Should You Outsource your medical marketing and to Whom?
Two common questions asked in every hospital and medical practice now are:
- “Should I outsource my health marketing
- “How do I find the outsourcing company that suits my practice best?”
By this time, most healthcare facilities and doctor’s offices recognize that aspects of marketing play a key role in helping to grow the practice and stand out among the competition.
Many physicians have tried to keep up with marketing, whether it is through social media, blogs, or newsletters only to find that it takes up too much time with the normal medical responsibilities and family life. They recognize that they’re unfamiliar with the marketing technology and like the practice of medicine, marketers need training and experience.
Employees or staff members have tried to fill the gap but this takes time away from their office duties (and they may be starting to complain about burning out or being overworked).
Yet, for damage control, you want to be on top of social comments and respond to them in a timely fashion. For prospective patients reaching out, you need to reply within a short time. Patients want to engage with you and do not want to be ignored.
You may want to consider keeping certain aspects of your marketing while outsourcing others. Especially when it seems that every day a new marketing technique or social media channel is springing up, it is hard to learn about them.
7 Questions to Ask in Deciding Who to Hire for Outsourcing
When vetting companies that perform outsourcing services, consider the responses to these key question
1. How do they look?
Check out the company website. Look at the following traits:
- Do you find the website design and graphics pleasing?
- Is the site functional?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is it user friendly?
- Is the content of high quality and without grammar or spelling errors?
- Does it have a call-to-action?
- Is it compatible with mobile devices?
- Are the videos professional or amateur in appearance?
- Do the links work?
2. What do their clients say?
Of course having testimonials speaks well for the company. You want to hear how detail-oriented, easy to work with and outstanding the business is by an independent outside source rather than hear them tout it themselves. Take it a step further. Ask the company to supply a current and former client list of people that you can talk with. The outsourcer should not be adverse to this request.
3. Is the company forthright and transparent about subcontracting?
Many companies subcontract out parts of projects instead of relying solely on in-house staff. This ensures that the work meets the deadline in time crunches and that tasks requiring specific skills are done effectively.
The thing is, it is important to know how much of your project is being subcontracted out and which parts a third party is doing. If an unknown source is performing all your work, it is bound to cost more and may be inconsistent, often not being written in your voice or tone.
If the company is resistant to providing this information, it is best to avoid hiring them in the first place.
4. Is the company up-to-date on all the latest marketing trends?
Does the company you are analyzing offer newer marketing options like podcasts, Instagram, infographics and the latest social media channels that your patients may be on or are they offering only old techniques?
5. Does the company show how effective their marketing is?
Of course, since you are investing in marketing, you want to know whether there is a significant ROI (return on investment). Are the marketing techniques working and which ones work more effectively?
There are analytical tools that demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing and the company should be able to show them to you.
6. Is the company accustomed to working with the health niche and your type of practice?
Marketing for business-to business brands is different than business-to-consumer brands and health professionals-to-patients is different again when it comes to the tone and what works best. Is the company experienced at working with physicians and medical practices? You don’t want someone who doesn’t understand the nomenclature and typical practices within the community.
7. How acquainted is the company with your practice?
Assess how well the company knows about your practice when agents promote their services, looking to acquire you as a client. Do they know your:
- Mission statement?
- Current content?
- Type of people you care for?
- Age of patients you attend?
- Products you offer?
- Services you provide?
- Any hospital affiliations?
- Any published press releases?
- Staff and each one’s role?
Any company looking to be hired by you should be diligent in researching your practice. They should be well acquainted with both you and your brand.
Making a proper assessment on any companies you are considering as a marketing associate means the difference between successful outsourcing and making a costly mistake.
If you are still in a quandary as to what will serve you best, reach out for a free consultation and we can discuss your needs at: Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com