Whenever I speak to a physician who is interested in marketing their practice, I am interested in hearing their perception of Medical Marketing as well as their preconceptions. Below are 3 of the most common notions I hear that are ultimately false.
1. Medical Marketing Does Not Work. We Already Tried.
Has a patient ever walked into your office and told you that he/she underwent a rotator cuff surgery with another orthopedic surgeon but is still having pain? I am sure it has. This does not mean that all rotator cuff surgery is ineffective, but rather that the surgery could have been performed better. The procedure is only as effective as the skills of the surgeon. The same is true for Medical Marketing.
Too often, “marketing companies” promise physicians the world but cannot deliver, leaving the physician with a negative impression of marketing. In most cases, this is a result of the “marketing company” have little to no experience in the specific field of healthcare. Applying general marketing plans to medical practices almost always fails because there are unique strategies within medical marketing.
Marketing a medical practice requires understanding the demographic and psychographic factors that go into medical decision making as well as what attracts patients to a particular physician. To understand this process, the company responsible for marketing your practice must have a deep knowledge of both healthcare and the principles of marketing.
Simply having a website does not mean patients are finding it or that it is generating the right patients. Advertising in magazines does not mean you are advertising properly to attract the specific demographics a practice is looking for. Having a Facebook page does not mean people are interacting with it.
2. Public Relations and Media Exposure Is Expensive
Over the past year, several of my clients have been approached by “production teams” or “producers” for national news outlets (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.). These companies tell the physician that they are interested in filming a 4-5 minute feature on the physician for national broadcast. Understandably, the physician is very excited at the prospect of being featured on national TV.
However, this “opportunity” is not real and should be avoided at all costs. In reality, these “companies” are scam artists who prey on physicians and charge anywhere fro $15,000 – $30,000 for this “opportunity”. These companies have no affiliation or relationship with the networks they claim to be representing, but rather bought a small block of airtime and are charging physicians 4-5 times what the airtime costs to be featured on nothing more than a medical infomercial. Usually, these companies purchase network airtime on a Saturday or Sunday morning when it is cheapest and create a 30 minute segment featuring anyone who was willing to pay the exorbitant cost for this “opportunity”. Also, aside from the ridiculous costs, the viewership for these shows is shockingly low as the networks do not advertise, sponsor or promote these segments.
Real Public Relations and Media Exposure is a product of having a great story and having the ability to properly pitch it to the right media outlet. Our clients have been featured everywhere from local news shows to nationally syndicated talk shows without ever paying a dime to a producer or news network. You cannot buy your way onto the news- so do not be fooled by anyone who tells you otherwise.
3. We Do Not Need to Market to Patients. We Get Our Referrals from Other Doctors
Although referrals have historically been the way most specialists generate cases, this paradigm is changing everyday. As larger hospital and health systems begin to absorb smaller primary care and general practices, the referral relationship changes substantially. Once these practices become part of a larger system the referrals they generate stay contained into that hospital system.
For instance, if the majority of your patients come from referrals from 10 different physicians, what happens if 3 of them join a large health system? That is 30% of your patient volume gone overnight. How will your practice supplement that loss?
Having a Direct to Patient Marketing strategy is imperative as the trend toward online medical and physician research has continued to proliferate. If your practice is not utilizing Medical Marketing and Public Relations services you are missing out on the largest resource for new patients.
Gold Medical Marketing prides itself on our ability to generate patients for our clients using the most effective Medical Marketing and Public Relations strategies. Our experience, knowledge and understanding of patient behavior makes us the most successful Medical Marketing and Public Relations company. To see samples of our work, click here.
We specialize in Medical Marketing and Public Relations for Spine, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Multi-Specialty Practices and ASC’s. Our clients have seen their practices grow using a variety of Medical Marketing and Public Relations strategies. Unlike other companies, we are exclusively in the medical field and do not make the mistake of marketing your practice like a retail product.
Gold Medical Marketing offers NO COST MARKETING EVALUATIONS, wherein we will objectively evaluate your current marketing efforts. The goal of this is to highlight areas in need of improvement as well as areas where money is being spent foolishly.
Contact us today to set up an evaluation.