Most marketing companies in our industry know very little about how to actually help you grow your business. At HealthcareMarketing.ca we are consultants in clinic growth – we will always advise you to do what is best for your clinic, even if that means investing in growth tactics that we do not offer.
We’re thought leaders in clinic growth…
Most marketing agencies only care about money and “closing the deal.” Unfortunately this results in poor results and unhappy clients. Our philosophy is to educate our customers on the SEQUENCE in which to grow their business so that they see the highest ROI possible.
In order to understand how to market you business, you need to understand how consumers make purchase decisions.
Whenever someone make a purchase they follow the same 5 step process, either consciously or sub-consciously. In marketing terms it is called the consumer decision process. In order to effectively market your clinic, it is very important that you understand the 5 stages of this process.
To better explain this concept, let’s use a real world example.
Meet Sarah – she loves eating candy but lately her teeth have been sensitive.
The Consumer Decision Process in Action
Step 1: Need Recognition
Sarah feels pain when she eats things that are cold and sweet. The pain has gotten to a point where she needs to somehow fix this problem.
Step 2: Information Search
In this stage of the buying process Sarah is just trying to figure out all of the different methods to solve this problem. After some online research and talking with her friends she learns that there are a few different options to fix her problem: over the counter medication, special toothpaste, or going to the dentist.
Step 3: Evaluation of Alternatives
Sarah decides to go to the dentist but doesn’t know which one to go see. In this stage of the buying process she is researching different dentists based on a set of buying criteria. Her buying criteria includes finding a dentist who is nearby, accepts her insurance, and has an appointment availability that works with her schedule. Sarah goes online to research different dentists and asks her friends if they have any suggestions.
Step 4: Purchase Decision
After visiting some websites and making a few calls, Sarah decided to book an appointment from Clinic X because the receptionist was friendly and answered all of the questions that she had.
Step 5: Post-Purchase Evaluation
Sarah was thrilled with the quality of her appointment. The office was clean, the team was friendly, and the dentist clearly communicated what was wrong and the different treatment options to fix the problem. Sarah was so happy with her treatment that she booked in for a hygiene visit and even told her friends about her experience.
Understanding a Marketing SEQUENCE that Maximizes ROI
In order to get the most bang for your buck, it is really important to think about the consumer decision process and work backwards. Here’s the best sequence to grow your clinic.
The #1 way to grow your business is to focus on the 4 R's. Re-bookings, Referrals, Reviews, and Re-activation. The only way to accomplish this is by providing excellent work with an amazing team.
MAKE THE SALE
You need prospective customers to pick you over your competitors. It is very important that you train your receptionist to be a rockstar on the phones and that you have a website that converts interested customers into phone calls and emails.
Once you have an awesome website and receptionist to close the deal, you need to get found. Prospective customers are looking online - are they finding you or your competitor?
Chances are your budget will be exhausted if you properly follow the above 3 steps. If you still have money left over you can invest in information search (blog posts / content marketing) and need recognition activities/ branding (billboards, social media advertising, radio etc) but few clinics see a positive ROI from them.
Here’s a quick checklist on the most cost effective way to grow your business.
Follow these steps in order and in 2 years or less you’ll be recognized as the best clinic in your city.
Step 1: Be the Best
If you aren’t hell bent on being the best then it’ll be impossible for you to become it. There are a few things you can do to focus on being the best:
- Hire / train a high energy, positive, and caring team – generating more referrals is all about the experience patients have
- Train more – as the clinic owner you should constantly be exceeding the CE requirements and be up to date on the latest and greatest technology. Your staff should also be regularly trained on phone languaging and other ways to help the business grow
- Understand your customers – talk to them and ask for feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about their experience. Read your negative reviews and learn from them
Step 2: Think Like a Business
As much as we don’t like to think of patients as dollars and cents, it’s important that we do. If we can understand the average value of a new patient we can infer how much we are prepared to invest to acquire one. When you factor in the initial appointment and subsequent visits the average lifetime value of a dental patient is worth around $10,000. The average chiropractic / physiotherapy patient is worth around $1500. As such we should be prepared to spend 5% or so to get that patient through the door. If you have a good product and a great team you’ll be able to leverage your patients by generating more referrals and reviews – making the average value to you much higher!
Step 3: Set a Marketing Budget
You’re a business – you have to invest in growing. A reasonable amount of money to invest is 5%-10% of annual revenue. So if you bill $1M/year you should be prepared to invest at least ~$4000/ month on marketing. Keep in mind it is an INVESTMENT – a good marketing company will be able to turn $100,000 into $400,000.
Step 4: Focus on the 4 R’s
The most cost effective way to grow your business is through internal marketing. Make sure you invest in having the right technology and team in place to maximize re-bookings, referrals, reviews, and re-activations.
Step 5: Have an Awesome Website
People in the third stage of the buying process (evaluation of alternatives) will go online to research their options. You need to have a visually appealing website that is easy to navigate through and shows WHY someone should choose you over your competitor.
Step 6: Get Found Online
If you’ve followed the above steps it’s time to invest in getting found online. Our customers see approximately a $4 to $1 ROI when they sign up for our digital marketing plans. We focus on getting you to the top of Google organically, via their local map listings, and by using their pay-per-click advertising.