Foundations Of Effective Healthcare Marketing

When we buy a house, one of the worst things you can hear is that that foundation has issues.  We all have a pretty good understanding that the foundation holds up the rest of the structure of the house, and therefore is a pretty big deal!  Why then, do we rush through and not build solid marketing foundations when we build our practices?  It seems that these things that are absolutely crucial are often overlooked and an afterthought instead.  

Most dentists don’t even know what these crucial foundations are in their marketing mix.  Let’s take a quick look at what those are:

  1. Branding - We dove into this earlier this month because we feel so strongly that branding is important.  Branding is important because it sets the tone for how you portray your office verbally, visually, audibly, and emotionally.  When you know WHO you are, you can easily portray that to your community, patients, and future patients. 
  2. Website - In today’s world, a website is a must.  87% of adults in the United States use the internet and with the rise in mobile access, your online presence needs to be a priority.  http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/health-fact-sheet/  That said, your website is the one place online that YOU own and control.  While you can have profiles on other sites like social media, review sites, and other referring sites, you don’t own those sites, so you are limited to their structures.  Your website is live and working for you 100% of the time, so make sure your website is clear about what you do, who you serve, and how to connect with you.
  3. Social Media - 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility.  Social media is constantly evolving and growing, making it a challenging space.  However, if you have a smart social media strategy, you can benefit from the growing population of patients who are paying attention to messages on these channels!
  4. Print Collateral - While we all love to be paperless, there is a certain level of paper that you need to have to brand your practice well.  Business cards, appointment reminders, referral cards, and simple brochures are all important materials to create from the beginning.  These allow you to share your brand information to your patients in a simple, understandable format.  While our culture is very digital, most patients will still appreciate the ability to grab some of these tangible items.  

Once you have the foundations in place, you can actually do something with your marketing strategy.  However, to advertise a practice that has no website and no logo would be a waste of money and completely illogical in our world today.  You HAVE to build these simple foundations before you can focus on growing your practice and growing your marketing strategies. 

Valerie Morris