Are you wondering how to begin building a marketing strategy for your physician practice surgery center or clinic? Here are seven key questions you want to be asking yourself.
- Number one, what are your practice goals? Are you trying to maintain a steady stream of care for your current patients? Are you in growth mode? Are you expanding to a new territory? What’s your overall aim?
- Number two, what specific metrics are you using to measure success today? Are you measuring new patients? Referrals from other clinicians? Visit count? Revenue? Compliance with goals of care? Depending on what you’re actively measuring the goals of your marketing plan can look very different.
- Number three, who are your competitors? You probably know these folks. But if you don’t do a little Googling and find out who else patients are considering while they’re considering you. And if you realize that you haven’t bothered to check out your competitors online in a while, definitely do that before you build out your marketing efforts. What are they focused on? What keywords are they using? What can the things they’re featuring tell you about their goals?
- Number four, who are your patients? You probably have electronic records in your practice, so jump into your system and run a summary report on key demographics. Look at age range and average, the balance of male and female patients, most frequently occurring zip codes, and more. Learn about who you’re serving. Do you want to find more of those types of patients? Are you trying to diversify your patient base or expand it? And sidenote here, keep in mind that the patients you see most frequently may not be representative of your entire patient base. So, taking a look at your system data will help you eliminate any bias in your estimations if you’re feeling inclined to just use your own recollection.
- Number five, what is your value proposition? Patients are coming to you to solve a problem or meet a need. What is it they’re looking for? How can you help them achieve that in a way that outshines your competition? When there are so many care options, what value sets you apart?
- Number six, what messaging do you want to develop? Reflect on what you noted from those first five questions and figure out how to communicate that unique value that sets you aside from competitors, solves your patient’s problems, or meets their needs, AND meets your practice goals.
- Number seven, where do you intend to share it? Finally, think about the channels you want to use to share these messages. Are you leveraging online through your website social media profiles, email newsletters, and more? Are offline activities like direct mail and mobile and in office efforts the place you should focus? Today, an increasing number of patients are moving seamlessly across online and offline environments. Your plan truly should have components of both. Patients are becoming more digitally savvy, but so are your competitors, so make a conscious effort to focus your efforts in the places you know you can impact patients. And don’t worry about chasing every new technology and spreading yourself too thin. You don’t need to be everywhere. You just need to be right there in the place your population is looking.