You won’t find many industries in which people debate whether they should do some marketing. The healthcare industry is one of those fields, though. You can still find people considering whether healthcare marketing is ethical, and we meet quite a few healthcare professionals who wonder — is healthcare marketing necessary?
Some people believe that medical care is a calling, not a business, so it doesn’t require marketing. The truth is, you have to keep your doors open and your lights on so you can help your patients. That means maintaining your practice and making sure that you have enough patients to stay profitable. Since the vast majority of people now go online to find local services, skipping digital healthcare marketing is a gift to your competitors.
Some people think that medical consumers naturally look for the name of a doctor when they need medical care. These people imagine that having a good reputation in the community is all it takes to have plenty of patients. In fact, we know that people looking for a doctor start by searching for information on their health concerns. They visit an average of 10 websites before they start searching for “neurologist near me.”
There are also some people who believe that healthcare marketing is just about the bottom line. If they have plenty of patients, they don’t need to think about marketing — right? In fact, your practice’s online presence is also important for recruiting staff, educating patients, reducing no-shows, and providing a good experience for your current patients.
Healthcare marketing strategy
If you aren’t convinced that marketing is necessary, you may not approach marketing in a strategic way. Some medical practices rely on the phone book, even though 97% of consumers use Google to find local businesses, and 70% of Americans don’t even own a phone book.
Others make occasional marketing efforts based on which sales person they’ve spoken with recently. After putting a few thousand dollars into billboards and a few thousand into cable TV, they may feel that marketing doesn’t really work for them.
In fact, random bursts of marketing enthusiasm don’t usually work. You need a clear strategy, with a long enough commitment to make a difference. The screenshot below shows website traffic growth for one of our clients. While we see this pattern often, we also know that people can decide after a few weeks that it isn’t working. They may give up and never see those awesome results.
A strategy that builds on getting your best message to your ideal patients — while also serving the needs of your current patients and bringing them back for continued care — is an essential for effective healthcare marketing.
Your strategy should center on digital marketing. Creating a great online presence is a must. Check out our free ebook to learn more.