The world of medicine is more competitive now more than ever. Market segmentation,proliferation of specialists, changes to insurance and government regulations among other factors have fragmented the landscape beyond comprehension of most and recognition of others more familiar with the field. In this changing landscape the onus to bring in patients and look at them as not only patients but essentially customers has forced physicians and facilities to look at effective ways to market , facilities, procedures, insurance options etc.
This is an uphill battle for most in this sector because let’s face it a medical facility or physician does a lot of great things including helping to save lives but marketing is probably not one of them. Medical marketing is difficult but a systematic approach can help tremendously whether it’s establishing a name or practice in a new area or introducing new services like plastic surgery or urgent care. They’re a number of reasons this would work including the ability to provide value before a patient walks in, the ability to create great engaging content. The ability to begin and track which patients have the highest value over their time as a patient. High returns, and the ability to track data which ultimately helps you provide better treatment.
Let’s face it people are scared when it comes to making medical choices. Not only are they scared but in the most benign sense of the word they’re ignorant about their options. Research through sites like Web MD and self diagnosis has become a trend that a lot of people in the medical profession complain about, but from a marketing perspective could spell the opportunity for you to provide value to patients current or potential. Use this opportunity to place yourself as the foremost authority on certain topics relevant to your practice or facilities. The more value you’re able to provide the more of a trusted source you’ll be to a prospect and when they’ve gone through awareness and consideration stages with you providing value along the way, choosing your service or facilities in the decision stage becomes a no-brainer. Why wouldn't you they choose the provider who’s been providing value throughout the entire journey.
When it comes to the medical sector there's no shortage of opportunities to create great content which ties to the first point about providing value. Your content is going to be the vehicle that delivers value to your prospects. Even with conditions that have been well researched and are well known like the flu, there’s still plenty of opportunity to create great content in different forms that provides value and helps the prospect make a decision. Blogs, videos, case studies, eBooks and whitepapers are all great touch points to prepare a prospect for what to expect, get advice from experts in the field, and make them feel comfortable with the next steps and choosing your physicians or facility to help them with those next steps. Marketing hospitals, doctors or facilities lends itself to a lot of explanation because if the details and nuances involved in medical care, great content helps you help your patient.
For offices and facilities that are servicing different patient populations there’s a delicate balance between being profitable and serving the population well. Often times it comes down to tracking your MVP’s or your most valuable patients. In marketing terms we would call this your buyer persona that person who’s going to bring you the most value over the course of the being one of your clients. Once you’ve narrowed down your persona you’ll know have the compass needed to guide all other medical marketing decisions. In doing this exercise you may find that you’re not offering enough services or perhaps you’re offering too much and need to whittle down to a couple or few key services that your persona actually wants and as important willing to pay for. Many businesses in many sectors spend a lot of time spinning wheels, losing money, not being profitable and even go out of business because they were never able to determine their mvp’s and focus most of their marketing and retention efforts there. Don’t get caught up trying to be all things to all people select your MVP and have a laser like focus on that group and you will see higher returns than before..
Speaking of returns this brings us to the next point of why a systematic approach to medical marketing works. Medical procedures are expensive and despite the battle a lot of physicians and facilities face with insurance reimbursements and patients not being able to cover out of pocket costs, collection efforts etc. each individual visit or procedure has a very high value when compared to other products and services outside of the medical industry. Compared to the costs or what you can make from each one of your MVP’s you only need to spend a fraction of that money marketing to each one. Especially with an inbound type approach as alluded to earlier by providing value and walking prospect through the buyer's journey step by step the cost of marketing to each customer is going to drop exponentially as you begin to build this pipeline of nothing but your ideal customer while the profit made from each customer rises. Especially when it comes to medicine one determining factor in choosing MVP’s is how much is that person worth over their lifetime as a patient, when you compare that to how little you’ll have spent to market to that person initially and then even less spent to delight this person and keep them as a client the ROI on that individual and subsequently your collective ROI becomes more and more attractive.
The benefits of medical marketing we’ve talked about so far has been focused on attracting new patients, but if executed directly it can also help you provide a better service overall. A systematic approach as we’ve laid out lends itself to a lot of data collection. Demographic and psychographic data about your paitentce naturally but also data about your business and facility. How individual prospects and current clients react to your messaging negatively and positively. On the SEO front you can start to analyze what most people are researching about then tailor your services to reach that high search ranking. These are just some examples but the point is this data can be a driving force behind how you run and grow the business. The worst thing any business can do is make good faith buys or decisions based on feelings. You need data as much data as possible so you can make informed decisions that benefit today and in the future as well.
A systematic approach to medical marketing is of great benefit to practices and centers. Not only because you can begin to get great data, but increase ROI, providing value for patients and prospects, helping you develop your MVP’s and the ability to create great content all will help grow your practice or facility beyond what you expected. Are there any other reasons this systematic approach may work for you? Feel free to share in the comments section we love to hear your opinions and expertise.