You might think of healthcare marketing in the form of TV ads for prescription drugs or medical equipment. More than likely the hospital a doctor is affiliated with has a strong marketing presence utilizing a website, social media, print and radio ads or direct mailers.
A marketing specialist will allow you to focus on your job – treating patients. Healthcare marketing professionals are trained to develop campaigns, messaging, and creative tactics that will bring tangible results to your practice.
Leave it to the experts
There’s no better sales tactic than quality care and customer service. Patients interact with each department in your clinic, allowing each employee the opportunity to make a positive or negative impact on the patient experience. When there’s a need to “get the word out” about a new service offered or provider at your practice, a physician generally doesn’t have the time or expertise to effectively engage in marketing.
Maybe you want to set up an interview with the local newspaper, display a billboard educating the public on mammograms, or make updates to your website. Your time is valuable as a physician, and a marketing professional is an expert at creatively executing the right strategies and tactics. Simply put, don’t burn out because you are trying to be a physician and a marketer.
Analyze and chart the sales course
A marketing professional can help you deep dive into complex business development challenges and implement solutions to keep your practice afloat and profitable. Have you seen a dip since a new practice opened in town? Are consumers going elsewhere based on online reviews they’ve seen of your practice? You need to determine what number of patients and “sales” will guarantee that your practice has enough income to pay overhead costs, then set a goal for profit.
Patients are talking about you online
Consumer-driven review websites like Yelp and Google Reviews are influential to consumers when looking for everything from a new hair salon to a doctor’s office. Why ask one or two friends for a recommendation when you can have instant access to dozens of reviews to get a variety of perspectives to help make your decision?
Your office’s marketing department can analyze these reviews daily and help you understand a common theme of either good or poor service. It’s important to know what your consumers are saying about your office to help decide if a change is needed to improve patient quality and happiness.
Seamlessly build relationships with referring providers
If you’re a specialist, you are communicating in some form frequently with your patients’ primary care providers. But when your business relies on referrals it’s important to maintain positive relationships with the providers sending patients to you. Your marketing department is responsible for visiting a doctor’s office to answer any questions about the referral process and to build on a positive relationship.
Doctors understand the value of marketing but they don’t have the time to put together a creative campaign or visit each of their referring providers’ offices. Doctors should allow themselves the opportunity to focus on medicine and treating patients and let the experts help with your marketing needs.