As a healthcare industry focused agency, we have the privilege of working with a variety of medical and health providers and have gathered great experience and an understanding of how challenging medical practice marketing and growth can be. The majority of medical practitioners become providers because of their passion to help people and usually find business strategy and growth the most difficult part of improving their business. We want our doctors to be focused on their craft and the good news is that there is a solution.
Traditionally, most doctors have not had to worry about marketing to grow their business. Insurance, word of mouth referral and supply versus demand used to do a fine job of helping doctors to build their practices. Today’s climate is changing rapidly and we know that most medical professionals have to think about competition, sales and marketing now.
Consumers have more access to information today than ever. We use the internet to research everything we are interested in and we have the ability to compare the services we find. If I have to find a specialist, I’m going to use the internet to find all of my options and then compare; I represent the majority of consumers. Medical content websites (i.e. WebMD), social media and consumer expectations are greatly changing the way we look at medical services. We used to simply accept any diagnosis and treatment we were given. Now we want more opinions and if we don’t like the proscribed treatment we are going to say something about it.
At So Fun Media, we spend a tremendous amount of time helping our medical clients think about how to approach their marketing strategy and more importantly, consulting them on the best way to get the help they need to succeed. Great service professionals earn their reputations because they are very skilled at their expertise. The best attorney’s charge the highest rates because of their success. The best golf pros can charge huge fees because they have created stellar players. In all of these scenarios, greatness is not because of their marketing skills. It’s because they then hire great marketing talent to tell people about them.
The number one way medical providers can succeed at marketing and growth is to get the right help. Digital and social marketing are here to stay and you need to have a great partner to help you build your brand and business via your website, social media channels, blog, etc. Additionally, what you say is more important than ever. Consumers do not use brochures to buy anymore. We look for blogs, downloads, social media links, photos, video and anything else that helps us learn all dimensions of what we are looking to buy.
One of the best ways that medical providers can set themselves apart from the rest is to become a resource. Not just someone we call when sick, but a trusted partner that provides ongoing value. Some of the best medical systems in the United States have learned to use content to build a community around them and for that value they now have raving, dedicated customers. Furthermore, social media provides a way for you to start a conversation with your patients and community.
Being a great practitioner is your talent. Surrounding yourself with partners that really understand how to market your talents is the key to success in our always connected digital age.
Photo credit: Flickr user Phalinn Ooi. Used with permission through Creative Commons.