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Physician Marketing Plan and Tips

Physician Marketing Plan and Tips

It may be tempting to take a marketing plan from a colleague and search for something online, blow the dust off, and apply it. Not a good idea. 

If you are a physician who owns their practice, there are many more things for you to worry about than the ailments or needs of your patients. You have a business to run, and as such, you need to market it. Marketing today is an ever-changing concept of techniques that will help promote your business. Gone are the days where you can put out a sign that says, “The Doctor Is In.” While you may still have something like that for your office decor, a more thought out and organized marketing plan is needed if you want to grow your business.

Don’t Cut and Paste From The Past.

It may be tempting to take a marketing plan from a colleague and search for something online, blow the dust off, and apply it. While these past marketing plans shouldn’t be discounted for their usefulness, simply plugging them into your business to a build patient count will not usually work. While you can look at these plans for ideas to help you create your plan, it’s best to start fresh. Why?

The competition may be different.

An old marketing plan makes assumptions about what the competition is in an area. For a plan to be effective, this needs to be up to date. An old marketing plan will not have the latest updates on who your competition is going to be. Likely, this marketing plan is from another part of the country and could not be a good fit for the area where you operate.

The industry may have changed.

All medical fields change over time, but some have changed drastically in the last few years. An older marketing plan may not reflect these changes. Merely using it without modifying it may have you pushing services that are no longer popular and under promoting ones that have gained new traction in a community. The way healthcare is marketed also has changed over the years. An older marketing plan may have things that are no longer allowed or makes assumptions about tactics that are now permissible.  

The patients may have changed.

As years go on, patients become more informed as they become savvier with technology. Compared to even a few years ago, patients have incredible access to information, and more are willing to put time and research into their healthcare decisions. Older marketing plans may make assumptions about how educated patients are on a healthcare topic.

Customizing your marketing plan for your current situation and community will help you grow your business and achieve your goals. Individualization of these plans is the best use of your resources and reduces the chances of it being a failure.

What makes for a successful marketing plan for physicians?

One marketing plan for a physician that meets and exceeds goals may be a total failure for another. No two marketing plans are ever alike. However, effective ones often share some similar characteristics.

Realistic budget

“You’ve got to spend money, to make money” is true, but there is a point where you start to get less return on your money. On the other side of this topic, if you underfund your marketing plan, you will always miss your goals. Make wise investments in your marketing plan to achieve the “Sweet Spot” of spending to make the most of your budget. 

Set specific and achievable goals

A marketing plan needs to have goals and objectives. Otherwise, it just isn’t a marketing plan. These objectives and goals are benchmarks to determine if your marketing plan is working. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. With these metrics in mind, you should be able to put together goals and objectives that can be used to measure the success of your marketing plan.

Include a SWOT analysis

What is SWOT? It isn’t a new type of flyswatter. SWOT is a concept in marketing and stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Using this analysis will help you work out any kinks in your marketing plan.

Knowing your target audience

Your marketing plan needs to identify who in the community requires the services your medical practice is providing. Identify the problems that you can provide solutions to and use that as a guide for your marketing plan.

Know your competition

Unless you operate in a remote part of the world, you probably have some competition in your community. You are probably are aware of some rivals, but there are probably others you do not realize who else is competing for your patients. You must research your competition, so you know what they are up to and see how they are countering your marketing. You need to understand what your competitors are doing online to market their practices. How are they trying to stand out, and how can you stand out? You should also see what traditional forms of marketing they are using in newspapers and other print ads.

Consider your branding 

Unless you specialize in a specific area of healthcare, you are going to have competitors. It’s essential to make sure you can distinct your medical practice from others. Your brand must stand out, be unique, and compelling. Once you establish your brand, be consistent, and maintain it. Research your competitors to ensure you don’t accidentally make branding decisions that are similar to other medical practices.

Review your marketing tactics

There are a variety of marketing tactics you should consider to promote your medical practice:

1. Referral Marketing – Leverage your professional network and your happy patients to create a steady stream of new patients to your medical practice. 

2. Online Marketing – The vast majority of your patients are going to search for their healthcare choice online. Effective online marketing will help you reach your target audience.

3. Branding – Making effective branding choices will help your brand stand out against competitors and enhance your other marketing efforts.

4. Patient Marketing – Your most effective advocates are your happy patients! Leveraging patient reviews to promote your medical practice can be very useful. 

5. Community Outreach – Participating in community events and sponsoring them can reach people who may be unaware of your medical practice. While you do not have to be involved with every single event, pick the best ones to reach your target audience. 

Tracking Your Marketing Efforts – Ensure your marketing plan is effective by monitoring the results. Tracking can include using special phone numbers for individual campaigns, referral codes used by patients, or even looking at referral sources in your analytics. If you do not track the results of your marketing plan, it is impossible to evaluate it to determine which marketing efforts are producing results later. 

Creating a marketing plan needs to find a happy medium from starting from scratch and reusing one that has already been implemented. There are certainly lessons to be learned, but you should into account what your current situation is in terms of competition and community. The more you individualize a plan is for your area, the more successful you will be.

Anatomy Of Good Medical Marketing 

Eight Steps For Achieving Great ROI Results for Doctors

The term “SEO” can have different meaning to different professionals, but we will assume that you are a doctor, physician, dentist, surgeon or an administrator of a practice.  We have seen that these professionals mean high search rankings, and simply want to acquire more patients using “SEO”.  So based on this, we will define SEO beyond the Search Engine Optimization strategies. To our audience, doctors and practice managers they mean Good Medical Marketing and its composition.

Step 1 : Website Overall Strategy – Including the Website and Facebook business page

Step 2 : Website Content Marketing

Step 3 : Local SEO & Organic Strategy

Step 4 : Social Media Marketing

Step 5 : Online Advertising Plan

Step 6 : Online Reviews Management & Marketing

Step 7 : Email Marketing & Email Automation

Step 8 : Conversion Automation 

These 8 steps are the core anatomy of a typical Healthcare practice’s medical marketing plan.

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:

  1. Google search advertising
  2. Facebook display ads
  3. SEO / Search Engine Optimizations
  4. Website conversion techniques to improve the actual patients generation from your website
  5. Advertising on Instagram 
  6. Email marketing
  7. SMS/Text based marketing
  8. Display advertising 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.