I’ve been on a strategy kick lately, and for good reason. The first quarter of the year is a good time to review your marketing goals and initiatives. But I’m also on this kick because lately I’ve encountered quite a few healthcare folks whose idea of marketing is investing heavily in the latest trend – whether it serves their overall business objectives or not. That’s not marketing; that’s just a good way to waste a lot of money, time, and effort.
Should I Buy Google Ads? Mail a Postcard? Start a Podcast?
As a nurse, I’m a helpful sort of person. In particular, I like to help plastic surgeons, chiropractors, wellness coaches, and other small practitioners make sound marketing decisions.
So when someone throws a question my way, I give them the best possible answer (instead of immediately trying to sell them on my services).
And it’s kind of crazy how often I receive an email or LinkedIn message that goes something like this:
“I’m trying to figure out how to market my practice to bring in more patients. I have a website, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Should I set up a Facebook page? Or should I start a podcast? I was contacted by a ‘pay-per-click’ company the other day, but I don’t really get that. But is that a good way for me to get more patients through the door?”
My answer always goes something like this: That depends. What are your business objectives?
Yes, “that depends” is the ultimate answer to any “should I do X” marketing question in healthcare. Because all of your marketing decisions should be driven by your over-arching strategy, which details the specific business objectives you aim to achieve. It’s that simple.
Objectives Drive Healthcare Marketing Strategy Drives Initiatives
If you don’t start with objectives, you can’t create a sensible marketing strategy. And if you can’t create a sensible marketing strategy, you can’t develop effective initiatives.
Investing the time to developing a marketing strategy pays dividends because it enables you to:
- Articulate your main business goals/objectives
- Define the desired outcomes you wish to achieve with your marketing
- Define your ideal client/patient with great specificity
- Develop marketing initiatives that drive the outcomes you’ve detailed
- Create a blueprint that guides your marketing process whenever questions arise
- Avoid wasting time and money on flavor-of-the-month marketing trends
You Wouldn’t Operate on a Patient Without a Plan…Would You?
In patient care – whether a plastic surgeon preparing to perform a facelift or a wellness coach creating a plan to improve someone’s nutrition – you don’t just make things up on the fly, do you? Of course not!
For nurses, the patient care process goes something like:
So why would you not take the same systematic approach to marketing your healthcare practice?
To get started, use my very rudimentary three-point process to develop a basic marketing plan that can help you launch some initiatives immediately to bring more patients in the door.
If you lack the time or interest to create your own marketing strategy for plastic surgery, chiropractic, or wellness coaching, then, yes, you can always consult with someone like me. As I said, being a nurse I’m a helpful type.
PS: You also might find it helpful to read my short ebook, available for free, instant download: The 7 Deadly Sins of Healthcare Content Writing that Kill SEO and Turn Off Prospective Clients.