In marketing, there are endless services and products available. The overwhelming number of options can make it tempting to sign up with a one-size-fits-all marketing product. But a product isn’t the answer.
Successful marketing is a strategy, not a product.
Website creation, social media scheduling, SEO services and any number of other advertising products are products, not strategies. Products are tools. The strategy is the blueprint.
Building a strategy begins with a message. To determine your message, Minal Sampat, President of Growth Management Marketing, advocates starting with some self-reflection.
“Find out what makes you special … if you don’t know what makes you special, you don’t know what to market,” Sampat advises.
To find out what makes you special, determine what’s already working.
Examine your practice from a patient’s point of view. Are you providing the quality of customer service that you would expect to receive? Read reviews of your practice and adjust where necessary, but also recognize and maintain systems with which patients are already satisfied. Sampat swears by research and analytics, paraphrasing management consultant Peter Drucker: “If you can measure it, you can manage it. You can improve it.”
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Next, identify your target patient. Pinpoint the demographics of your existing core (returning patients). Where they live, their age group(s) and how they initially learned about your practice will guide both the message and how the message is shared because your core is also your target. Adapt the message to speak directly to the target in their language.
With a message in place, it’s time to consider platforms. Along with traditional marketing avenues there are two significant, often overlooked, resources at your disposal: current patients and team members.
Your current patients are your number one source of referrals.
Your team is the face of your brand and your business.
These are the best marketing platforms for your message. Since most of your new patients and team members will be millennials, understanding this group is the best way to take advantage of that potential. Adapting your work environment to include the unique dynamic of millennials will lead to greater growth.
As consumers, millennials are conscious of how they’re spending their money and want to support businesses they feel good about.
Sampat explains, “The millennial generation is looking for companies [that] go beyond providing a service, [that] go beyond having a business and making money. Giving back is bigger. And that’s how you really attract the valuable new patients in your practice.”
As employees, that belief in something “bigger” than the business is the most important factor for millennials in choosing where to work. Fair, competitive compensation is essential, but millennials want meaning and purpose. Ideal employment includes empowerment, opportunities to advance, mentorship and recognition on a regular basis. Exceptionally successful companies, like Google, attribute much of their success to their non-traditional work environments.
When your patients and team are excited about interacting with you they will become your sales force.
As technology and culture evolve, so should your marketing strategy. Discovering and sharing your message, empowering your team (many of which will be millennials) and analyzing the results will create the successful marketing strategy your practice needs.