This is the first of a four part series titled “SPONTANEOUS EFFORTS DON’T PRODUCE CONSISTENT RESULTS”.
This first part talks about three kinds of practices.
What drives your decision making process when deciding what forms of marketing to use to promote your plastic surgery practice? If it’s your fear of not appearing in the page one results of a Google search for the phrase ”plastic surgery” or concern that your fellow colleagues are featured in a publication and you’re not – you’re making your decisions based on fear and that won’t be conducive to creating a sound, long-term, strategic marketing plan.
Yet, with so many forms of marketing available today, what’s the best mix for your practice and how do you keep it balanced? What are the most effective strategies and tools? What type of messaging is appropriate for the medical industry to ensure that you are handling sensitive topics with respect and integrity while staying within legal and society membership regulations? With the fast-paced life of a plastic surgeon, how can you find time to make a marketing plan – and who do you trust to help you create and implement that plan?
The questions are many and can be intimidating. Most medical schools don’t offer plastic surgeons classes in the business of marketing and branding, and likely you don’t have extra time to devote to it. You are highly trained to do surgery – that’s what you enjoy and are expert in – and that’s where your revenue comes from.
Through working with plastic surgeons throughout the U.S. over the past ten years, I have identified some basic principles that will help you create a successful marketing plan for your practice. Over the next few posts I am going to share with you a seven-step process to create that plan. First let’s take a look at some typical practice profiles. Think about which example best reflects your current practice.
I SEE BASICALLY THREE KINDS OF PRACTICES:
The first group has an aggressive, integrated marketing plan, a great staff, and a compelling identity and mission. Systems are in place to make it an efficient, smoothly running practice. They have a highly competent patient coordinator and office manager who do more than handle administrative tasks. They build relationships with patients and promote the practice’s marketing message in every interaction. The closure rate on these practices is generally high and can vary from 70% to 90% or higher.
The second group has tried various marketing ideas, but is frustrated. They know that they must improve and feel that they are working longer and harder with less to show. The staff is not always as focused or driven as the physician would like and there may be excessive turnover. The physician’s message is getting lost. Some consults slip through without getting the attention they need, and their closure rate remains low. Many physicians in this group have experienced incredible turnarounds when they implement a strategic marketing plan.
The third group consists of new doctors who are starting out, either just out of residency or possibly leaving a group practice. Competition in this group is stiff. They need patients of course, but they also need internal systems set up, they need marketing direction and a unique identity for their practice so they can differentiate themselves from the competition.
Next time, I will give you the basic tool you need to start creating a marketing plan that will deliver the patients you want.
Thanks for reading this far… Part TWO will pick up with “How does marketing play a role in branding?”
Till then, wishing you a wonderful day!
Candace Crowe, President, Creative Director
Candace Crowe Design
Educating Patients. Marketing You.
© 2009 Candace Crowe Design