Medical Practice Marketing Strategy for Physicians
As a physician, your medical practice is your identity – and it is the only branding opportunity you have with your patients. Like it or not, they associate your face with your practice and will make treatment decisions and recommendations accordingly. Having accepted that, how do you develop a medical practice marketing strategy as a physician?
The first decision you must make is what niche you want to occupy within your specialty. If you’re a dermatologist, do you want to be seen as the life-saver who identifies and treats skin cancer or as the Botox specialist for the masses? If you’re a cardiologist, are you the preventative-maintenance authority who advocates lifestyle changes or the brilliant diagnostician who recommends all the right medical tests? There is no right or wrong answer here, and every niche has value – but you need to decide how you want to brand yourself and ultimately, your practice. A scattered marketing strategy will be ineffective because potential patients won’t be able to figure out what you have to offer them.
Once you know who you want to be as a physician and thus, how you want patients to perceive your medical practice, the objectives fall into place. If you’re the Botox specialist, you’ll be running ads in the weekly advertisements that your potential patients get in their mailboxes, pushing a newsletter with monthly specials to subscribers, and encouraging patients to refer their friends with appropriate incentives. If you’re the lifestyle-focused cardiologist, you’ll seek referrals from physicians whose cardiology patients are averse to medications and surgery, optimizing your website with heart-healthy articles and recipes, and…..encouraging patients to refer their friends with appropriate incentives. Patient referrals are an important part of any medical practice marketing strategy, no matter what your specialty and niche, because they are free and carry tremendous credibility.
Patient referrals are one of the best ways you can market your practice, and they don’t just come from the direct word-of-mouth we’re used to in a traditional sense. You can use social media, specifically Facebook, to generate excellent referrals. When a patient Likes your page and then comments on your article or posts on your wall, i.e. “Dr. Jones is a genius!” other patients will feel much more confident about approaching you for treatment. So no matter what your specialty and no matter how you’re branding your medical practice, start a Facebook page as a local business and post to it regularly.
Newsletters, articles (posted to the blog on your website), and coupons are other great ways to market your medical practice; simply consider the message you want to send before you start. If you’re marketing to a demographic that is relatively low on the socioeconomic scale, everything about your campaign, including text and images, should target that group. If you’re marketing to a more upscale audience, you’ll need to consider that they could be turned off or feel alienated by a message targeted to a more general audience, and vice versa. As a physician, it is worthwhile to sit down and think about the marketing messages you want to send as you develop your overall marketing strategy.
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Tuesday, 01 November 2011
posted by Chris Carraway, DC, DIBCN, CLS
Excellent posting, I have worked to brand my self from day one in my office. I like to think of the KFC saying. "We do chicken right." There is no mistaking what they mean and what the message is. No burgers, no fish sandwiches, no salads...WE do chicken RIGHT! Simple staight forward and clear.
I started by branding myself as using a particular chiropractic technique exclusively. Activator Methods Chirpractic Technique. I would tell patients if they wanted something different I would gladly refer them somewhere else. The appreciated my passion for my practice. That doctor is serious about what he does, they would say.
After ten years of practice I went back to school to persue a neurology degree. This helped me brand my practice in another specialty and stand out from the rest.
Some years later Laser Therapy caught my attention as being a up and coming field and I began to brand myself as the laser doctor in the area. Business is good and continues to get better.
Keeping sharp and clean, knowing what you do and||||| ||h||a||v||i||n||g|| ||a passion for it will speak volumes. Just like the Botox specialist example that Bonnies uses in this article. Pick something that you know and be the best at it. It does not have to be a complicated procedure or a life saving one. Just a marketable one.
Be consistent and be excellent at what you do. Patients will pick up on this vib. Bonnie give some sound advice.
Chris Carraway, DC, DIBCN, CLS
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