Marketing a Healthcare Practice

We’ve spent years representing a variety of healthcare practices, across all specialties, and these are the top 2 questions I get asked most often about marketing.

1.    Q: “What kinds of problems can marketing help a practice solve?”

A: The answer is- plenty.

Ultimately, the goal with marketing any healthcare practice is to grow the business by attracting more patients, but a well-rounded, personalized marketing plan will achieve much more for the provider.  Strategic and ethical marketing opens the door to benefits for providers to:

-Achieve profitable growth;
-Attract cases that the doctors either enjoy or have special expertise for;
-Protect and grow market share against competition;
-And, build the professional reputation of the provider with the community and peers.

These high level objectives also translate into answers to challenges and opportunities such as:

-Attracting better paying or more profitable cases;
-Reaching “ideal patients”, directly and cost-effectively;
-Changing the mix of patients or types of cases;
-Winning more professional referrals;
-Supporting a new location, provider or technology (or all of these);
-Transitioning to a “cash business” or “all-referral” practice;
-Standing out from the crowd in positive ways;
-And, tastefully building and extending your reputation.

2.    Q: “How can we tastefully market without hurting our reputation?”

A: It’s all in how you do it.

It’s no secret that many doctors and healthcare organizations remain “marketing-shy” more than 30 years after the landmark 1977 Supreme Court case Bates V. The State Bar of Arizona which made marketing legal for doctors and other professionals. What’s more, while the licensing boards deemed marketing to be ethical in the early 1980s, and over time thousands of healthcare practices and organizations nationwide began marketing, many doctors still feel uncomfortable because they are worried about coming across as “needy, cheesy or greedy.”

If that sounds like you, I understand your concern. After all, your most precious asset is your reputation, and you certainly wouldn’t want to jeopardize it through distasteful or unethical marketing.

What’s important to remember, however, is that the way you market your practice or business- and therefore the reputation you build- is completely up to you. Marketing is an important channel for positive influence in shaping how others think of you. You’re telling patients, prospective patients, colleagues and others what you do, and reminding them when, how and why to think of you and your organization first or most often. The message that’s received depends entirely on the message that you send, so you want to control and direct this process.

Healthcare marketing- done professionally and using the right strategies and tactics- will produce professional results in measureable growth, and actually enhance your reputation in positive ways.

If you’d like to learn more about marketing your healthcare practice, contact us.