10 Signs You Should Invest In Patient Marketing

August 19, 2015

Today’s patient is not the patient of yesterday. As the world has become more wired, new vistas have opened up to consumers—including consumers of healthcare services. Today’s patient often meets their doctor long before their doctor meets them.

No longer constrained by the listings in the yellow pages or word-of-mouth referrals, healthcare consumers can use the Internet to comparison shop, find the best fit for their health issue, or even seek out their own healthcare information. They have more control than ever before.

Patient marketing is the way to catch their attention and bring them through your office doors. Here are 10 signs your practice should invest in patient marketing:

1. Your foot traffic is decreasing

If you’re less foot traffic than you were a couple years or even a few months ago, it may be time to invest in some patient marketing. There is a whole world of competition out there, right at patient’s fingertips, on their computers and on their smartphones. Patient marketing shows them why they should choose your practice rather than another.

2. Your website is inactive

If your website isn’t getting any traffic, potential patients don’t know you exist. Patient marketing can raise your rank on Google and turn potential patients into active ones.

3. You have high customer acquisition costs

When your customer acquisition costs get too high, something isn’t working. Patient marketing can more effectively target the patients you want to attract, resulting in higher conversion rates and lower costs.

4. Your email marketing program has stagnated

Email is still a very effective way to market your services, but if your email marketing campaign has stagnated, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Are you marketing to the right audience? Is what you have to say relevant? Are you having a dialogue—or are you presenting a monologue? These are all questions that a good patient marketing program asks, answers, and finds solutions for.

5. You have no dedicated marketing person or agency

…And you should. A dedicated marketing person or agency can devote their time to growing your practice while you do what you do best — making people better. Trying to wear multiple hats just means that you can’t give either job your full attention.

6. You want to grow your practice, but it's not happening

Maybe your website is hard to navigate, or your contact information is difficult to find. Maybe you have no website at all. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong audience. There are many possible reasons your practice might not be growing at the rate you’d like to see, and patient marketing examines what’s working, what’s not working, and what you can do to pull it all together and optimize your conversion rate.

7. Your website bounce rate is higher than 60%

Your “bounce” rate is the number of people who land on a page of your website, then click away without visiting any other sections. If your bounce rate is over 60%, then your website isn’t holding their attention and they’re going on to visit another site.

8. Your competitors are doing it

And they’re doing it because it works. When people bounce away from your website, they may bounce onto a competitor’s site, a competitor who has embraced patient marketing. They’re engaged with your competitor, and you’ve lost a potential patient.

9. Potential patients get ignored or neglected

Lack of patient marketing leaves potential patients who might benefit from your services out in the cold. If they’re not aware of you and why your services are a good fit for them, they’ll never walk through your door. This means a lot of people who might benefit from you are simply lost in the shuffle.

10. Patient communications are poor

If you’re only talking to your patients when they come in for an office visit, you’re missing out on a lot of important information. Good patient marketing isn’t just an ad campaign; it should become a dialogue, providing relevant information or questions in a timely manner so that both you and your audience are fully engaged. Good patient marketing may prompt them to contact you when they wouldn’t otherwise, or to inform you of situations you might not otherwise be aware of. Better communication means better care.

While traditional advertising has its place, its place might not be in your office anymore. A good patient marketing strategy, one that incorporates both online and offline tactics, can improve both your practice numbers and your patient care.

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