Excerpt from Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices. Download full PDF.
Two years ago, when we started HD Medical Marketing, we believed (and still do) that every video created should fit into a larger marketing strategy for our medical and dental partners. It is a content strategy after all, which supports brand, SEO, social, leads, and better ROI.
To us, the most important consideration in designing your marketing strategy is this: know your customer. You're likely to fail if you don't nail this one. Or, be highly successful if you do.
The business of figuring out who is a viable customer and who is not worth your marketing dollars can feel overwhelming and perhaps, like a waste of your precious time. But the truth is, this information clarifies who you are speaking to and why it matters to them. Understanding the connection between what you offer and who your customers are is fundamental to all of your marketing efforts.
Why think about it?
The better you know your customers, the more precisely you can tailor your message to reach them both in and out of your office. When you know your target audience, you waste considerably less effort on disinterested patients and improve your ROI.
How to do it
Tackle this step by asking yourself some focused questions to clarify your customer base, their needs, and their habits. To get started, consider the following:
- Who are your customers? Perhaps they are women in their 40s. They may be stay-at-home moms or professionals with greater discretionary income. Who they are will determine what they seek, how much they spend, and how well they match up with your services.
- Where do they go for research and fun? Your customers read magazines, take vacations, join clubs, support organizations, and sign up for new activities regularly. By discovering their interests, you can more easily align with their needs and passions.
- How do they shop and buy? Some people take two weeks to research before purchasing a product or service, and some people take two years. Determine how much your clients shop around and if they seek in-person or online consultations.
- Who influences their decision-making? In addition to family and friends, these influences can include online forums, research, prominent authors, and thought leaders.
- Which competitors do they look at? Nobody likes losing hard-earned customers to the competition. Research as if you are seeking the services you provide. Who pops up on searches? Knowing the field and all its competitors helps you better position yourself for potential patients.
- What objections do they have? Most often it’s cost, but what about recovery time or fear the procedure won’t go as planned? What if they have seen a lot more reviews from another doctor in the area? Get ahead of these objections and become a regarded resource.
- What makes your product or service different? How you distinguish yourself from the crowd makes all the difference with your customers. Your job is to figure out how best to communicate your unique qualities and offerings to potential patients.
As you answer these questions and more, the connection between what you offer and who your customers are becomes clear. Your practice can then operate around specific personas - all email communication, web content, video content, office art, brochures - every message your practice puts out should be with these customers in mind. Intimately knowing your customer enables you to fine-tune your message and your message channels to more effectively stay in touch with them every day.
What to expect
Once you know your customers' needs and habits, you can expect to reach more of them at a quicker pace and convert them to paying clients at a lower cost to you. Expect your vendors to be more accountable in reaching your audience with a clearer strategy and expect more actionable learnings to improve your performance over time.
Knowing your customers is an area of continual inquiry, so as your customer base grows, it requires ongoing evaluation of who they are and how they interact with your practice.
Download the entire Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices for free. Download full PDF.