The First Step to a Successful Marketing Campaign: Research
To craft a successful marketing campaign for your practice, you must first conduct some basic research that will start to identify what your marketing plan and promotional pieces will look like and the message they should deliver. The first step in your research is to work out the general mindset and styles that dominate your particular geographic area. Every state, city, town or area has its own mindset and styles that are unique to that place. If you have lived in the area where you practice, chances are you know them well. Additionally, it is smart to check with others from the area to ensure that your opinion agrees with the general consensus. If you are new to the area, ask locals, as they generally have a good idea.
Some examples are provided below to give you an idea of what one might list as the mindset and styles for his/her area.
Mindset: “Slow and steady pace”, “Friendly”, “Easy going”
Style: Earthy. Lots of greens and whites used in colors.
Mindset: “Efficient and Professional”, “Friendly”, “Straight to the point”
Style: Modern and Edgy. Lots of blues used in colors.
Next, identify the top three practices in your area and find out how they market themselves. Doing this will enable you to see which marketing approaches have been successful for your area. Looking at your three competitors’ websites is a good start, as well as looking in the Yellow Pages, local newspapers, Valpak/ADVO, etc., to see how they are marketing. Look for which words they are using to sell their services to people, which offers they are advancing and what their designs look like.
The next step is to identify the successful campaigns or promotional pieces you have created and used thus far. You need to look for any promotional pieces, slogans, brochures, ads, internal marketing campaigns, discounts and word-of-mouth success that resulted in notable increases in delivery. Again, pay attention to the words that were used, the offers that were put forward and the visual impact of the design. It is also good to consider the general demographics of your area. A good website that provides this information for free is: http://www.city-data.com. Gathering this data should enable you to get a good idea of both what worked for you and what works for other similar professionals in your area. It also provides you with a general impression of what people in your area like and will respond to.
This basic homework will provide you with a foundation of information that can be used as you work out new marketing campaigns, whether internal or external.
The Second Step to a Successful Marketing Campaign: Starting Your Surveys
Surveying is vital to any successful marketing campaign. Surveying takes the mystery out of anything because it enables you to get a very specific idea of what does and what doesn’t work when selling a product or service. It also helps you to identify your publics and it enables you to find out more data about them.
Surveying takes on many shapes and forms. The definition of survey is:
“SURVEY means ‘a careful examination of something as a whole and in detail.’”
You might not know it, but you have immediate access to survey information from data that you have been collecting for quite some time. This survey information will tell you who your current publics are— and the great news is that all the information is already in your patient files!
If you have a computer database of patient information, gathering the data will be quite easy. If you have only hardcopy files, it will likely take longer; but it’s still worth your time.
To save time when extracting information from patient records, you need only look at your new patient files for the past few months, as this should give you a good idea of your general patient base.
Have your office manager collect from the files the information regarding age, education, occupation, gender, income and location. This information should be laid out and tallied in each of the various categories. Then convert the raw numbers to percentages using the total number of patient files that were inspected. Here’s an example of what this might look like using 100 patient files:
Under 10 8%
10 – 18 20%
18 – 35 30%
35 – 55 30%
Office Worker 15%
Service Industry 13%
SE Connerstown 10%
Amassing this data will help you to see exactly who your current patients are and it will help you to target the areas that are bringing you the most business. For example, based on the statistics above, it would be valuable to send out a promotional piece that targets well-educated males in Bonkersville between the ages of 18 and 55.
This is not the only survey action you would do, but it is a fast and effective means of locating valuable publics for you to begin targeting.
If you feel you would benefit from a one on one consultation on how to help you with practice management, please fill out the form on this page and we would be more than willing to assist you.