The primary thing that must happen with regard to marketing a private practice, seemingly evident but at the same time missing in most practices I have seen is that there must be someone actually in charge of the area! If it is the owner, they must allot the time every week to carry out this vital function.
The idea that just delivering great care is going to do the job is not realistic. However, the MOST important aspect of your marketing is having the highest quality care you can give as well as the highest quality service you can deliver as regards the handling of your patients’ schedules, needs, etc.; all this being done with a very friendly, courteous staff at all points of patient contact.
Some folks think that marketing is the same as promotion. Marketing’s purpose is to find a demand that is there, or create that demand and to then sell what you have. If your marketing is not finding / creating a demand and then selling something it is being done incorrectly.
I have found this to be the case when the marketing is being carried out by those that don’t necessarily know that their end product is as stated above; but they continue doing it regardless of their results. The problem with “no results” marketing is that the technology of marketing itself gets a bad name. Even more frequently I have found, (in most of the 5,000 private practices we have worked with), that it is incorrect marketing technology that is being used – the incorrect technology itself! So one of the first things you want to ask anyone doing any form of marketing for you is… what do they consider to be the end result of their work? You must talk to references and verify that good results have been obtained.
For instance, in my company I did the following to ensure results in this area; 1) ensure I have exact, proven workable technology in the area concerned, and 2) guarantee full return on investment on any marketing dollars spent with us. This keeps all on the same page, and after all, that’s what I’d want if I used another to help me with marketing.