The most successful business owners will all tell you one thing – marketing is all about intuition and anticipation. And without a doubt, your medical practice is a business, albeit one with a significant ethical component. The biggest indicators of success are a busy practice with a packed schedule, motivated employees, streamlined business processes, and hundreds of happy patients. The trick is to market your practice like a business without compromising on ethics or patient wellbeing. Here are some mantras for medical practices that can spin some marketing magic:
- Social Media Marketing: Social media enables small businesses to reach more customers without a huge investment of time or money. It’s a good idea to pick only one to three platforms and not spread yourself too thin. A quick analysis of your patient demographics will tell you where you should be focusing your attention. A strong social media marketing plan can showcase your services and your team. This is one of the most inexpensive ways for a medical practice or physician to engage with current and potential patients. You can share your views about medicine in the news, and people can read compliments from other patients. If implemented correctly, a good social media strategy can result in measurable success for your practice.
- Effective Communication: It’s important to stay in touch with patients once they walk out of your door. Getting people to sign up for a weekly or monthly e-mail newsletter is one way of regular communication. You can discuss your views on current medical matters or the diagnosis and treatment of common conditions. It can be very comforting for patients to know that their physician is up-to-date on the latest news in the world of medicine. By providing quality information from an authority source, you project your practice as one which puts the patient’s wellbeing first.
- Community Events: In addition to new-age strategies like social media, good old-fashioned engagement with the community is still a great marketing policy. Getting out and meeting people is an inexpensive way to make it onto the local radio show or television news program. By volunteering your time and offering your expertise at community events, you are potentially saving thousands of dollars in advertising expense. The upside is that people will look upon you as considerate and knowledgeable rather than commercial.
- Feedback Management: By putting yourself on social media and in the community, you are inviting feedback from potentially unsatisfied patients. You shouldn’t be afraid to seek feedback. Ask patients how you can make their experience at your practice better. By asking specific questions about your practice, you’re gaining an insight into the patient’s experience and identifying problem areas that need your attention. Feedback management is a great strategy to make improvements. Patients could be offered a short quarterly or annual survey to complete, perhaps with an incentive to participate. You can be sure that your patients will notice when their comments and suggestions are implemented. Feedback is a great way to improve your services and keep patients happy.
- Image Projection: Offering free advice on social media, being present personally at community events, and writing helpful newsletters are all examples of activities that project your practice as generous and caring. Commercial advertising by physicians can easily come across as unethical or overly aggressive to patients. By engaging with patients in your community on these different platforms, you not only save time and money, but also establish a reputation for being approachable, sociable, active, and generous, all of which are qualities that will attract patients like magic.