Strategic Marketing: Can It Take Your Practice To The Next Level?
- Volume 20 - Issue 6 - June 2007
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Create a practice newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to reach patients, referring physicians and payers. They can inform people about your practice and provide information on any innovative procedures you may be incorporating. Newsletters provide a great education tool and foster a positive public image.
Create and monitor the budget. You should spend at least 1 to 2 percent of your total gross revenue on your marketing effort. After the first year of your marketing effort, this threshold will become better defined. If you are going to commit to the marketing effort, you have to be willing to spend money but spend your money wisely. Keep in mind that different marketing targets deserve different tools. Your budget may include some of the following activities:
• marketing to referring physicians;
• performing patient satisfaction surveys;
• distributing holiday recognition gifts;
• practice newsletter;
• new patient and patient progress letters;
• grand rounds, presentations and in-services;
• marketing to the general public;
• participating in health fairs and community expos;
• news releases and announcements;
• practice newsletter; and/or
• presentations for community events, health clubs, senior centers, etc.
Develop an action plan timeline when planning marketing events. This will allow you and your marketing coordinator to look at the events of the year at a glance. It is quick way to find and review what you need to do and when it needs to be accomplished.
You will need to create a system to monitor the success of your marketing efforts. The data that you collect is only as good as what you do with it. Tracking surveys and physician referral trend analyses are vital. This information will let you know who you should visit or support and why.
Lastly, think outside of the box when looking at your potential referral sources. While primary care physicians are often the focus of a marketing plan, one should target other healthcare providers as well. These providers include rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists, OB/GYN, chiropractors, pharmacists, diabetes educators, visiting nurses and athletic trainers.
Through a carefully constructed and comprehensive proactive marketing plan, your practice can continue to thrive in a competitive environment.
Dr. Guiliana is a nationally recognized speaker and author on topics pertaining to medical practice management. He holds a Master’s in Health Care Management and is a Fellow and Trustee of the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management. Dr Guiliana is a consultant with SOS Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC and practices in Hackettstown, N.J. He can be reached at John@soshms.com.