As a Dr you’ve spent years becoming credentialed and learned about your medical specialization. Now you’re finding that sustaining and growing your practice requires you to enter into competition with other Drs or Healthcare Professionals to get new patients and referrals. You’ve realized that you have to learn about marketing and branding your practice. A sound marketing and branding campaign can help grow your practice, increase patient-retention, and when done right will be an inspiration. This article will give you a comprehensive overview of branding and marketing your practice, so you can work confidently with the best design in association with the marketing team you can take help or afford. So far what as common man we would have been exposed to the only kind of marketing the doctors are interested in are the signboards in front of their chamber with the in numerous degrees. By looking at it, is it possible to tell the good ones from the bad ones? But if Dr’s are really good, if they have a bunch of happy patients who are really satisfied in their work, why not use these happy patients as a medium? Why not facilitate them by helping them spread the word around on behalf of Drs? Why not invite them in a social event? Why not keep a database of them, assign someone to regularly call these people and check on their health? Why not create a small demonstrative video advising people in different preventive measures and show this video in different places? Why not create a word of mouth-able slogan and spread it around?
While these are just drops in the vast ocean of activities that doctors can do to position themselves as attractive brands, it does not take away the importance of the fact good doctors are few and far between. And if the good ones come out and brand themselves, it will be beneficial for him as well as the patients who can actively find him through such branding. Then maybe, just maybe, patients no longer have to suffer in the hands of a bad doctor.
Competent doctors get referrals from colleagues and other health care professionals. Competent doctors also have clients that return for subsequent consultations. Bad doctors are discredited by colleagues and their patients through bad word of mouth. Moreover, if they transgress seriously enough, they get de-registered.
As doctors have to abide by stringent and necessary ethical guidelines with regards to marketing and advertising by various enforcement associations and legal policies the aspects of marketing and branding of Dr’s has to be done with utmost care and concern.
What Every Doctor Should Know About Marketing and Branding?
The years it takes a Doctor to attain credentials for medical practice, the effort, the sacrifices and the mountain of skills in medical specialization one has to acquire, makes setting up a medical practice a real investment. Yet even after establishing such a practice, it sometimes becomes impossible to sustain and develop it into a profitable enterprise. Needless to mention, Dr’s are in the business for the income. Competition has increased even the new Consultants in practice realize the need of branding and marketing their medical practice. It is time to get alert.
There is need to get out to the public and inform them of their presence, their ability and willingness to help them, their unique medical services and the reason why they are the best suited to deal with their medical problems. Doing that essentially constitutes branding and marketing the business.
Effective marketing for a Dr is all about confidence & image his patients have of him & his fraternity colleagues respect him for his vast knowledge, apt medical treatment and patient satisfaction. Most important fact is that the Dr’s practice should project the right image to his potential patients & referral Dr’s through all his marketing and finally treatment outcome
Answer the Question before Branding & Marketing
Are you are a referral-based specialist practice or are your patients coming from the general public?
After answering this question, the marketing paths can be defined.
Branding and marketing Dr’s practice effectively requires that you undertake a meticulously researched, planned, executed and evaluated campaign. The following is a sample process with the essential features of such a successful campaign.
Steps in Branding and Marketing for a Doctor
1. Define your practice’s image for the current and prospective patients to identify with.
2. Define the unique selling proposition of your practice that sets you apart from the competition.
3. Design your creative and distinct logo and then develop standard graphics to be used in all your corporate prints (fonts, branding colors etc).
4. Design complementally corporate materials like business cards, newsletters, letterheads, envelopes, signage, prescription pads, brochures etc.
5. Research your market and define your target clientele in age, preferences, medical concerns, geographical reach etc and then prepare a marketing budget corresponding to the market.
6. Design printed marketing materials that are highly informative, easily understandable, attractive, brief and precisely formatted for legibility. Always include office hours, map to your place, Web address, services, telephone etc on each printed material.
7. Form high strategic business partnerships with reputable medical practices in the area such as patient referral agreements, ensuring that all engagements are on a win-win basis.
8. Distribute your literature and key adverts in the waiting room and prepare patient giveaways such as pen. Make sure that the waiting room is overly comfortable.
9. Get a website and brand it too with informative content and highly navigable pages that are Search Engine Optimized for bringing targeted visitors to your site.
10. Buy and brand all marketing touch points (Choosing Marketing vehicles-explained in detail below) as positioned, planned and budgeted.
11. Have all staff wear a distinct uniform set that sets you a part and gives an additional touch to your look with care and concern for patient.
These are only some of the essential activities that Dr’s should undertake in the process. Benefits of a successful branding and marketing campaign will be increasing Dr’s clientele base, refining the clients who come into their practice to their specialization niche and retaining all of the clients who come to them.