How do you secure more patients and drive past patients back to you? Are you relying solely on referrals from insurance companies? These are the same insurance companies that list dozens of other physicians specializing in the same field as you. Why should patients come to you instead of them? Simple- it’s due to the marketing system that you have in place.
To grow any type of business which includes a medical or dental practice, you need a marketing plan. Otherwise you are just floundering and hoping that everything turns out okay.
The right marketing plan identifies:
- Your ideal patients
- How to reach them
- How to retain your current patients
Marketing Plan Roadmap
Here are 7 key sectors to include in a stellar medical marketing plan.
1: Executive Summary
This sector recaps each of the other areas of your marketing plan. It provides an overview of your practice, services and any products you may offer. Completing it last (although it is first for the reader) will give you a sense of the completed plan.
2: Potential Patients
This sector describes the patients you are targeting. (Those that you care for in your practice). It defines their demographic profile (e.g., age, gender), location and their precise needs as related to services you offer.
Being able to clearly identify your target customers will help you both pinpoint your advertising and better “speak the language” of prospective customers. For instance, if you are a general practitioner or pediatrician specializing in teens/adolescents, you need to know what interests the Generation Z. What is their lingo? Where do they hang out? This will be discussed in detail at a later post.
3: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is of critical importance as it distinguishes your practice from competitors. Do you have procedures that others don’t have? Do you have a portal and Telehealth services available for patients to consult with you from home? Whatever you do differently from your colleagues should be highlighted. Don’t leave it for patients to find out and take it for granted that they know…because they don’t!
The hallmark of several great companies is their USP. For example, FedEx’s USP of “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” is well-known and resonates strongly with customers who desire reliability and quick delivery. The USP for Maxwell House Coffee is “Good to the Last Drop”. That hasn’t been publicized for decades but you recognized it and filled in the words.
4: Marketing Materials
Your marketing materials are the collateral you use to promote your practice to current and prospective patients. They include your website, print brochures, business cards, articles, case studies and press releases.
Identify which marketing materials you have completed and which you need created or re-done in this section of your plan.
5: Online Marketing Strategy
Like it or not, most patients go online these days to find out about physicians and the reviews that other patients have given before making an appointment. So having the right online marketing strategy can help you secure new patients and gain competitive advantage.
The four key components to your online marketing strategy are as follows:
- Keyword Strategy: identify what keywords you would like to optimize your website for. (what words do viewers put into searches to find you and your practice?)
- Search Engine Optimization Strategy: document updates you will make to your website so it shows up more prominently for your top keywords.
- Paid Online Advertising Strategy: list the online advertising programs will you use to reach target patients.
- Social Media Strategy: document how you will use social media websites to attract patients.
6. Referral Strategy
A strong patient referral program could ramp up your success. For example, if every one of your patients referred one new friend or family member, your client base would constantly grow. This will not happen without a strategy.
7: Retention and Promotions Strategy
It costs less money, time and energy trying to attract new patients versus getting existing patients in your practice. Try using a monthly newsletter or loyalty program, for patient retention which also keeps you in their minds so that when an appointment is necessary, it is with you that they schedule one.
Promotions is one of the most crucial sections of your marketing plan and details how you will reach new patients. Some promotional tactics include press releases, talks at the local library, volunteering at schools or health fairs and online, article publishing and online marketing.
In this section of your marketing plan, consider each of these alternatives and decide which ones will work most effectively to reach your target patient.
Still have questions?
Contact Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com for a free 20 minute consultation and we can discuss your needs and how to get you started.