It can seem like healthcare practices are faced with rising costs at every turn - from labor to technology to supplies. When expenses increase, marketing may seem like an easy line item to cut. While reducing your advertising spend may add dollars to your bottom line in the short term, studies have shown that this approach can do more harm than good.
Believe it or not, it makes sense to maintain - if not increase - your marketing budget during uncertain economic times. But, now more than ever, you must make sure every dollar in your marketing budget counts. Here are four tips for optimizing your marketing:
Personalization MattersJust like in clothing, a one-size marketing budget rarely fits all. A quick online search provides statistics that medical practices typically spend between 2-15% of their net revenues or 6-8% of their gross revenues on marketing. While these benchmarks can be a good place to start, the next step is to build a marketing budget that considers personalized goals specific to your practice. Are you about to enter a new market, do you have a new provider starting in your practice or are you looking to offer a new service? Your marketing budget could look very different from your competitor just down the road.
Learn What WorksUse tools like Google Analytics to help measure the return on investment for your digital marketing efforts. Make sure you have a call to action in your advertising, like a trackable phone number or campaign-specific URL, that helps you track conversions - those who respond to your marketing efforts and become patients. Armed with data, you can start to refine what works and what doesn't.
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Connect in Meaningful WaysHockey great Wayne Gretsky said, "I skate to where the puck is going, not where it's been." It's important to know not only who your current patients are but also how you want to grow your patient population over the next five years.
Meet your patients where they spend their time. Pick a social media platform or two to reach the audiences you want. Keep in mind that not every post or reel has to sell something. You'll want to highlight the services you offer and showcase patient testimonials, but don't forget to include things that set your practice apart - like recent awards and photos from community service projects.
Use Different Channels to Build TrustAs you're creating your budget, think about what combination of traditional and digital marketing tactics will allow your potential patients to become more familiar with your practice. In today's crowded marketplace, one channel is no longer enough. Even referral-based specialty practices can benefit from a healthy marketing spend that builds trust and recognition.
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