Simple Mistakes That Impact Your Patient Acquisition Success
You have all the best intentions to acquire new patients through marketing in healthcare. However, despite implementing great contemporary strategies, you can’t seem to generate the results you want. Often, the problem is a set of simple mistakes that impede patient acquisition success.
The following is a look at some of the common, simple mistakes that occur when marketing in healthcare, and tips on how to avoid them.
Missed Specialist Referrals
For specialty medical providers, lost referral opportunities have taken the place of missed appointments as a top frustration. Remarkably, only half of patients referred by a primary care physician to a specialist ever see that specialist for an appointment. In 70 percent of cases, specialists attribute the missed patient acquisition to bad communication from the referring physician.
To overcome this critical obstacle to getting patients in your doors, set up a strong technology-driven relationship system with PCP partners. A software program, coupled with a well-trained and dedicated staff to monitor information collection, helps offset much of the problem. A set of information-gathering rules and a great working relationship with local PCPs are necessary components to referred patient acquisition.
Misunderstanding the Competitive Marketplace
If you don’t look at your practice as a business, you won’t develop a thorough strategy for marketing in healthcare. A common mistake is not recognizing the scope of local competition your practice faces for patients.
Often, doctors only consider the most direct and obvious competitors. For instance, a chiropractor naturally views another chiropractor as a competitor. However, he might overlook the fact that patients seek alternative forms of treatment for back or skeletal issues. You need to take alternative forms of physical therapy and medicinal treatments into consideration so you can differentiate your practice and services from all possible competitors.
Healthcare isn’t the only sector where operators adopt a short-sighted view of marketing. However, the delayed process that many patients go through in choosing a healthcare provider requires a disciplined, long-term view.
Digital strategies, such as social media, online advertising, and email marketing all allow for consistent and ongoing messaging to targeted patients. A customer relationship program, which includes electronic and mobile communication portals with existing clients, contributes to retention and long-term business success for your practice.
Lack of Referral Marketing
As baby boomers aged, demand for health practices and providers grew. Now, thanks to an influx of facilities and practitioners, competition has risen significantly in many marketplaces. Therefore, physicians who may have grown comfortable in their business need to avoid taking continued success for granted.
In today’s hyper-competitive healthcare sector, referral marketing programs are tremendous to your success. You need a program that motivates and rewards your patients for telling others about their experiences with your organization. Brand influencers who have a strong digital presence are an especially powerful resource to get your experiential message out to potential patients.
Many of the common mistakes with healthcare marketing result from a lack of planning. By realizing the importance of patient and provider relationships, you can leverage them for long-term organic growth. Investing in digital prospecting and retention strategies is also important.
An expert specialty marketing partner like Response Mine Interactive can improve your ability to avoid these mistakes. Contact our Director of New Business Development, Amanda Sparks, to get started!
Learn more about the connection of retail and healthcare by reading our blog: 3 Things Healthcare Marketers Can Learn from Retail Marketers