A well-rounded approach to marketing allows medical professionals to meet current and potential patients where they already are with information that’s relevant to their lives. That’s how you grow a medical practice. Of course, having a well-rounded marketing plan uses every major venue to connect you with patients. There really are only four ways to do this—what we call the Four Pillars of Marketing. External marketing is the one pillar most doctors think of when they consider marketing, but that doesn’t mean all medical practices execute it well.
Defining External Marketing
External marketing is a strategy that uses many widely seen or heard mediums or venues to raise awareness about your practice and the services you can provide. It’s the type of marketing that most closely resembles traditional advertising, so it tends to be what people think of when you mention marketing at all. It can include ads in magazines, radio or TV spots, billboards, flyers, public speaking, event sponsoring, newspaper articles, and more. It’s anything that can reach a broad audience all at once.
The Benefits and Pitfalls of External Marketing
This broad reach is both a great asset and potential drawback for this marketing strategy. On the one hand, you’re getting your name and services “out there,” making the information available for many people to see. This can greatly raise community awareness for your practice. On the other hand, this type of marketing is less focused and targeted than other kinds. It’s reaching people who might be looking for services like yours, yes, but it can be easily overlooked or forgotten as patients rush about their busy lives.
Having drawbacks doesn’t mean this pillar isn’t worth your time. Sponsoring a race or local sports team, hosting or participating in a health fair, passing out flyers, or even submitting articles to a newspaper or niche magazine might be the only way some people find you. More than that, these marketing touches can motivate interested people to seek out more information about you, even if they aren’t ready to make an appointment at that moment.
Learning to Make This Pillar Work for You
In order for external marketing to really work for you, it has to be executed carefully. Paying for expensive radio or TV spots at random and hoping you’ll get new patients isn’t the most effective way to use this particular marketing pillar. Instead, focus on ways to raise awareness in places where you’re most likely to encounter people who need your services. If you’re an OB/GYN, consider having flyers or posters at baby supplies stores or popular health spas. If you’re a podiatrist, consider sponsoring a local race and setting up a booth there. If you’re a plastic surgeon, consider writing articles for a niche beauty magazine. There are tons of other opportunities out there; you just have to know where to look.
How Top Practices Can Help
Of course, trial and error for this pillar—like the others—can be expensive and difficult. That’s where Top Practices can help. Our Mastermind groups discuss effective external marketing strategies, as well as how to pair them with the other marketing pillars for maximum reach and effectiveness, on a regular basis. We can help you figure out how to best use the resources you already have to take advantage of raising awareness about your practice in your own community.
Don’t miss a valuable opportunity to connect with potential patients who might not find you any other way by ignoring this particular marketing strategy. Instead, let Top Practices help you succeed and make sure this method actually works toward your goals instead of costing you money. Contact us for more information or to join our Mastermind groups today by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected].