Many physicians are reluctant to engage in marketing. They maintain that their goal is to take care of patients and not concern themselves with the business side of a medical practice. It is unfortunate that they neglect to note that “profit” is not a four-letter word. A medical practice that is profitable is not just for the benefit of the individual doctor or doctors that are part of the practice. The practice must be profitable in order for the practice to:
- Keep the doors open for continuing patient care.
- Hire competent staff in sufficient numbers to provide exceptional care to patients. It creates jobs and empowers the employees to financially care for their own families.
- Update technology in order to provide state-of-the-art patient care.
- Contribute to the community through community service and charitable donations.
Marketing strategies to increase profitability and quality of patient care
In the current economic environment, with health insurance companies doing all they can to avoid paying medical practitioners, and with government funded programs paying less for medical services every year, it behooves every medical practice to develop marketing strategies.
There is no need to engage in game-show type tactics, encouraging patients to “come on down,” or sleazy advertising of offering a “half-price sale” on services. There is a need to move from the traditional no-marketing attitude of medical practitioners and note viable ways in which they can promote their practices in a professional way.
If you are a physician who has been resisting marketing your practice, here are some suggestions to help you get started.
- Take advantage of technology by developing a website so patients and prospective patients can find you through your online presence.
- Draw patients and prospective patients to your website by providing them information about your specialty area including diseases, symptoms and treatment. This information is available on the Internet and it is to your advantage to draw them to your site to discover what they are looking for.
- Develop a social media presence with the awareness that patients use the Internet to search for information including information about their doctors.
- Hire a professional marketing service that will assist you in developing and implementing a marketing plan.
Rise of Digital Marketing
As our societies continue to flock more and more toward a digital medium, it is imperative for professionals of all kinds to utilize the benefits of having an active social media presence. Medical professionals such as doctors can easily engage in a variety of platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok in order to better resonate with patients of different age groups.
According to Healthcare Weekly, nearly half of US adults rely on social media for healthcare decision making. The majority of existing and potential patients and customers can be found online on different social media websites. So it’s a no brainer as to whether your practice should have an account or pages on these platforms. A healthcare social media strategy is a must in today’s digitally drawn world and can be used to increase medical and practice transparency, reach more patients, and educate individuals.
Here are five ways you can better engage with your audience online:
- Understand the content and questions your audience has about your specific field or healthcare in general
- Engage with micro-influencers to build credibility and authority to your practice and brand
- Push out educating and engaging multi-media content
- Talk about your practice and open doors by humanizing the practice and the people involved
- Champion conversations about policy and healthcare issues
A good marketing plan will help you grow your medical practice and allow you to serve more patients more effectively and profitably. You deserve to be financially rewarded in addition to thoughtful patient care you provide people.