Whether you are attempting to do your own marketing, or you have hired a professional to work with you, most healthcare marketing terminology will be new to you. But instead of getting duped into thinking these concepts are harder to figure out, I’m going to share the 6 most common healthcare marketing terms that will help you better devise your own strategies.
Unique “Selling” Proposition
This is a term used since the 1940s to describe a concept in which a marketing campaign promised a specific thing. It refers to the uniqueness of a product or service that the competition cannot or does not offer. If your “USP” is compelling, it can cause prospective patients to select your medical practice’s services over another. Successful medical marketing campaigns are built on unique “selling” propositions. Look at your medical practice and determine what things make you different from your competitors. For example, if you offer state-of-the art technology, not offered by your competitors, consider building your unique servicing proposition around that factor. Perhaps you are the only physician in your area offering a specific type of treatment, and that could be an option for you. Your USP should express the number one reason that a patient should choose you over any other heathcare provider.
If you need help developing your unique selling proposition, consider taking our free healthcare marketing e-course where we show how to create a killer USP.
Return On Investment (ROI)
The success of your activities should be based on several factors, one of which should be your return on investment. When measuring your return on investment, look at the amount of revenues one marketing campaign generated compared to the amount you invested in it. If you do not breakeven based on your ROI, then you should reconsider whether or not to reinvest in that specific activity. Actually, if you didn’t break even that means it’s not working and you need to assess what to change. Certainly, don’t be convinced that you “just need to keep at it” if the evidence clearly shows you’re not getting your desired results.
Your target market is simply your prospective patients. It’s the segment o the population that you want to attract to your medical practice. Knowing who is in your target market will make or break the healthcare marketing strategies you implement. Being aware of who you are targeting for your practice will help you spend advertising dollars wisely and most fruitfully. Your target market is made of several factors including the location of people that live in a certain area, the age, gender, and income of those people, and they type of service those people may want or need. Ignoring this important aspect of developing a health care marketing plan will negatively affect the outcome of your strategies. In fact, you’ll need to go a lot deeper than demographics when it comes to defining your target market. If you want direction in this area, consider taking our free healthcare marketing e-course because inside the free course we show you how to do that too!
Let’s face it, the Internet cannot be ignored as an integral part of your medical practice’s marketing strategies. If you are ignoring the Web, or if you haven’t started building a Web presence you are headed for BIG trouble. Pay-per-click advertising is one example of Internet advertising. This term refers to companies putting ads on websites and in search engine results, but only paying if their ad is clicked on. This model can work for your practice provided you manage your online campaign wisely. Jumping into pay-per-click advertising without having done the proper research, objectives, and online tools can quickly become an EXPENSIVE disaster. Nevertheless, pay-per-click advertising is one of the fastest and most effective ways to get your medical practice found online.
Customer Relationship Management
This is a marketing tool that refers to the management of patients in such a way as to track information about them and their interactions with your medical practice. Collected data is used to attract new patients and to keep tight bonds with existing ones through marketing activities such as direct mail, email marketing, and special events. If you are not capturing personal and contact information about your clients – you are missing the boat! Develop a strong CRM program that is integrated with your EHR or you’ll be bon voyage to the land of broke medical practices.
Once you’ve established your target market, qualified leads are people who are part of that market and have expressed an interest in your service. After setting your goals-including determining your target market-the methods you use to carry out your strategy will more than likely bring you qualified leads. These may come through interested word-of-mouth referrals, from advertising efforts, or the Internet. However they come, you need to have a plan in place with how to deal with these leads so that they don’t slip through your fingers. Qualified leads are your number one source of new patients and new patient referrals hands down!
I hope you now have a better understanding of what these terms mean and how they affect your healthcare marketing efforts. You already know that knowledge is power, so now you can make informed decisions about the strategies you implement in your medical practice. And, if you find that you need some extra help you know how to find us! 🙂