As 2016 approaches, many practices are in the process of reviewing their 2015 marketing efforts and ROI and using them to create a strategy for 2016. As the patient acquisition paradigm continues to shift, practices must eliminate antiquated ideas and perceptions in order to remain viable.
Below are 3 of the most common myths and misrepresentations practices need to eliminate in 2016 in order to have a successful practice marketing plan.
1. Your Marketing Needs to be Done In-House
This is probably one of the most common myths in the world of medical marketing. The perception is that the marketing person or team should be completely in-house or they will not be effective. Each time I am confronted with this myth my response is always the same- “Why?”
Having your marketing efforts performed by a specialized agency can have many distinct benefits and most successful healthcare organizations have come around to this type of thinking. The benefits are too many to name, but below are two of the most important to consider:
To have a truly effective medical marketing strategy, your marketing person must be experienced in website management, content creation, SEO, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media Marketing, graphic design, creative advertising, branding, reputation management, public relations and dozens of other skills. In the best case scenario, an in-house person will be familiar with a few of these skills. This means that you may need to expand your team to 2-3 people to cover all the skills needed to market your practice. Which leads into the next benefit…
With a team of 2-3 experienced medical marketing professionals working in-house, your yearly salaries can be upward of six figures- and this is before your practice determines its yearly marketing spend. In most cases, an experienced medical marketing agency will cost a fraction of this amount and be comprised of a team of specialists with all of the expertise needed to develop and execute effective marketing strategies for your practice.
2. There is Magic Number for Your Budget
Whenever we are talking with a potential client, one of their first questions is always, “What should our budget be?” Realistically, there is no true answer to that question. When it comes to marketing your practice, you get out what you put in. Tiny budgets make for tiny returns. Bigger budgets can make for bigger returns (or a big waste of money if not utilized properly).
A multitude of factors need to be considered when determining a marketing budget including, competitor analysis, ROI of previous marketing efforts, budgets for previous years as well as the goals of the practice. Our suggestion is to always start in the middle with a feasible and realistic budget and increase the budget as your ROI grows and your practice begins to see which efforts are the most effective and those that are not.
What you should keep in mind is that marketing your practice is an investment and that investment will pay off when your practice is seeing more new patients. The best way to maximize this investment is working with a team that understands both your practice and the demographics of you practice location.
3. Any Marketing is Good Marketing
As 2016 rolls in, many practices will still continue to utilize outdated and ineffective marketing strategies out of either force of habit or because they still believe these tactics work. Specifically, efforts such as newspaper ads, billboards, sending practice reps to potential referring doctors and improper utilization of social media cost your practice money and generate extremely low ROI.
What practices should understand is that the modern patient is relying on the internet and social media to find a physician more than ever before. In fact, 72% of patients find a specialist online.
Print ads and billboards and similar efforts remove the most important aspect of medical practice marketing from the equation- demographic targeting, and instead utilize a shotgun approach in the hopes that the right patient will see the right newspaper ad at the right time. Embracing this digital shift and adapting your marketing strategies to capture these patients is what will allow your practice to continue to thrive in 2016 and beyond.
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.
We specialize in Medical Marketing and Public Relations for Spine, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Multi-Specialty Practices, Urgent Care Centers and many other types of practices. 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 to set up an evaluation.