services.
PatientGain.com is a certified premier google partner for healthcare.
To learn about Website Strategies and Website Examples for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about How Much Do Doctors Spend On Advertising, please go here.
To learn about Search Engine Optimization for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about Pay Per Click PPC Advertising for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about Content Marketing Strategies for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about GOLD Package Marketing for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.