Whoever told you marketing is the last skill you need in healthcare, was lying!
I know therapists who thought that if they set up practice, opened the doors, people would just come. I also know others that feel in the public system, marketing is not relevant to them. Marketing in health care is important, and whether you want to or not, the minute you open the door, you are marketing! So, for those who didn't think they were marketing... now you have found out you are 'accidentally' doing it, are you doing it well?
Marketing needs to be part of each and every day. It is not just about advertising to create a busier clinic or get more patients. Teaching the new round of registrars about how to refer to your department, when to send patients, and how the protocols work….. is marketing. Creating a smooth transition for patients coming through your doors, right from filling in paperwork, treatment and checking out….. is marketing. Providing information via social media on topics relevant to your profession…… is marketing. Convinced? Marketing in healthcare is:
- Developing great services to promote good outcomes, and promote healthcare industries
- Providing education to patients, referrers, and the general public so they can make informed decisions about health outcomes
- Creating a brand behind your service (be it public or private), so patients feel safe and happy to part with their time/money to see you. This is facilitating engagement with your patient
- And then…. In the process of that, new referrals can be generated.
Effective marketing in healthcare is in large about building trust and developing relationships. You could say the purpose of marketing is to create and maintain a strong connection or feeling amongst referrers and patients, so they are predisposed to thinking of you and recommending you to others. To achieve this, we need to make sure we offer relevant information and showcase what makes us unique.
So, why are people not coming to you? I can guarantee it is most likely not because you are not good. Great therapists can go broke. It is most commonly because they don’t know what you do. They also don’t know what the benefits are, or what makes you unique over the competition. It is common for patients, even in your own clinic or practice, that do not know the full repertoire of skills you offer. You need to tell them, and you need to share the benefits.
Feel like you don't know where to start with marketing? Don't worry, we cover this in the next blog. Stay tuned.