5 Steps to Marketing Your Practice Like a Pro - E39
Death, taxes, staffing, and marketing. These are absolutes in life and business. Write them down and just plan on it. Unfortunately, marketing seems to be the first thing offices abandon when times get tough. You need to market to grow and this needs to be built into your yearly budget. Additionally, I feel like offices ignore this aspect because they are not good at it or they do not know where to start. Let me help.
Here is a 5 step approach to jump start your marketing campaign.
STEP 1: Who Are You
- You have to know who you and your office are. Everything you do needs to be in line with this. Your hours, staff, procedures you will do and will not do, and most importantly how you come across in your marketing.
- Do you have any advantages?
- Did you grow up in the area? Did you do a residency or win any awards in school that you can let people know about? Find a way to make yourself or your office standout.
- Do you have any obvious disadvantages?
- This can be something like trying to grow a niche specialty that there is a lack of awareness about. Are you rebranding and trying to overcome some misconceptions of your office? Whether you admit it or not, these affect patients and potential patients. Make sure you are aware of these and find a way to address them and put the message you want out to your staff and the public.
- Additionally, if you have a small budget, you have to make sure what you do put money towards has a purpose and is effective.
- Who is your competition and what do they do well? Where are they weak?
- You have to know who you are competing with in the area. Be realistic, can you compete head to head? If you want to be a huge medical office like the guy down the street, but you do not have an OCT/VF, do you really want to walk down that road? Find out what they do well and what segment they miss. You may not be able to compete head to head, but if they are huge into medical optometry, there may be a huge need for pediatrics. Use their weaknesses to your advantage.
STEP 2: Know your Patients (Audience)
- This all comes back to your brand and who you are. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you see a ton of kids, you want to market to their moms. If you see a lot of glaucoma and macular degeneration, then obviously an older population would be your target audience. Once you have this figured out, make sure you know what they want, and what motivates them to make a decision/buy from you.
STEP 3: Be Specific and Targeted: What is the problem and how do you solve it? How do they benefit?
- You know who you are and who you want to speak to, you now have to figure out what you want to tell them. There are 3 major categories your marketing will fall into.
- Promoting your office
- This is just a propagation of promoting your brand. Whether you are family friendly, have an amazing optical, or have all the latest devices for medical optometry, you want to make sure the public and more specifically, your target audience, knows this!
With all 3 of these you want to make sure you are speaking the language of the audience you are targeting and solving a problem or pain point they may be having.
STEP 4: Have a specific goal and STEP 5: Know your timeline
- Steps 4 and 5 are mainly to keep your marketing effective, efficient, and most of all keep you motivated. You are spending money and need some kind of feedback. Make sure your goals are sensible, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time specific (SMART goals). You need to know what is working and what is not. By doing this you can cut bait on a lost cause to avoid spending more time or money on something not working. Conversely, if you hit a home run, you can do more of what works.
At the end of the day you have to market to grow and stay relevant. Follow these 5 steps so that whatever you decide to do can be as effective as possible.
Happy marketing my friends.
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