Often when private practice owners ask for help with marketing, we ask “what type of marketing?” This is a perplexing question for many owners, because they think all marketing is the same.
Marketing is a global term that encompasses both internal and external approaches to communicating your services to the public ultimately resulting in helping more people. There are many ways to accomplish this. There is promotional marketing, branding, public relations, social media, and advertising. Nevermind the publicity aspect. The publicity really takes it to the next level. Publicity is the information supported, needed, and wanted by those who support and advocate for your business and services.
It’s important to understand the different components of marketing before you make strides to improve your marketing program.
Marketing these days has to be scalable. Often times, you’ll have a one man clinic, a five person office or you have a multi-office practice. Your marketing strategies need to be scalable based on the size office you are. You need three things to do this effectively, have a marketing budget, marketing program, and marketing campaigns.
The marketing program is annual and is broken into quarterly segments called the marketing campaign. You’ll follow that campaign for 90 days, and then the next campaign is initiated. The marketing budget is established by calculating 3-5% of last year’s total gross income. This number is divided by for to determine the budget per quarter. It’s difficult as an owner to set aside that money for marketing, but all marketing programs should bring back at least a 40% ROI so keep that in mind.
Once you have your marketing budget, followed by your annual marketing program, and your marketing campaigns, you can start looking at what needs to be done internally and externally.
Internal vs. External Marketing
External Marketing is led by your marketing coordinator. The focus of this role is to broaden your referral base. Whether these are doctor referrals, allied health professionals or just expanding your public reach, your marketing coordinator needs to be trained in how to build rapport with the doctors and “break through” their front desks. It is important that the person who takes on this position has an outgoing, social personality and is equipped with the relevant materials needed to effectively communicate your services to the various doctor’s.
It is important to create different databases to have a systematic approach to marketing to doctors, allied health professionals and the public. If you’re focused solely on hitting x number of offices per week, you run the risk of becoming another salesperson that will get dismissed and potentially negatively impact your brand.
Internal marketing efforts are led by the patient care representative. These efforts are to get more patients from your existing referral base – basically your existing patients help drive in more patient visits because they are raving about their own successful therapy experience. Multiple strategies can impact all of these, such as:
- An effective patient care representative,
- Having Welcome to the Practice folders,
- PT frequency slips,
- Dear doctor letters,
- Success Stories,
- Patient surveys, and more.
The happier your patients are, the more likely they are to refer friends and families and tell their doctors about you, so remember that when you’re directing your patient care representative and thinking about internal marketing efforts.
You can learn more about low budget marketing strategies through MEG Academy or a consultation with Brian to chat more about how to scale your marketing and how to make sure your internal and external efforts are being 200% effective.
Brian Gallagher, PT is the founder and CEO of MEG Business Management, LLC. He has more than 27 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation and 19 years in business and specializes in Physical Therapy practice management and executive coaching nationwide. As a licensed business management consultant, Brian has helped hundreds of business owners nationwide improve their business operations through proper restructuring to achieve improved systems of efficiency and productivity as well as marketing and sales with effective public relations which have proven results for double-digit growth year-over-year with businesses around the country.