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Medical Practice Marketing

Medical Market Analysts has proven experience in the development of effective physician practice marketing plans. We understand the market forces that influence patients' choices of health care providers and work with practices to build comprehensive programs to increase volume and revenue.
We believe that all money spent for marketing must generate offsetting revenue and set the stage for future growth. Accomplishment of these goals requires a means a measure return on investment for each marketing tactic, including Internet strategies.

Marketing encompasses all activities related to practice promotion and includes managed care initiatives, practice literature, media advertising, patient seminars, and rapport building activities with current or potential referral physicians. Practice marketing is important for all specialties especially those where managed care referral dictates are less stringent. In most cases, except for closed HMOs or restricted PPO's, patients have a choice of providers. "Word of mouth" patient and colleague referrals are among the most valuable sources of new patients.

Some specialists must target "more affluent" clientele because of lack of managed care coverage for some of their procedures. These specialties might include plastic surgery, reproductive endocrinology, psychiatry, and ophthalmology. High percentages of their patients are "fee for service" and are very careful when choosing a specialist. Potential patients usually perform extensive Internet research on their medical conditions and compare practices. This is especially true if they are aged 20-45 years of age. All materials and activities directed to this clientele must be of the highest quality.

Physician marketing must be professional and should not mimic that of other professionals, such as attorneys. In medicine, image and reputation are everything and marketing to patients should focus on compassionate individualized care, credentials, education of the public, and outcomes. Different specialties require customized market specific tactics and a good marketing plan also defines managed care initiatives and objectives.

Marketing professionals often have little or no understanding of the physician specialist's unique market. Marketing Nike™ shoes to the public is different from marketing health care services to discriminating, educated, persons seeking tertiary medical care.

For example, a reproductive endocrine conducted a patient seminar in an area identified as "high potential" by a local marketing firm. The program was well attended but delivered a poor return on investment. In fact, of the thirty couples present none became patients. The marketing company chose the location based upon population demographics without consideration of income. Advertising expenditures were directed toward achieving high reach and frequency in the targeted market. (See example of demographic anayses.)

The company did not consider that most infertility patients are aged 25-40, are middle to upper income, and employed in professional/technical occupations. Consequently, although the program was placed in a high population density area, most attendees could not afford to pursue therapy. This resulted in a waste of advertising dollars and physician/staff time. A marketing plan must take into account all of the factors that can affect a patients ability, or desire, to choose a practice.

Physicians will often decide that they need a marketing plan in response to competition. We strongly believe that a marketing plan (revised yearly) should be in place for every practice regardless of size or competitive profile. The plan should be proactive anticipating new market developments, such as competitive threats or changes in the managed care climate.

A good physician marketing plan always contains:

  • Tactics to Develop Referral Physicians
  • Direct to Patient Promotion - Brochure and Literature
  • A Managed Care Strategy
  • Practice Expansion Objectives
  • Media Mix
  • Budget
  • Time Labor/ Requirements
  • Means to Measure Return on Investment
Please contact us for more information on how we can assist you in practice marketing. Please read our newsletter: "Concepts in Practice Marketing."

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Specialists in Physician Practice Marketing and Medical Web Site Development