It was a turbulent year in the healthcare arena with ICD-10 coming on board, EMRs ruling the world even more, and everyone talking about Patient Experience. As the days in 2015 wind down, now is a good time to review what went right (or wrong) in your practice.
Most of the time, people only review their financials- income statement, balance sheet, cash flow, etc. - but you should also look at other aspects of your practice like personnel, expenses, expenditures, and, the focus for today, your marketing.
Start by asking the following questions:
How did your marketing perform versus expectations? You need to make sure that every marketing dollar that you spent has a purpose. Every piece of literature, email, tweet, post, etc. needs to have a very specific point. If that is happening, then you need to measure how each program did. If it accomplished its goal, look at why it was successful. If it didn’t, review why it underperformed.
Are you spending money where your “fish are swimming”, not necessarily where everyone else is spending money? One of the biggest mistakes that people make in marketing is following the crowd. You need to understand your patient and their habits. If you specialize in geriatric medicine, Facebook may not be your leading spend. You need to make sure you are using the vehicles that work for your ideal patient base.
Are you marketing to both current and potential patients? Most marketing is inherently geared towards new patients. It is broad based in nature and relies on high numbers of touches to bring in the right people. Current patient marketing is much different. It is based on touching them in an intimate way since you already have a relationship with them. Look around the office. Are you using the waiting room, exam rooms, and lobbies in a proactive, pro-patient way or are you still leaving magazines in the waiting room, old sketches of the human body in the exam rooms, and an outdated floorplan map in the lobby?
Companies like Halo Health International can help you ask and answer the right questions. They can help you understand how you should define your ideal patient, give you strategies on how to reach them, then turn you over to a marketing house to execute it. They also can do an excellent job of revamping your in house communications. Reaching patients at their time of need is the best time to educate, engage and empower them.