Marketing isn’t just a one… two punch. It’s an ongoing effort to brand yourself as an authority over time.
Maybe your approach to marketing will differ due to your personal needs — maybe you want to brand yourself as the most customer-centric doctor… or maybe just the most knowledgable. All of that aside, for a strong marketing plan to work you need to keep pushing forward your message over time. Once a year isn’t enough… and even once a month might not get you the results you’re looking for.
The answer to this issue is building a cohesive marketing plan that grows over time. Just as your practice matures with the times, and you take on more employees and adopt a slightly changed brand, so should your marketing efforts.
- Break it down – Figure out exactly where your patients are coming from. Be it social media, word of mouth, or advertising. Just record it all down on paper.
- Analyze the data – What sources of patients is the most profitable? Which ones can you scale and grow just by putting more effort (money?) into? Break it down into cold-hard data.
- Recreate a marketing plan – Based on your best sources of new patients. If you are getting the best patients from word of mouth referrals from current patients… great! Now figure out how you can foster that relationship even more.
- Create SOP’s – Remove yourself from the equation. Figure out how you can automate, delegate, or passively take advantage of marketing. Emails can be scheduled, phone calls can be recorded or automated, and referrals can be fostered through various programs. Put them all down into standard operating procedure documents.
- Leave it open to interpretation – As your practice grows, you will encounter new issues… new problems that you need to deal with. As long as your standard operating procedures can cover 80% or more of your marketing efforts, you can rest easy that you are free to deal with the important stuff.
Now, that was a very shallow explanation… the real purpose of this post is to demonstrate that marketing (as well as business development) can be automated without hassle. Allow your business plan to breathe… to live and grow just like the human-side of things.
Another important step here is understanding the strategy behind this idea. Marketing isn’t as simple as throwing some money at targeted advertisements… or direct mail, or emails etc. Marketing is much more valuable when you focus on the message. Instead of getting caught up in the digital aspect of marketing, think about marketing online in the exact same way as offline.
If you were going to sell one of your friends (or a mutual acquaintance) on your practice, how would you speak? What kind of language would you use? How would you brand yourself as a competent and worthy doctor in order to get a new patient? Now… translate that exact same pitch into the online world and you will succeed. It is significantly harder than people tend to think — but it is also significantly more straightforward than people realize.
People may come and go, patients too… but your business does not ever need to slow down for these changes. Plan for change. Plan for the unknown.