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Medical Practice Business And Marketing Articles
Article #B - Nov. 2008
"A Permanent Marketing-Strategies Mindset"
Medical practice marketing strategies that are most profitable.
Marketing principles are applicable to any business.....even medical practice. Most physicians and you understand that and is exactly why you're reading this now. Usually doctors in practice are involved in one kind of promotion marketing or another.
Intermittent attempts at building a medical practice when you have time just doesn't cut it. It has to be planned, persistent and ongoing for the duration of your practice years. Let me give you several marketing strategies that are matched to medical practice.
1. Direct Mail Marketing For Medical Practice
One of the oldest and yet still is a reliable and effective method of marketing. You simply send your patients mail to their home addresses through the regular mail. Whether you send them reminders of their upcoming appointments, dates of scheduled surgical procedures, annual appointment reminders, or lab test results, the reason for doing it must be in the form of necessary information or instruction. We all have done such things.
However, what is sent and how its content impacts on the patient is where most medical practices miss one of the greatest opportunities for marketing (building) their practices. You see, it's not just pumping out the information you have to send them.
It's the perfect opportunity to build a relationship with your patient that most doctors neglect. Of all the other doctors your patient sees during the process of their healthcare, who do you think he or she will
Is it the doctor who takes a few seconds to scratch a personal note in the mail to them, the one who sends them a birthday, thanksgiving, or Christmas card every year, or the one who never does such a thing?
What do you think your patient says to her friends in conversation about you? "My doctor sends me a birthday and thanksgiving card every year." Do you think her friends might be impressed at the quality and kindness of such a doctor?
Do you think it may be something her friend's doctors never do? And when it comes to changing to a different doctor, who will they go to first?
Classic Rule of Marketing: Do what others are not doing!
Direct mail includes the use of postcards, announcements, educational materials, and even asking your patients to refer other patients to your practice. Whoa! Would you be revealing something bad about your practice to ask patients for referrals--like you are struggling to get by? ... Absolutely not.
You would be pleasantly surprised at how much marketing your patients can do for your practice. First, it's an honor for a patient to be able to help their doctor. They have very few chances to do that.
It's a marketing tactic called the Law of Reciprocity. Kevin Hogan, a guru of persuasion, says in his book "The Science of Influence," reciprocity creates a debt in a very subtle way. Give away something of perceived value to someone, and others will feel compelled to do likewise.
2. Media Marketing For Medical Practice
Radio interviews, filmed TV infomercials, podcasting, and press releases are a few of the methods used in increasing amounts today. Email marketing is particularly fitted to medical practice.
Doctors have the names and addresses (marketing lists) of all their patients. Of course, you are required by law to get their permission to send them an email... shouldn't be too hard to do.
What doctor's do you know have a dedicated phone line that patients can call in and listen to a recording about medical or health information? TV commercials by doctors is another profound method to become known and respected.
The perception is that if you are that great to have been selected to be on TV, you must be an expert on the topic being discussed and probably much more.
Podcasting is an easy inexpensive way to communicate with patients. Record your message, upload it to the Internet, and tell your patients the link or address they can "click on" using their computer to hear it whenever
3. Social Marketing For Medical Practice
Some doctors take time to give informative lectures to local clubs, churches, businesses, societies, and medical assistant groups. It's a pleasant way to gain respect, confidence, trust, and popularity in your community. Not only are you doing a great community service for free, but also your prestige moves up 3 levels above doctors who can't find time to do it.
Appearing at charity events as a sponsor or contributor places you out in front. Participating in community events of any kind exposes you to potential new patients. Showing your personal caring and your human side, is incredibly powerful.
4. Information Marketing For Medical Practice
Any physician who writes a book is considered or perceived to be an expert---at least on that book topic. Writing articles for the local newspaper or other print media spreads your name and knowledge to those who are looking for top doctors.
If you don't feel you have the ability to write well, go to http://www.elance.com/ and ask one of their members to write them for you and with your name on it as well---like a 3 page article for 10 to 20 dollars.
5. Wag The Dog Marketing
Grab the tail of any marketing ideas you believe might build your practice and increase your income and go for it. Any second a new idea can pop up.
Some ideas might be...
--free informational handouts of some kind to patients each week
--free pens with your name on them at the front checkout counter
--hold a patient appreciation day, picnic, party---once a year
--survey your patients to find out what their medical needs and
--advise your patients about what you learned at the medical
meetings that's new
--announce to patients changes in your practice functions and focus
of your care
--send a personal note to every patient you discharge from the
hospital that week
--ask busy doctors to send you their overflow of patients
--send gift to the office staff of doctors who refer patients to you...for
--remember to thank any nurse in the hospital that refers patients
--present a new congenial kind attitude towards everyone....
6. Yes, there are many more marketing strategies and tactics
Marketing Implementation Styles (For example)
1. Barrage---use every marketing strategy at once
2. Coupling---use two or more groups at a time
3. Testing--use one strategy at a time and see how it works
4. Intermittent--switching strategies off and on.
Marketing Assignment Choices (For example)
1. Personal responsibility
2. Office Manager responsibility
3. Marketing Professional responsibility
4. Mixed responsibilities
"The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for
prosperity to come." ---Lee Iacocca
"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know
how much you care." ---Teddy Roosevelt
The author, Curt Graham, is a highly experienced business and marketing expert, copywriter, and entrepreneur who has been published in various media over 50 years while in medical practice and after.
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© 2004-2011, Curt Graham M.D., All rights reserved.
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Keywords = medical practice marketing,marketing strategies,marketing principles,direct mail marketing,media marketing,social marketing,information marketing,
Curt Graham, M.D.
2404 Mason Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89102
E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
© 2004 - 2016 Curtis Graham, M.D., All Rights Reserved.