Why you need to always invest in healthcare marketing
Many doctors and medical practice owners consider medical marketing as nothing more than just another expense for their business.
When budgets get smaller and times get hard, it is not uncommon to let go of the medical marketing team first. Of course, the opposite is also true and sales teams are often the first to get hired when a business is booming.
Both of these situations usually occur when it is not easy to accurately measure marketing effort returns. It is a lot easier to dismiss the value of a good medical marketing strategy and team when it is not easy to truly measure the results that they provide.
However, it is important to not just view your medical practice marketing as nothing more than an additional expense. Without effective marketing of your high-niche medical practice, your healthcare business could be heading into very dangerous territory.
The future success of your healthcare business is highly dependent on effective medical marketing. You have to continuously invest in these efforts to grow your business and ensure that it is viewed in the right light.
Every month, you should be investing in your medical marketing strategy so that you continue to grow and meet your financial goals through consistent new patient acquisition. Here you will learn about the following:
-Why marketing is even important when your medical practice business is word-of-mouth
-How you can achieve long-term success with the right medical marketing activities
-How to get a “minimum standard of excellence” established
Laziness can be a byproduct of success
When you are getting more new patient leads than you are able to keep up with, you are happy to keep on enough staff to satisfy them. It is common to view medical marketing as superfluous when times are good.
Highly entrepreneurial and successful medical practice owners who are doing well often ask themselves these questions:
-Since my practice is growing and I have more going on than I am able to handle, why is it important to continue to invest in medical marketing efforts?
-Since I am doing so well and grown purely through word-of-mouth, why even bother to invest more on building brand awareness?
“There is no need to invest in medical marketing since it is a word-of-mouth business”
This type of word-of-mouth marketing for your medical practice can be great. More often that, it’s how most successful businesses start out. It also shows that you are highly attentive to your patients and have earned their trust since they are telling their family and friends about you. However, while this type of marketing has its strengths, it is not durable and may not last for a long time to produce consistent opportunity volume.
You also have to consider times of recession which can make this marketing strategy fragile. No matter how many people sing your praises, if someone cannot afford your high-niche medical services, they are not going to schedule an appointment with your healthcare practice.
Another possible issue with this type of marketing is that one bad review can cause major issues for your practice. In today’s world, a lot of people rely on low-quality spammy websites like Yelp to determine who they want to do business with. Which is not ideal, as you want to be able to manage and control your own brand image and reputation online.
There is also always a chance that a new medical practice will open up in the area and do a major medical marketing campaign that will attract new patients. Unfortunately, some of their new patients could be current ones of yours that leave your medical practice for the new one.
No matter the reason, you could go from a fully booked patient schedule to dozens of open time slots in a matter of months. Because of this, you have to vary your medical marketing efforts and ensure a consistent inbound medical marketing strategy to weather the slow times and the times when word-of-mouth just is not getting the job done.
Even in a down economy, the right medical marketing efforts can keep the leads that you need to stay afloat coming in. Because of this, it is important to invest in healthcare marketing when times are good so that you can minimize the potential for hard times down the road.
The right medical marketing plan helps you stay prepared for the future
The best time to plan for the bad times is when your medical practice business is booming. If you are flourishing, it is important to remember that this will not last forever. This is especially true if you are not constantly working towards growth.
Never forget what it is like to struggle. Just try to minimize how much you have to struggle during leaner times. A look at the pride cycle helps to see this perspective more clearly:
-When times are hard, you have to work to make your situation better and get yourself out of the hole.
-Your fortunes are turning around and you are noticing that times are getting a bit easier.
-You start to slow down a bit, but things are moving along fine.
-Once again, your momentum is lost and things are starting to go south again.
To sum it up, when things are good, make sure that you keep up your efforts to maintain them and do not let yourself backslide.
Change is inevitable during good times
The COVID-19 pandemic is proof that things can be great and then suddenly change. For many businesses, the pandemic caused them to shut their doors. This was largely due to a lack of preparation. Now, most people do not think of a pandemic occurring or prepare specifically for it. However, if you are prepared for sudden change, this could help you to weather the storm.
Three things can help you to prepare for the unexpected
-Always maintain the mindset that hard times could be coming at any time
-Work on constantly building good habits
-Invest in medical marketing no matter your type of business, even if you are the word-of-mouth type
Create a “Minimum Standard Of Excellence”
You have to start building solid medical marketing habits. Once you have them established, you will find that they are difficult to break. They start to become part of who you are as a healthcare business.
You get through each day with a series of habits even if you do not realize it. For example, think about your morning routine. If you cannot complete it, it throws off your entire day. Your medical marketing habits will do the same for your healthcare practice business.
Build a medical marketing habit because it is an investment in your future
You want to invest in healthcare marketing just like you do your retirement account or other rainy day funds. If you do not get into this habit, your goals will just drift further and further away.
You want a standard of excellence. This will be the collection of habits that make your healthcare business what it is.
Think about the habits that you already have for your medical business and how they are already helping you. For example, you pay payroll on specific days and do inventory at specific times. These habits help to keep you on track and so will your medical marketing habits.
Your marketing efforts are a part of your minimum standard of excellence. You will remain committed to them once they become a habit.
Once you get that minimum established, you can always expand on it. Just make sure that you are keeping that minimum standard in play at all times.
Over-investing during good times is good
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of good times to get your medical marketing strategy prepared for tighter times. This can help you to keep your efforts going to build things back up when they start to slow down. Think of it as a sort of safety net.
For example, when times are good, consider getting that new equipment or software that will help to streamline your medical practice. Invest in those new healthcare marketing materials to help attract and convert more new patients to schedule appointments with you.
You might also consider something like HubSpot. This is a tool that allows you to better analyze the data associated with your business. Use this information to make more informed decisions about your practice in the future.
Do this when times are good because during tight times you might not have the extra money to get things back on track. This could cause major issues for your business in the future.
Invest in your medical practice marketing for future success
While today is important, you also have to constantly be thinking about the future of your healthcare business. You want long-term growth and the only way to ensure it is to start working towards it today.
One strategy that you can use for this is turning your medical practice website into your number one salesperson through a sophisticated learning center and a question answering system. This allows you to answer patient questions honestly and openly. When you are a trusted medical practice, it is going to be a lot easier to thrive. This type of medical practice marketing also makes it easier to connect with and expand your qualified target audience such that you can generate more qualified leads and increase sales.
Inbound is a form of digital medical marketing that is imperative in today’s world. Remember that most people will head to the internet before making an appointment and this is where you can hook them to book an appointment with your practice.
You should also use the questions that they ask as a springboard for your content efforts. If you notice a lot of people asking similar questions on Google, use it to create content surrounding that topic.
This system also allows for better inbound marketing techniques. Here you can take advantage of organic search to attract patients using your content. To sum it up, create the right content today to start attracting more customers tomorrow.
You have to be able to anticipate the future needs of your target audience so that you can provide them with what they need. This is a tool that allows you to do this.
You cannot control an unpredictable and uncertain world, but you can control your medical marketing
This is another time to think about the pandemic and how it changed the world nearly overnight. You have zero control over this, but you can control your medical marketing efforts.
The goal is to prepare for change because it is coming whether you want it or not. You need to make medical marketing decisions that will ensure prosperity and growth even when world events make it difficult.
No matter the toll that world events take on your medical practice business, you will still have to make payroll and pay your bills in order for your healthcare business to survive. This is why you should be investing in medical marketing efforts during good times so that you are able to get through the bad times when they occur. This is one of your best bets when it comes to long-term growth and stability.
Your medical marketing is your dedication and devotion to the future of your practice
These efforts do not have to cost you a lot of money or take a lot of your time. In fact, a few hours a week is all that you need. The cost is dependent on the type of medical marketing you need to be working on depending on your specific business goals and needs.
For example, aim to create some inbound marketing articles. These could be a few thousand words to provide patients with information about health topics that are popular right now. You can choose to write them yourself or even have a copywriter do it for you. This is simple and will go a long way in your future medical marketing efforts.
You can even opt to update and refresh some of your older content so that it is relevant to what your site visitors are looking for right now.
Remember that medical marketing will always pay off, but it is not something that you can wait to tackle just when you need it. It has to be a constant effort and something that you are continuously working on.
Whether you opt to do some of your own marketing or let someone else do it for you, always keep in mind that change is coming and the way you run your business may need to change at the drop of a hat. You can also take advantage of the various marketing tools that are available to give you some help with your efforts.
However, with a little preparation, you will be able to get through the hard times and ensure that your business has the ability to grow and thrive over the long-term.