Everyone goes looking for that one strategy, key focus, or regular practice that will unlock success in their marketing and create growth in their business. The problem is that they are approaching the issue the wrong way. The real “silver bullet” in marketing a professional practice is to institute four essential “pillars.” These Four Pillars of Marketing create a rounded, complete foundation for all your efforts that can generate real growth for your practice.
Are You Getting Ignored?
Here’s the truth: most people do marketing backward. They present people with their resumes or their latest and greatest technology, hoping to convince potential patients that this doctor is the expert they need. Most of the time, this doesn’t work. People tend to ignore those messages, or promptly forget about them when the message is no longer in front of their faces.
The fact is that most people just don’t care about you. They are too busy worrying about their own problems and lives. What they really want to know is simple: do you have answers to solve my problems? This is where the four pillars of marketing come into play. A well-rounded, pillar-based series of strategies allows you to reach a wide variety of people through multiple venues, so you and your practice become the one people think of when they need help.
The Four Pillars
These are the four pillars of marketing a professional practice: web-based, referral, internal, and external strategies. Together these create a solid platform for educating the public and getting your information to the people who are already looking for your answers and services, but don’t know you can provide them.
Web-based marketing is everything about your practice on the internet. This includes your website, social media, professional blog, online videos, review sites, and Google search rankings. More and more of our world today exists on the web, so your practice needs to be there, too. You need good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and quality content posted on your website regularly. You need to create that content in multiple mediums and share it across social media. You need Google Analytics to help you discover what works and what doesn’t. All of this makes you more visible when people search on the internet.
Referral marketing is receiving direct recommendations or medical referrals from local business or other practitioners outside your specialty. Word-of-mouth from trusted sources is one of the best ways to connect your information with the people who will use it. Business cards, little gifts, hosted lunches, M&M’s—anything you can leave behind or do for these referral sources helps keep you in their minds. So when someone coming to them complains about a problem you can handle, they will think of you first.
Internal marketing uses both customer service and a list you create within your office to continually reach out to the people you already have an established relationship with. This includes your in-office customer service before, during, and after a patient’s visit. It also allows you to keep in touch with the people who come through your doors. Regular e-mails, follow-up appointment reminders, newsletters, and more keep you in patients’ minds so they are more likely to return to you.
External marketing uses as many additional sources as you can pull together to establish yourself as an expert. This can include newspaper articles, niche magazines, TV or radio interviews, public speaking, event sponsoring, and more. All of this serves to establish yourself as an active presence in your community—again, keeping yourself in the forefront of people’s minds.
Together, these form the basis of a successful marketing strategy. You can’t just invest in one or even two of them. To really make a difference, you need to push forward in all four areas. Then you will see the real difference in your numbers and growth. Top Practices has worked with and refined this approach to marketing for many years, and has been helping professional practices implement it successfully. This can work for you. If you’d like to learn more about the four pillars of marketing, or want more information about how Top Practices could help you, check out our Mastermind group or contact us at (717) 725-2679 or email us at [email protected].