One of the recent trends in the health industry is for doctors to buy for a medical practice marketing plan. Perhaps this need is spurred on by the fact that there is more competition for new patients in the medical field. Hospitals may have more doctors available who can treat the various ailments of patients, and this creates competition with physicians in private practice. Also, there are an increasing number of clinics that open for business, and all of them are competing with one another as to who can provide the best treatment while providing state-of-the-art treatment.
Marketing plans take time to develop, and there is a cost for plan development. Unless a doctor already has training in marketing, the usual route would be to outsource the development of a marketing plan or hire other people to do the advertising and promotions work for you. This would mean an expense for the doctors, and not everyone is amenable to spending.
So the question remains, should I pay for a medical practice marketing plan? Well, to answer that, the following factors should be considered:
While the initial spending for a medical practice marketing plan can be expensive (depending on the terms of the agreement), you should not be immediately discouraged by this. Remember that a good marketing plan can lead to an increase in your revenue which would definitely offset the cost of spending on the new marketing strategy.
Discerning physicians know that there are talent-filled marketing companies that can offer great marketing plans to them. These consultants can provide you with a new plan which will yield a 30-40 percent increase in the revenue that you are currently receiving. When you consider this fact, you can see that some strategies will pay for themselves in the long run.
As mentioned above, you would need to spend some money to develop a good marketing plan. That is why you would need to have to include the expense in a budget to be able to do it well. If you have the money to invest, then perhaps you would be more inclined to do marketing activities. On the other hand, if you do not have enough money, make a plan using existing manpower and talent. By default, you always have a plan in place—just make sure that it gets you where you want to go.
In relation to spending, remember that price is not equal to quality. If you are able to shop around, you may be able to find developers of marketing plans who would offer you a good marketing plan at a less expensive price.
If you want an immediate boost or a “one time thing” related to marketing, then perhaps having a marketing plan would not be the way to go right now because a good marketing plan would need some time to develop. The planning, strategic and other activities should not be rushed at the expense of producing good results.
You will get out of it what you put into it.
Practice makes perfect, that is a perfect analogy. If you practice enough at something, eventually, you will become perfect at it.The U.S. Olympic team won a record 37 medals for the 2010 winter games.
The Canadian Olympic team won the most gold medals 14 overall which is a record in itself.
Those records were achieved through determination and hard work, practice, practice and more practice. The Athletes spend hours upon hours per day practicing their art to perfection. Which in turn becomes just natural to them, it becomes a habit.
They say if you practice enough a something, you will become good at it.
Thomas Edison one of the most prolific inventors of our time (holding over 1000 patents) known for such inventions that we take for granted today such as the electric light bulb, the phonograph, motion pictures and the list goes on and on and on.
Edison had to practice day in and out to perfect his invention. In fact one of his most famous quotes: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If Edison, gave up after just a few tries then we may not enjoy many of the luxuries we do today.
And having said that, sometimes our practice leads to our failures. How so? You may be asking yourself.
Let’s take a look at our day to day habits. Smoking for example; if you smoke, can you recall the first time you tried a cigarette? You probably became very dizzy and in most likely very sick. However, do to simple practice you became an expert at smoking and as a result you are now perfect at it.
How about our spending habits? Do you ever wonder why some people are great at making money and having money and some are not?
Have you ever met someone that seems to have everything yet they are broke and deeply in debt? Or by that same token, some who lives a very meager lifestyle, yet they are financially sound? Now either of the above are from one extreme to the other however it’s the point I am trying to convey.
We can become come either victims or victors from our day to day practice.
We have become experts from what we have practiced over the years, and if we are victims of that practice, we need to become victors.
How do we accomplish this? First off as common sense tells us, we need to eliminate the bad practice.
Let’s look at the game of golf for example. We can play the game of golf over and over again and for some of us we can never break the 100 stroke mark.
Why? Golf is a game that requires not just practice, but perfect practice. If you play golf using the same swing over and over again and that swing always hooks for fades, then you have become an expert of a bad swing. In order to change to the perfect swing, you must first break yourself of the bad practice and learn over again how to get that perfect swing.
The same comes from our day to day habits, breaking ourselves of those bad habits in order to bring in the good habits.
The Broke Practice:
Do you ever wonder how some people just seem to have it all? That money is not an issue in their lives? Does it make you envious? Or even frustrated at your own situation? The difference between people who have money and the difference to those who don’t is just the way we practice our spending or saving.
The biggest problem most of us face today is debt and lots of if. Credit card debt is one of the biggest factors today. Now I am not saying having a credit card is bad. Credit cards are very useful as long as they are not abused. However, the temptation is there, with the credit card comes freedom, or should I say the illusion of freedom.
It’s so tempting to purchase that trip or widescreen TV or whatever suits our fancy. It’s only then when we fall into that trap, the way we practice our credit card spending. Come the end of the month, we feel there is a need to not pay off the balance or just make the minimum monthly payment and so begins our perfect practice at debt or being broke. We begin this practice by spending beyond our means, or better yet we are trying to keep up with the Jones.
The temptation to make a purchase beyond our means comes from needing it now or the need for immediate satisfaction. The problem is; that satisfaction only lasts a short while. The first thing we must do to break the broke practice, is to look how this purchase will affect you in the long run. Will it become a burden just to pay it off? Will it prevent me from paying off other debts?
If you answer yes to any of those questions; then it would be wise to hold off.
Think about how much money it will cost you with interest and ask yourself, do I really want or need it right now?
By simple practice and logical thinking we can take ourselves from being perfect at being broke to perfect at being prosperous.
Use this simple chart to determine if you are perfect at being broke:
Do I make large purchases on a whim?
Do I have more then one Credit card?
Is my credit card maxed out?
Do I carry a balance on my credit card?
Do I only make the minimum payment on my credit card?
Will making this purchase become a burden down the road?
Answering yes to any of the above questions, means you stuck in the Broke Practice.
Now lets look at how we can take break the Broke Practice and turn the practice into the Prosperity Practice.
First off, keep one and only one credit card and make sure you can pay off the balance at the end of each month. Look at what you can afford to spend on your Credit cards and set your limit to that. Do not increase your credit limit if you can not afford it.
Start a savings plan, this is easy to do. Look at what you spend on a month on unnecessary items and ask yourself if you really needed those items or are they just an unnecessary luxury.
To give you an example: Did you know that buy cutting just 2 cups of coffee at 3.50 a day from your local coffee shop you can save about 0.00 a year?
Over a 5 year period that comes to 50.00 and that ain’t hay folks. Take a look at your monthly bills to see where you can cut costs down as well.
Your cable, satellite, phone and internet providers all have loyalty programs in place, though they don’t advertise it. If a customer does not complain about their bill then they are not going to be in the habit of telling you that you are paying too much for their service.
Compare your bills with other companies out there, chances are you will find another company offering comparable service for a cheaper price. That’s when you hit your provider. Ask for the loyalty dept, they will offer you a discount not to change providers and they will match the price of their competition as well.
I was paying 5.00 before taxes for my phone line and internet. A flyer came in the mail offering basically the same package I have for .00 per month. A difference of .00 per month or 8.00 per year. I spoke to the loyalty dept and they offered me the same package and added a couple of features for .00 per month. Yes, the other company was cheaper by .00 per month however, I did not have to go through the hassle of changing over and I did save myself .00 per month or 0.00 per year on my service.
While doing in little things like this won’t make you rich, it will help you to get out of the practice of being broke.
What most of us don’t realize is our day to day habits of spending are the biggest cause of being in the broke practice.
Another good example is buying items on credit when you have little or bad credit.
There are lots of companies that will offer you monthly payments but at very high rates of interest.
Let’s take for example buying a 50” flat screen TV. I recently saw and ad where you can buy a TV for no money down and no credit check for .99 a week.
Let’s say the term is around 100 weeks that means you will be paying almost 00.00 for a TV that is worth around 00.00-00.00
This is where the practice of prosperity comes into play. Save the money instead. Instead of paying 0.00 a month for an over extended period of time, at which you could have bought three TV’s after interest and fees, save it.
By putting the money in a savings account and earning interest, you can have the TV yours free and clear in a little as 10 months and the good thing? It’s your TV; it does not belong to finance company who will act like a loan shark if you have trouble paying the weekly fee.
You see folks; it’s all a matter of changing your thinking. I am not promising you that by reading this book you will become a multimillionaire, however, what will happen is you work your way out of debt.
Let’s take look at the new phenomenon sweeping the nation, payday loans.
Or as I like to say, legal loan sharks.
A pay advance may seem like a good idea at the time when you are desperate for cash but you have to look at what you are paying out in interest.
A typical lender charges around .50 per one hundred dollars advanced. By advancing 0.00 it will cost you an additional .00 by the time you payback the advance and that is at roughly the lowest cost.
Payday loans can typically cost you as much as .00 per 0.00 borrowed.
On a 00.00 payday advance that will cost you a whooping 0.00.
Now here is the trap you can fall into. You get your payday advance, spend the money on whatever it is you need, when it comes time to pay it back, you have a shortfall as a result of the interest that you owe. So what happens? Well, eventually you find yourself in a bind, and again you are taking another payday advance. This is where you find yourself falling into the broke practice.
It becomes a vicious cycle that you can’t seem to get your self out of.
If you took a 00.00 payday advance each month that total cost of borrowing that money is a staggering 20.00
This is where a credit card can become an asset, as long as you apply the prosperity practice in doing so.
By making purchases on your credit card and paying back the full amount each month, you will pay no interest. And what is the cost of borrowing on the credit card by paying the full amount each month? .00
So, instead of taking a 00.00 payday advance at super high interest, use your credit card as an advance, pay the full amount at the end of the month and you are free and clear and again for the next month and so on and so on. As long as you use the prosperity practice with your credit card, it will not cost you a cent.
In fact, if you have points card, the points you can accumulate over the year may even buy you that flat screen TV you want.
In order to get out of the broke practice you have to change your way of thinking.
Remove the mentality of always thinking about being broke and think about prosperity.
When I am referring to Prosperity thinking, we don’t want to have the lottery mentality. In fact let’s take a look at lottery mentality. This mentality is where most people think that by buying lottery tickets is the key to the American dream. They see every week of some big lottery winner and think to themselves that that could be them.
This type of thinking brings you back to the Broke Practice. Not to say it’s not ok to play the lottery, but if playing the lottery is costing you more money then you need to spend; you really need to reconsider if spending that money is really worth it. Here is the reality on lotteries, they are a in a sense a money scam. Not to say they are not a legit business, but the odds of you actually winning are so astronomical it actually stagers the imagination.
Most lotteries give odds of winning anywhere from 1 in 14 million to 27 million.
To illustrate more eloquently here are the odds of you actually winning are the same as a lighting bolt coming down, opening your front door and hitting you.
In simple terms a lottery is not an investment; it is actually a waste of money if you are looking at it as a way to fulfill your financial dreams that is the lottery mentality.
For example let’s say you spend .00 per week on lottery tickets. That comes to 40.00 per year or ,400 in a ten year period. Just think about what ,400 could buy you or even better yet if you invested that money.
Let’s go back to Credit cards. As mentioned before a credit card can be a great way of handling your finances as long as you don’t fall into the credit card trap.
Most consumers have more the one credit card and tend to fall into the trap of overspending because we tend to think of credit cards as easy access to money instead of using them as a tool.
The secret of handling credit cards is to have only one. Yes, that is what I said one credit card. So many of us tend to fall into the credit card trap and find it hard to get out of. Mail in offers, store promotions offering what they term the best rates and deals such as low introductory rates, points, no annual fees etc.. all this to just lure us into applying for their card.
While this is not a bad thing; everyone needs to have a credit car nowadays, it can bring us into a trap we may find hard to get out of.
The secret to having a credit card is to pay off the balance every month as stated previously.
You may have noticed that various medical practices have already started in making their own marketing plan. You may even have one that you already use. The issue with a medical marketing campaign (and with any marketing campaign for that matter) is that you may not be so sure if it is actually effective in helping your practice succeed.
While you should understand that a marketing campaign would not provide overnight success, you should also be aware that there should be some progress after a few months. That is why it is important to note some aspects to consider if your current marketing strategies are actually working well.
Here are some factors that would help you think about how effective your medical practice marketing plan is.
Traffic of the website, Word of mouth:
If you used a website as part of your medical practice marketing plan, then you should know that there is actually a way to record the number of “hits” that it gets. For those who are not well versed in internet lingo, “hits” is basically the term used for the number of visits that your site gets.
If your website has a lot of visitors, you could assume that your practice is garnering a lot of awareness and attention from the people. This could show that your marketing efforts are not going to waste. Conversely, a low number of hits would mean that your campaign is still lacking and may need some revisions.
Increase in inquiries
Another way to gauge the success of your medical practice marketing plan would be to see if you were able to get more inquiries than usual after you have launched your campaign. Having more inquiries about your services, your doctors, and generally anything about your clinic is a good indication that you have generated enough awareness and interest that people are asking questions about it.
Having plenty of inquiries is a good thing because the medical practice could use them as leads that would help in generating revenue in the future.
Increase in revenue
As you may be aware now, having a medical practice marketing plan would cost you some money. That is why it is important that there is a tangible return on your investment. This marketing plan should ultimately lead in an increase in revenue.
You should check if after the implementation of your plan, your business was able to pick up and increase the number of clients that go to your office. After all, what is the use of a marketing plan if it did not help in providing you with the clients that you wanted to target.
If you did not see any tangible increase in the factors that were mentioned above, then it may be time for you to consider making changes to your medical practice marketing plan. If you find that your skills are inadequate to do this on your own, you could outsource it to some websites that would offer to provide you with an effective medical marketing plan.
Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC of medical marketing site and medical physician blog. A business coach whose passion is helping her physician and medical practice clients thrive in their businesses. She strongly believes that knowing how to market successfully using the Internet is a practice owner’s biggest challenge AND a major opportunity for success.
www.AttractClientsLikeCrazy.com Marketing strategies that will attract more clients to your business are pretty much universal to all businesses. The tactics will change – but the big picture components will always be the same. You must… 1) Attract Attention to your marketing message. 2) Generate Interest in your products, programs, or services. 3) Convert interest into leads, prospects, and clients… 4) Retain clients for as long as possible – making them come back to make additional purchases from you and, ideally, making larger purchases and referring new clients. This video will show you how to spot where your current marketing strategy is broken and some reasons why you aren’t getting all the clients your want. If you like these tips, you can get my entire 7-step marketing model for free at http Smiles, Adam PS If you are on social networking sites, let’s connect. facebook.com twitter.com
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Earn 30-60% MORE Revenue: How to Develop a Strategic Medical Marketing Plan for Your Medical Practice
Did you know medical professionals who market their medical practice, earn in revenue than their non-marketing colleagues?
Do you have a strategic marketing plan for your medical practice?
Do you even know how to create one?
If you own or manage a medical practice (whether you’re a dentist, doctor, physician or a practice manager), you must develop and implement medical marketing strategies if your practice is to reach its maximum profit potential.
Marketing a medical practice effectively requires specialized skill and knowledge. Armed with the proper information and tools, you can easily create and implement an affordable, ethical and effective strategic medical marketing plan for your medical practice. First, acquire the knowledge you need to correctly market your medical practice. Marketing your practice improperly can harm your professional image much more than it will help your image, so obtain the appropriate resources for developing a medical marketing plan.
Physicians, doctors, and dentists have many choices when it comes to finding professional assistance with developing a marketing plan. But, when it comes to laying the foundation for your image and brand, no one will have a better understanding of what is the best fit for your practice but you. An affordable and effective alternative to paying a medical marketing consultant tens of thousands of dollars to develop a marketing plan that may or may not be effective is to attend an Rx MD Marketing Solutions Webinar. The Rx MD Marketing Solutions Webinar Series will give you the knowledge, tools, and technology you need to become a marketing success.
Having a strategic marketing plan for your medical practice is of great importance because a strategic medical marketing plan will allow you to map out who you want to target, when you want to target them, how you’re going to reach your target market, and whether or not your marketing tactics are working based on trackable results. Without a strategic marketing plan for your medical practice, you could be throwing good money right down the drain.
Your medical practice’s strategic marketing plan should layout clear, concise, and realistic goals. To establish realistic goals, you need to identify your target market. Begin identifying your target market by considering your practice type. Which demographics will most likely use your services? Where are they located? Do you offer a service that people would be willing to drive some distance for? This might be the case for a specialty doctor like a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist. Or will the people who use your services be more interested in convenience? For example, people looking for a family doctor will be more inclined to look for a physician that they can access quick and easy. Advertising your medical practice will only be effective if you know who you are targeting.
Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to look at your competitors. Look at the location of your competitors in relation to the services both of you offer. For example, a family practice won’t view another practice two hours away as a competitor, but a plastic surgeon might. Conduct Internet research to find information related to your competitor and visit their website if they have one. Being familiar with your competition’s marketing efforts will help you differentiate yourself from them and shape the goals of your own medical marketing. Whatever you do, don’t copy your competitors! In many cases, medical practices that do conduct marketing activities actually do the wrong things. For instance, many practices create ineffective ads and leave out the major components of compelling marketing. So, gather information, but use professional and knowledgeable resources to create your medical marketing materials.
Once you have clearly identified your target market and completed your market research, you need to develop a medical marketing strategy to implement effective marketing tactics. Your strategy will be your big picture road map for attracting patients to your medical practice. Your tactics will be the specific actions you carry out to bring new patients through the doors of your medical practice.
Integrated medical marketing strategies are hands down the most effective way to sustain and grow your medical practice. Look for ways to use multiple mediums to communicate your message to your target audience. The tactics you use will be dictated by your medical marketing budget as well how your target audience will best receive and respond to your message. Some medical marketing tactics may include medical advertising in different forms of media, or the development of a grassroots marketing campaign to generate word-of-mouth advertising.
Once you’ve settled on a strategy and tactics, you will need to develop a method for tracking the effectiveness of your medical marketing plan. Tracking your results is essential to determining whether or not your marketing plan is helping you realize your goals. Tracking can be difficult if your tactics aren’t supported by turn-key marketing tools, so invest in your marketing vehicles wisely and look for built in tracking systems.
The most important thing you can do to improve the revenues of your medical practice is to develop a strategic medical marketing plan. Without a medical marketing plan you are at the mercy of the marketplace. Even if you don’t take the time to develop a professional marketing plan (which you should since Rx MD Marketing Solutions makes it easy for you to do), simply write down a mini medical marketing plan to get yourself started.
Goal: To increase the number of patients visiting the practice by 25% in the next year. Here, you have a clear goal and a definite time frame for your medical marketing.
Strategy: Make sure your existing and new patients have a positive experience at the practice, and will in turn, refer family and friends. Develop a system for generating referrals using a “Care to Share” program. This shows that you’ve chosen to use the word-of-mouth strategy for your achieving your goal.
Tactics: Regular customer service training for staff, incentives for staff based on word-of-mouth referrals; continually entertain new ways to improve the patient’s experience at the practice. Promote your “care to share” program within your practice. These tactics can be a starting point and may change depending on their effectiveness. The important thing is to have an initial direction for your medical practice marketing activities.
Tracking: Keep an excel spreadsheet of all your patients who refer new patients using your “Care to Share” program, and also track all patients who make appointments as a result of those referrals.
This example is as basic as it gets when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your medical practice. Setting goals, developing a strategy, implementing tactics, and measuring success are the four core elements of your medical marketing plan. Your marketing plan should provide a clear direction for you and your staff to follow to marketing success. Keep in mind, aspects of the plan are prone to change as some methods prove more effective than others or new ones are brought forward. Include your staff in your marketing activities and garner their support to implement your marketing tactics. It is essential that your staff understand and participate in your medical marketing activities to ensure a greater chance of success.
When selecting methods for communicating your message, make sure that your money is used to promote your practice in the most efficient way. A family doctor looking for local patients might try advertising in a community newspaper, and not in a paper distributed some distance away from their office. A plastic surgeon, on the other hand, may want more extensive coverage and would be smart to consider advertising in all forms of print media within a certain distance.
Web marketing is also a cost-effective and efficient method for communicating with your current and prospective patients. All medical practices in all practice areas, big or small, benefit from a website. People are increasingly web savvy and turn to the Internet for information; so develop a professional and informative online presence that reflects well on your medical practice.
No two medical practices are the same so you will not find a cookie-cutter medical marketing plan to implement in your practice with perfect results. Your medical marketing plan should be a well-thought out, clear document that meets the specific needs of your particular medical practice. You must uncover what will work for you and help you reach your personal and professional goals.
If you desire to develop a powerful marketing plan for your medical practice that will increase your patient loyalty and attract new patients, contact Rx MD Marketing Solutions for a wide variety of affordable and professional medical marketing options.
Rx MD Marketing Solutions provides full service marketing for doctors, marketing for physicians, marketing for cosmetic surgeons, marketing for dermatologists, marketing for aesthetics, marketing for general practice physicians, and marketing for dentists.
Our services include: Webinars to give you the knowledge you need for marketing success; Turn-key marketing tools that are ethical & professional; Affordable & effective Web design to establish your online presence; Referral programs to increase your revenues and public relations campaigns to improve your recognition. We are more than medical marketing consultants; we help explode the profits of your medical practice!