As a medical professional, you’ve undoubtedly heard a lot of bad advice floating around your community or the web when it comes to healthcare. Just as assuredly, you’ve cringed and wondered what it will take to stop people from buying into bad ideas. The same problem exists in the world of marketing, especially for healthcare providers.
How can you avoid these medical marketing myths in 2020? Learn what they are and then debunk them.
Myth #1: We can’t take any more patients
First off, congratulations. This is what’s known as a high-class problem and we understand that you might feel hesitant about running a marketing campaign when there’s no room on the schedule for more patients.
But these things run in cycles for all businesses and healthcare can be particularly tough because you aren’t in control of things that could reduce your patient base. What if a large company nearby lays off a third of its workforce and those employees are forced to relocate? It’s a good bet that some of your patients are included in that group. That’s in addition to patients you’ll lose through natural attrition—everything from the individual family that moves out of the area to death itself.
Instead, look at your booming practice as an opportunity. Strengthen your networking relationships with other practices and refer out any patients you can’t see. By continuing to market, you’re keeping your name in the public eye and the increased networking is a way of having some goodwill for a rainy day.
Myth #2: Ethical/legal restrictions won’t allow advertising
The fact you think like this means you don’t want to be one of those practices that put out sleazy ads, that’s more persistent than a door-to-door salesman or lacks awareness of HIPPA protections for patients that you’ve served well. But you still need to steer clear of all-or-nothing thinking.
Talk to your lawyer about some type of language that patients can agree to if they’re willing to provide a testimonial. A lot of patients are willing to help and you can protect their legal rights in the process. Change the way you think about marketing—see it as simply an opportunity to do the equivalent of handing your business card to everyone who sees an ad. No pressure, just making them aware that you exist.
Myth #3: Our last marketing campaign didn’t increase office visits
You’re thinking the right way in wanting hard conversions in exchange for your ad dollars, but are you sure? Do you ask patients where they heard about you? Do you have any data regarding the correlation between increased office visits generally and the peak of your ad campaign? Does Google Analytics track the number of people who put the mouse over the phone number?
Marketing, like healthcare, is fraught with myths. Those that are successful at marketing, like those who are in good health, cut through the myths and focus on good advice.