Hello my name is Megan Walker and welcome to the Market Savvy Program. This video series is designed to enhance your knowledge and awareness of effective marketing in your private practice so you can attract, retain and help more patients.
When it comes to marketing, I completely get it when health professionals glaze over, shut down or switch off when they think of having to “hard sell” their patients and clients.
That’s because when it comes to marketing, often we think about the “worst possible” example or experience we’ve had and think that this is what is expected of us. Our intellectual and ethical values get rubbed up the wrong way and we want to shut it down or run 100 miles in the opposite direction. I feel exactly the same way and loathe anything that suggests taking advantage of another person.
Which is why we are talking about ethical, relationship based marketing that adds value and helps people. We want to give people the right information, products and services that they can afford and that will move their life forward, not cause them hardship or pain.
Effective marketing in healthcare is not about churn, bait and switch, misguiding or overselling. Those atrocious antics are ineffective and illegal.
What you want to do is reframe the definition of “marketing” to be one of “health promotion”. Through quality conversations, information, education and support so you can help transform your patients’ lives in ethical ways that help them and grow your practice at the same time. This is the type of marketing I want you to associate yourself with from now on.
When you think relationship marketing you avoid hard selling, package deals, pop-ups, over emailing and anything that is tasteless, annoying or illegal.
In the 26 plus years that I have been conducting marketing I have seen lots of fads come and go, but the strategies that work the best in healthcare, especially private practice are fostering relationships, adding value, listening, proactivity, customer service and staying in touch with people in meaningful ways.
And yes Facebook and other social media platforms have their place, but unless they are being managed to a high level and are in demand by your audiences and they are attracting you new patients, social media is typically a back-up singer and not the lead singer in your marketing portfolio.
So within the ethical boundaries, there are a number of marketing strategies you may wish to consider, but again these need to align to the wants and needs of your top four target audiences.
Your marketing options explained
Your options include:
Local area marketing – clinical referrals, community referrals, networking, local speaking, public relations, local involvement, your building signage, local area advertising (bus shelters and billboards), school newsletters, clubs, letterbox drops, local newspaper (paid advertising or editorial) and local events.
Digital marketing – your website, Google My Business, online directories and star ratings, Facebook paid and unpaid, Google Ads, LinkedIn, Instagram, your blog or podcast and e-newsletter.
Patient and friend marketing – optimising your patient touch points, asking for referrals, ethical conversions and upselling and client events.
And other activities including merchandise, posters, industry presentations and so on.
But the main thing I want you to take away from this episode is the new way to think about marketing. To reinforce this, please take a look at the video on my home page with leading international marketing guru, Seth Godin. Seth has some wonderful advice for healthcare professionals who are engaging in marketing.
Thanks for taking the time to watch the Market Savvy Program. If you haven’t done so already, please sign up for our email updates “Marketing in Practice” where you’ll receive marketing tips, podcasts and event invitations to achieve success in private practice.
Thank you for the great work that you do and enjoy your day.
For more information, please contact Megan Walker email@example.com.