Posted By on Nov 3, 2015 | 0 comments

Think You Know What Goes Into Your Patient Marketing? You Might Be Wrong.


Three Key Takeaways:

  • Think beyond ads, flyers and social media when you think about marketing
  • The experience a patient receives interacting with your clinic can lead to the best marketing of all
  • Don’t just imagine a great patient experience in your clinic.  Ask yourself critical questions everyday about the experience you are delivering to ensure your patients actually experience what you imagine they are.

Think You Know What Goes Into Your Patient Marketing? You Might Be Wrong.

Have you ever sat down and thought about how you’d define the word marketing if you had to? What activities would be included and what wouldn’t?

If you haven’t, don’t worry – you’re certainly not alone. But it can be a worthwhile exercise because most people would define patient marketing as something around placing print ads, running special promotional pricing, producing radio or TV ads, or other traditional “get the word out” tactics aimed at getting people in the door.

The problem is, that definition isn’t nearly broad enough for most businesses. Because when you think about it, patient marketing, especially at clinics like yours where the goal is to build an experience, is about way more than simply getting people in the door. And when you understand that, you realize there’s actually not a line where your marketing ends and everything else begins – rather, your marketing runs through your entire clinic and is nurtured during every stage of the patient journey.

So given the fact that marketing touches everything at your clinic, how should you approach your marketing strategy?

To answer that question let’s start with the 4 P’s that define the pillars of traditional marketing strategy: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

Of those 4 pillars, only one – Promotion – is directly related to that common definition of marketing as getting people in the door.

But the other 3? They’re all experienced in one way or another during the patient journey, and often after patients have come to your clinic for the first time. They’re about the spa-like atmosphere in your lobby (Place), the technology you offer in your surgical suites (Product), the way a patient interacts with your billing office (Price) and everything in between.

That means that when you want to make decisions about how to market, you should be thinking beyond radio ads and flyers. Instead start by thinking about how your patients feel while they move through your clinic. Maybe you’ll find that the coffee’s cold in the afternoon, that they’d prefer to communicate with you over email when you’ve only been calling them, or that you only accept payment in person when most patients would prefer to pay online.

If you want to challenge yourself, take it a step further by running through the questions below with your team. Answer them honestly through the eyes of someone engaging with your clinic for the first time. Whatever the answers, if the experience you’re imagining doesn’t line up with your expectations, prioritize your marketing efforts towards correcting the inconsistencies. Only once you’ve fixed those and the experience is as you want it to be should you focus solely on external marketing.

Questions to ask about the patient experience, from a patient’s perspective:

  1.     Would I come back to this clinic? Do I trust everyone I came into contact with?
  2.     Would I send my mother/spouse/child here?
  3.     Would I recommend this clinic to a friend? Be proud of my choice of this clinic, want to show it off,  if a friend or family member were to accompany me here?
  4.     Does the clinic communicate with me using technology I use regularly?
  5.     Do I feel heard by everyone at this clinic? Do I feel safe here? Do I feel genuinely cared for?
  6.     Do I know someone is going to follow up with me to make sure things went well? That they genuinely care if I feel good about my choice after my treatment is complete?
  7.     Was my experience at this clinic in line with what I was expecting and wanted?

How do you approach the marketing budget for your clinic? Do you consider overall experience, or just think of things like traditional advertising? Please leave a comment – we’d love to hear from you.


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