One of the biggest challenges clinicians face is that they don’t know what marketing to pursue. There are so many different options these days, and it can be a minefield trying to work out what will work best for your practice.
Our biggest tip when it comes to formulating your marketing strategy is plan!
While there are a lot of marketing activities that can be done ‘free’, such as sending out a newsletter to your existing database, it’s important to remember that these things aren’t really free, as they’re costing you time, but they could be a good place to start.
It’s really important when creating your marketing strategy to ensure that you’re looking at what your potential return on each marketing activity might be, so that you can make a more informed decision about where to invest your money.
Take Google Ads, for example. If you were thinking about spending £500 on Google Ads, and, on average, each patient that visits you spends £250, then you can calculate that you would need 2 new patients directly from the Google Ad to breakeven, and more than that to actually make investing in the Google Ad worthwhile.
An important aspect to this is knowing your customers inside out – in order to be able to market effectively to your ideal patients, you need to have a really good understanding of them.
This is true for any business. Think about supermarkets, for example. Through their marketing activities, they will aim to attract more people, who spend more on each visit, more often. In order to do this, the supermarket will most likely increase their marketing spend. However, what’s important about these supermarkets is the amount of data they have about their customers that help them to inform their marketing decisions. Membership cards give supermarkets an enormous amount of data about their customers, including the times they shop, the types of things they buy, and the amounts they spend, and this data gives supermarkets the ability to really target their marketing.
When big supermarkets are spending their marketing budget, their decisions are made based on clear data – they aren’t gambling in the same way that small clinic owners may be.
When marketing, we need to really understand our patients inside out. We need to be going to the places they hang out and delivering them a message that resonates with them, rather than just being ad hoc and making noise that could be expensive.
So, when thinking about how to increase your number of patients through marketing, you need to go back to those key questions: who is your ideal patient, where do they hang out, and what makes them tick?
After answering these questions, you can start to look at your budget and how to get a return on your marketing investment.