One of a medical practice or hospitals biggest challenges stems from the surplus of providers in most communities in the USA. Most physicians’ practices and even hospitals earn revenues that depend on the numbers of patients they take care of. And the competition for the health care dollar is fiercer than ever! A contemporary trend is to establish a physician “brand”. In the same way that companies advertise their products to create awareness, interest and desire, doctors have to do the same in order to attract more patients or clients to their medical practices and businesses.
Physician marketing is an all encompassing term that describes the various methods used to promote or advertise a medical practice or physician business.
Some of the forms this marketing can take are:
Having a website is crucial especially in this information age. With a simple click of a mouse, a curious or needy searcher can get all the data and information he or she needs to take action. Smart doctors now recognize the importance of a well-thought out and designed website to highlight not only their skills and practice or business details, but also to make a compelling case for why their practice or business is unique, special or different. Skilled webmasters and designers create websites that make it easy to be found in an online search. Having a website gives a physician a vehicle from which he or she can promote their specializations and capabilities.
Through medicine and health journals
Innovations, discoveries and clinical breakthroughs by a physician boost ones credibility and reputation. A medical discovery, a new treatment method or even a more efficient and effective way to provide care helps distinguish a physician and may attract more patients to a practice.
Positioning as an Expert
Of course, nothing beats being a recognized expert in a field. An expert is more likely to attract business (and revenue) as long as he or she continues to produce great results. In this case, “advertising” is likely to take the form of testimonials from satisfied patients or clients. This word of mouth advertising is free and often reliable as a source of generating new business.
One final note about marketing in the medical and health fields: Marketing involves communicating a compelling message to prospective patients or clients that provides a meaningful value proposition and invites action. As physicians, it behooves us to learn this “not brain surgery” skill!