These days, doctors have to turn their thinking to marketing strategies to attract patients and compete in an increasingly crowded market.
Back in the day, people would have a doctor: that one medical practitioner who lived locally, who was often the person who gave them their first immunisations as a child, who they continued to see as they became adults, who treated their own children, and who was sadly bid farewell that fateful day they finally decided to retire. Nowadays, though, we don’t so much have a doctor as we have an entourage.
Over the decades, the delivery of medical care has exploded, with clinics of different sizes and appealing to different patients popping up everywhere, offering specialised and particular services and areas of expertise.
These days, doctors don’t just have to keep up with the latest research, they have to turn their thinking to marketing strategies, in order to attract patients and compete in an increasingly crowded market.
Marketing for doctors is often not something that comes easily or intuitively to most medical practitioners, but there are simple steps they can take to establish their brand, stand out in the crowd, and get those phones ringing.
Marketing for doctors rule #1: Define your medical expertise
In a world full of medical clinics all specialising in differing areas of expertise, it’s easy for potential patients to be overwhelmed. It’s therefore critical that potential patients know very quickly who you are, what you offer, and if you’re the right clinic for them.
Often, as part of their marketing strategy, clinics will incorporate this into their name. Melbourne Family General Practitioners might be one example, or Bass Coast Skin Doctors is another.
Established clinics with some name recognition choose, instead of changing their name, to incorporate a strapline. Homes Road Clinic: your family health professionals, is an example.
Marketing for doctors rule #2: Identify your audience
When asked who they would like to come to their clinic, most medical practitioners will say ‘everyone!’ but for the purposes of marketing for doctors, it’s imperative to develop a very clear idea of who your potential patients are. This will inform not just how you market your services, but when and by what means.
For example, a clinic specialising in aesthetic treatments might develop a marketing campaign that targets women and that relies largely on social media platforms.
Similarly, a marketing campaign for a family clinic might target new parents, and may focus their marketing efforts on parenting magazines, podcasts, and maternal health centres.
Marketing for doctors rule #3: Research and plan
Even if your clinic is new, chances are you’ve done some sort of marketing in the past. Certainly, many other clinics have developed and rolled out marketing strategies.
Data gained from past campaigns can provide vital information that should inform your future marketing efforts.
Which marketing strategies drew numbers to your clinic or got the phones ringing in the past? Maybe it was an advertisement in the local paper, perhaps a certain social media post, maybe that flyer you dropped in local mailboxes hit the mark.
Don’t confine your analysis to the platform or marketing type alone. Consider also the topic it touched on, language used and call to action. Did your post explainin SPF yield results, or was it the blog post about the dangers of skin cancer?
Maybe an infographic about common childhood diseases brought in patients, or was it the immunisation checklist that was widely shared among new parents on social media?
Look also to clinics that have run successful marketing campaigns – what elements did they use? Keep in mind, though, to focus your analysis on clinics offering similar services. A marketing campaign for a LBGTQI+ clinic will be markedly different from the marketing campaign of a practice specialising in chronic pain management, for instance.
Marketing for doctors rule #4: Boost your brand awareness
The very foundation of every marketing strategy is one simple objective: patients must know you exist.
Marketing professionals call it brand positioning, but it’s basically the strategic process of placing and positioning your company in the mind of your customer and potential customer.
Building brand awareness is a process that occurs across a range of mediums, including website and social media, as well as an array of print collateral.
Think of brand awareness as building blocks. A person might pick up a flyer and read your name; later they might find content popping up in their social media feed; then they might hear a radio advertisement promoting a special offer, think ‘oh I know that clinic’, and then head to your website for more details.
Marketing for doctors rule #5: Elevate your lead generation
Lead generation, and getting people into your clinic, is one of the biggest challenges facing doctors.
You may have done your research, defined your value proposition, created a website – but how do you actually get people in the front door?
Doctors love hearing the answer to this question. Lead generation is a precise science based on research, testing and analysis.
In the online space you can’t go past landing pages. These are special pages that have the singular purpose of converting online leads into regular patients.
Landing pages differ from pages on your website because while websites are essential for placing information about what services you offer, doctor profiles, testimonials, and contact details, all of this content can detract your audience from the objective of a marketing campaign.
Landing pages, however, are built with one purpose in mind: to convert. They use images, graphics and words that present an offer or promotion especially designed to bring new leads to your clinic, and are often used in conjunction with email and social media marketing strategies.
Marketing for doctors rule #6: Build relationships with your patients
Of course, getting new patients through the door is one thing – continuing the relationship is another. That’s where the retention stage of the buying cycle comes into play.
Marketing strategies for patient retention take in a number of factors including building trust, reinforcing your offering and how it meets the needs of your patients, and importantly, why your clinic is the best one to deliver the service.
Your marketing could include regular printed communications and online content about a particular health concern, infographics explaining how treatments work, exciting news about new doctors, as well as special offers and promotions.
Call in the marketing experts
Any doctor will tell you that the human body is a complex organism of many parts, which operate most effectively when all those parts are healthy and working together in synergy – and it’s the same with marketing.
Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne that works with doctors and clinics to create marketing strategies that bring in new patients, and patients who stay.
To find out how we can help you to generate more leads, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.