I have always said the four pillars are equal, and none of them are technically more important than the others. Excellent marketing plans incorporate all four, so you’re reaching out through all four possible routes that new patients find you. But the third pillar, internal marketing—or database marketing—is particularly crucial. It’s the process of engaging your own list of people who already know you, like you, and trust you. At the end of the day, this is the single most important marketing pillar or strategy that exists for any medical practice.
Staying in touch with and nurturing relationships with people who have already visited your office, who like you, and who are more than willing to refer to you, are what I consider the “great secrets” of marketing. All successful businesses understand this, and spend as much of their time and resources as they can to develop and engage this list of people. They reach out to the patients on their list regularly, using multiple mediums, to “check in” and offer valuable information that these people are already interested in. This keeps people thinking about you and how helpful you’ve been in their lives.
Podiatry practices that understand the incredible importance of communicating to and nurturing your list benefit from significantly increased referrals and reactivations of past patients. They also benefit from patient recalls, such as yearly diabetic check-ups and periodic orthotic evaluations. These practices have full reception rooms and patients that feel cared for and understood.
At Top Practices, we manage this through automated databases that routinely, regularly, and automatically communicate with your existing list. This includes active patients, inactive ones, really inactive patients, and medical and nonmedical referral sources—really, anyone who could potentially refer others to your office.
By staying connected to this group of people every month, using both online and offline methods, you’ll keep your reception room filled with exactly the kinds of patients you want to see. The Top Practices Mastermind group works to help our doctors make the absolute most of their internal marketing. In fact, we have a whole program, Marketing Database Management Services, that helps members manage their own databases every week. If you want to know more about developing this crucial part of your marketing strategy, contact Patrick Feutz. You can reach him by calling (616) 931-1040 or emailing [email protected].