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Medical Marketing Made Simple

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Twenty years ago, it was unthinkable for a doctor to market what they do like an Estate Agent.

Now, it's vital.

Many Surgeons are asking us why medical marketing is now so important, what is "effective" medical marketing, and how they can benefit from it?

In 2017 around £1.54 billion was estimated to have been spent on "medical marketing".

Now, just 3 years later, this has grown to over £2.13 billion a year.

That's a £600 million increase in spending on Medical Marketing, in around 3 years! It’s is here to stay, and it's very lucrative for those who get it right.

But how?

YESpbm - Medical Marketing Made Simple
YESpbm - Medical Marketing Made Simple

Medical Marketing Made Simple

Creating effective marketing strategies for medical practices can be a challenging and often frustrating task.

With what appears to be an infinite number of marketing and advertising channels available, and contradictory information online about which is the best fit, navigating the options can be confusing. The last thing anyone wants is to make the wrong choice and waste time, money, and valuable resources.

An effective new patient campaign requires more than a website.

One of the most significant shifts in patient behaviour in recent years is the way they're finding and contacting doctors, surgeons, and other providers.

Almost gone are the days when a patient found their surgeon through a referral or word of mouth. Now, when patients look for medical services, they almost always start with a Google search (even IF they've been referred to that practice).

Entering, for example, "Plastic surgeon in London" will result in around 6 million responses from Google.

Where you rank in that list (your SEO score) and what your colleagues, former staff, ex-wife and patients say about you is linked to your brand in a split-second.

Many surgeons operate a clinic with their own, personal names as their operating brand (or company name). Anything negative about their work, or the company, which is said online is now linked to their own Personal Brand.

It's the management of these links and results, the "Personal Brand Management" that YESpbm specialises in for the medical profession.

YESpbm discovered there has been a £600 million increase in spending on Medical Marketing, in around 3 years!
YESpbm discovered there has been a £600 million increase in spending on Medical Marketing, in around 3 years!

According to research, "Google accounts for 86% of these searches, Bing accounted for 7%, Yahoo accounted for 3%" with others following behind - Statista

Often now, the first impression a patient get of you is online, and it's vital you control the message. Remember - medical review rankings are essential for 88% of prospective patients.

To be competitive in the long term, you really need to have a high number of positive reviews and a rating of at least 4.5. Your total number of reviews will offer the potential patient "social proof" and reinforces their decision to engage.

YESpbm suggests that a surgeon with more than 10 years in practice, should aim for between 100-300 reviews.

The more "popular" or dare I say it, famous you are, the more patients will feel comforted by your Personal Brand, and the more they will pay for their treatment.

The good news? Reviews will tell you a lot about what your patients feel about you, or your practice, it’s free feedback, so pay attention, take note, and respond positively to any criticism. Thanking the reviewer, and offering to do better next time is always received better online than a response filled with blame, excuses and denial.

YESpbm recently conducted the worlds first, in depth research of the medical review industry.

This study, by YESpbm (Personal Brand Management), has revealed that there’s a direct link between the number of reviews ( plus the review score), the profitability of the clinic, the income of the surgeon, and the mental health of both the surgeon and their team.

According to recent data, Google Reviews, which are relatively new to the review space, are now the most influential reviews for new patient acquisition and existing patient engagement across all channels. Often now eclipsing other "traditional" sites such as RateMD's, RealSelf, Trustpilot, and Yelp.

Given Google's size, market share and their rather biased algorithms, it is safe to say they will quickly dominate the review space, in all fields.

Competing in today's consumer-driven, value-based care market requires a targeted, data-driven medical marketing strategy.

Medical marketers, with the proper processes and technologies, are ideally positioned to educate, inspire, and engage new and potential patients with relevant information across the chosen channels.

Let's examine some key marketing categories for you to explore as an introduction.

Market or promote your clinic online so that YOU control the message
Market or promote your clinic online so that YOU control the message

Personalised, relationship focussed content

Hyper-personalisation can be an important component of a medical marketing campaign, whether the aim is patient acquisition or retention.

Utilise the quantity of information contained inside the electronic health record and the patients' behaviour/data frequently found in customer relationship management software, to create marketing content that is highly relevant to your target audience.

The ultimate goal is to become a trusted care resource and a collaborator in your patient's health journey.

Ensure that all information supplied is tailored, actionable, and timely.

An example might be a scheduled, free 12 month follow up with a cosmetic patient. In this follow up, you will have the opportunity to check your work and connect personally with the patient to see if they require, or desire, additional treatment. In turn, they will feel valued and engaged, which will flow through any reviews or recommendations.

Data-driven, targeted marketing

Marketing efforts will fall flat if you utilise a "broad stroke" outreach technique. Use predictive modelling to discover individuals who are likely to respond positively to the campaign.

Offering free advice to online forums is extremely effective. You are seen to be an expert in the field, who is helpful to a community. And it's free.

Imagine joining a mums facebook group and offering any advice to women seeking a tummy tuck or breast lift. There is no need to be pushy, simply make yourself available. Build it and they will come.

Keeping track of interactions within your CRM will offer rich, dynamic customer data, allowing you to better understand your audience's behaviour and preferred methods of communication.

Many new CRM's link to social channels for the immediate importation of any respondents or engagement.

With the correct audience target, platform mix, and content, you have a better chance of converting a prospect into a lead and a lead into a conversion.

The team at YESpbm has successfully designed and implemented several CRM and Patient Retention systems for clients. If your system isn't yet up to scratch, you’ll be losing opportunities. Get in touch and a specialist at YESpbm can talk you through the high points.

Create a unique digital strategy:

When developing their approach, healthcare marketers could look to typically consumer-driven industries such as retail and hospitality.

Today's consumers use search engines to study suppliers just as they would any other significant purchase.

A solid digital strategy is essential for ensuring your organisation's online visibility. Digital marketing methods can produce a more substantial return on investment than traditional marketing, and you're in control every step of the way.

What should a Medical Marketing plan include?

Regular Email Marketing: It's an excellent addition to a solid online marketing plan. When it comes to informational emails, they should have highly relevant resource links, high-quality designs, and a clear call to action (such as "Call us now to discover more").

Search Engine Optimisation: What good is a well-designed website if it can't be found? Use best practices in search engine optimisation (SEO) to optimise your site for terms that customers are searching for, considering common symptoms, your area, primary care specialities, and more.

If Google is the first place your prospective patient is looking, your website will be second. Make it clean and fresh. Update it often and incorporate videos of yourself discussing relevant topics. It's a nice way for your potential patient to get to know you, before they get to meet you.

All content, but especially videos, should be updated regularly. Archiving old clips to refresh them every year or two (only to refresh them, not lose their ranking or SEO score).

Did you know - if you enter “plastic surgeon London” into a Google search there are over 5 million responses? Make yours stand out .

Social Media Strategy: In healthcare, social media is an excellent platform for showcasing your care capabilities via rich visual content such as video and photographs.

It also provides a place for consumers to express inquiries and gain access to relevant information.

Make sure you are on the main social apps like Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter and TikTok. Management Apps like Hootsuite offer the ability to update several social media channels at once and can be invaluable for a busy practice.

YESpbm helps tailor your social media content to best reflect your Personal Brand
YESpbm helps tailor your social media content to best reflect your Personal Brand

Retargeting: Retargeting, simply put, is making sure that people who have visited your website will see your content, or advertisements on other web pages they visit.

Healthcare decisions require a significant amount of effort and research. Retargeting individuals who visit your website, but do not convert, can keep you and your practice top of mind to get an advantage over your competitors.

As results show that 70% of patients think online reviews are essential in selecting healthcare providers, having your content in front of them, in various locations, while they are making their decision can add value, trust and substance to your brand online.

“But I don’t have time for Medical Marketing..”

Online reviews are everywhere, but few practice managers, or surgeons, are yet to really grasp how vital they are in determining, or protecting market share.

Time is of the essence in a successful practice and these things are all too easily overlooked. Do so at your peril.

When was the last time you rented a tape from Blockbuster? What was then the largest entertainment company on earth was so confident in their market position, they turned down an offer to buy Netflix - for cents on the dollar. Ouch.

Overlooking your Medial Marketing can lead to increased negative reviews, and a loss of patient confidenice, and business sooner than you think.

Keep in mind, that just one negative review can turn away over 30 prospective patients (source - Google).

Working with professionals can help remove negative reviews, attract more patients and increase your bottom line.

Engaging specialists to pay close attention to your Personal Brand Management and Medical Marketing is an effective way to save time, and get great measurable results.

Why not get in touch with the experts at YESpbm for a confidential, free 15 min chat. Or, click HERE- to schedule a time that suits you directly in our calendar.

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