What is a practice marketing plan?
What Is Medical Practice Marketing?
Medical Practice Marketing is not simply a list of marketing or advertising ideas from which you randomly select different concepts to test or combine for trial-and-error experimentation. That is just random, mud-on-the-wall marketing activity – which is almost always a high-risk prescription for disappointment, frustration and failure.
Practice Marketing is a strategy that is designed to facilitate the achievement of specific business goals and objectives over a specific time period. It is not simply scheduling an occasional patient screening or patient event; it is an overall strategy that encompasses in-bound marketing, advertising, physician referrals, patient referrals, and patient events.
You must advertise as part of a successful marketing program. Never look at advertising as an expense. Advertising is an investment for which you will receive a return in the form of new patients and additional revenue to your practice.
Here are the primary components of an effective practice marketing plan:
- Development and revision of marketing materials
- Website evaluation, design, and maintenance
- Search Engine Optimization-designed to maximize your web presence
- Referral Physician Marketing
- Out-Bound Marketing; advertising, etc.
- In-Bound Marketing Strategies, including but not limited to:
- Practice Marketing Blog
- Practice Marketing email newsletter
- Social networking, i.e.; Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Effective, monitored tracking systems
Benefits of a Practice Marketing Plan
An effective practice marketing plan allows you to anticipate and to prepare; to create a map to follow that allows you to grow your business and improve your chances for success.
Target Marketing – Establishing Target Customers
Your development plan and your marketing budget will be most effective when they reach your selected target market. The benefit of target marketing is simple; efficiency. Solid target marketing is a method to more efficiently reach your target patient. Target marketing is a better use of your resources.
Focus on Benefits
This is critical to effective target marketing. How will your patients benefit from visiting your office?
What tangible or intangible benefits might patients realize, and is it possible to quantify these benefits? What is your customer (patient) really buying? This much is certain: No one wants to buy surgery! People purchase services and products (including healthcare services) to realize one or more of the following life-improvement benefits:
- Relief from Pain
- Enhanced Appearance
- Increased Productivity
- Peace of Mind
Basically, we all sell the same product – an improved quality of life. At least, that is what your patient wants to buy!