If you are one of the rare practices that has more patients than you need, you can stop right now. This article is not for you.
But if you are like 99% of the practices out there, then marketing is a requirement – sometimes referred to as a necessary evil.
What is “marketing”?
Let’s break down “marketing”. What are you really trying to do?
- make your specialty known to the world
- convince the world that you do your specialty better than anyone else
Well, maybe not the world, but your world. Your world consists of the potential patients that would benefit from your service. You want to make sure that all of your potential customers are aware of your service.
Let’s talk more about your service.
What is your specialty? Sometimes this is hard to define. Decide on what you are really good at. What set’s you apart from your competition? Often times, people dilute their specialty by stating, “We can do everything for anyone”. Although this may be true, it actually hurts your ability to get exponential recognition for your specialty. It dilutes your message and makes you appear as a “me too” – yet another practice that does the exact same thing as your competition.
Traditional marketing is costly and time consuming
Traditionally, this endeavor has been a very costly and/or time consuming feat. And, not your core competency!
- Radio and TV ads are extremely costly – and with the reduced viewership are proving to be very ineffective.
- Billboards are also expensive and most often ignored.
- Newspaper and ads in the yellow pages are costly and becoming less effective as well.
- Even paid ads on the internet cost money.
The best form of traditional marketing for many specialists has been to make personal introductions to local primary care physicians. Making that personal connection with a potential referring physician can lead to a high degree of referrals.
However, this is extremely time consuming! It could take you anywhere from 1-3 hours to meet and discuss your specialty with one physician!
Gain visibility with your world more efficiently
Now, however, we can leverage technology to dramatically reduce the cost and time required.
One important point here, is that you don’t want to 100% suspend all traditional marketing approaches. This is not an overnight flick of the switch. This is a transition that evolves with reduced traditional marketing and increased digital marketing. Being able to effectively measure the marketing results along the way is critical in determining how and how quickly this transition occurs.
What do we mean by using technology to market? Or, digital marketing?
Ultimately, you want to set up a ‘marketing machine’. Note, this is not a “spam” machine. A true marketing machine will periodically distribute valuable information to the appropriate audience at the appropriate time – with little time and dollar investment from you.
Let’s talk about what is required of you.
Your primary job is to develop or write valuable information. This should be easy as it needs to align with your specialty. Take some of that vast knowledge in your head related to your specialty and put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.
Yes, you are the writer. Take 1-2 hours per week to write a few short articles. And, periodically monitor and respond to appropriate questions that are posted on various communities. These communities could be your website, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or other physician specific sites like Doximity. Determining which communities to follow will depend on your intended audience and your marketing strategy.
Hence, for 2-4 hours per week, you are feeding the marketing machine.
So, what does the technology do with your valuable information?
- It makes it available on your website to people that have subscribed to your information.
- It makes it available to people that are doing a Google search.
- It makes it available on other technology platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Doximity, etc. for everyone that is “following” you.
- And, lastly, it provides the information in a format that is very easy for people to FORWARD to their friends.
The beauty of digital marketing is that you can touch 1000’s of people with 2-4 hours of effort per week. And, you are not touching them with ‘spammy’ advertising, you are providing them with valuable information.
So, the goal is to allow you to get back to doing what you love to do and to do what you do well – care for patients.
Let technology take care of marketing.
We hope that you have derived value from this article. Please browse our site for related topics and information on how to use technology to automate marketing.