So the other day I mentioned that the big corporate hospitals (with a bunch of guys in suits, sitting round a board table sipping on coffee with stockholders to consider) have a completely different reason for marketing than you and I.
Here’s what I mean:
1.) Please/appease that board of directors (most of ‘em who know zip about advertising and marketing but have lots of options)
2.) Please/appease those stockholders
3.) Look good, look appropriate (even to wall street perhaps, if they’re big enough!)
4.) Look good, appropriate to the media
5.) Look good, appropriate to the government/banks (for future funding)
6.) Build a brand identity (curse that word)
7.) Win awards for best advertising
8.) Get patients through the door and make a profit.
Your Agenda (and mine).
1.) Get patients through the door and make a profit. Now.
Here’s the thing…
Most small town pt clinics are “advertising victims”…
Prayed on by sales people and companies who promise to “do a newsletter”, build a website (and maintain it for a monthly fee), take care of all their advertising etc etc etc, yet, the people doing so, rarely do they know anymore about how to actually produce a patient or make a sale, than the clinic owners do!…
If in doubt, try to get that sales or marketing person to accurately tell you where and how they got those new patients for you — and what it cost from source A or B — or, what results specifically come from this new website, or that newsletter or the latest display ad, and usually,well, they can’t.
Enter Direct Response Marketing.
And let me show you how to use it to get ahead of your bigger competitors.
First, I need you to think about how a “typical” patient with, say, something like “back pain”, might think, and, take action.
As you know…
MOST patients don’t take action the minute they feel their back pain coming on.
Many wait weeks, months and even years before doing something about it.
Including, but not limited too:
* Not sure what a pt actually does
* Insurance hassles and headaches
* Time – everyone thinks that tomorrow will be the day it just disappears
* Self doubt – most people are so negative that they think nothing and no one can help “ME”.
* Easier to just suffer (than find time for 10 sessions of pt)
* Too much choice (pt, chiro, osteo, drugs, homeopath etc etc) meaning that it’s easy to get the decision wrong – so inaction seems the best and safest one.
* And many, many more.
So now think about how you could possibly motivate all of these people people, who think like this, to call your clinic?
Are you really going to do that by simply putting an advert in a newspaper or on Facebook which says “I’m here, call today” (i.e. brand awareness).
Now think about why a patient might choose a corporate hospital in the first place.
It’s all to do with “trust”!
Something that because of the perceived status and authority that a BIG hospital has in society, which is difficult for anyone to match – small town or independent pt’s included.
But there is a way to get round this…
By catching the attention of, a usually unsuspecting prospective patient, by OFFERING them something that is much easier, less hassle and comes with no effort, zero risk or finical outlay (than calling their network or visiting a hospital).
It could a “free tips report”.
Something that has a perceived benefit (and value) and promises to solve their problem — with very little effort required on their part.
That free tips report could be:
“How To End Back Pain Quickly
And Easily In 9 Simple Steps”…
(I call it “bait”.)
And would give people a reason to RESPOND to your advert by calling your clinic…
Therefore giving you an opportunity to, first get their contact details, and then later, begin to answer questions that your new prospective patient has.
And the real GOLD in this marketing strategy, is this:
Once you’ve got their contact details, you’ve also bought yourself some TIME.
TIME which you can use to build authority, trust and respect.
(Like what the corporate hospitals get automatically).
Now you can FOLLOW UP with that person (who you know has back pain) and convince them that YOU (and pt) are the best solution to solve their problem long term.
Maybe tell them all about how you help people just like them with some recent success stories…
Explain why coming to see you is going to be better in the long run, because you can offer the type of personalised and highly specialised care that the corporates can’t…
– AND –
That, you can take care of all the referral and insurance headaches for them, by having your assistant setting up appointments or getting forms faxed to and signed by doctors who you like.
To sum up todays lesson:
Use “direct response marketing” to exchange valuable information for contact details and you get a chance to explain what you really do and how you can really help – LONG before those people were even beginning to think about calling their network and ever get to parking their car outside a big hospital.
You’re getting to all these people long before physicians at hospitals are even mentioned.
Let me know what questions you’ve got for me about this.
I love to hear from you and I read all replies personally.
(Just give me a day or so to respond as I’m busy with my own patients too – really busy with new patients at the minute ;-).
Go ahead, hit reply.
P.S Look out for the next email in this series devoted to showing you how to put an end to worrying about doctor referrals at your clinic.
HIT REPLY and let me know what questions you want answering or fill out this form here to let me know what specific challenges your facing and I’ll work to solve them with you: