With over half of 2012 already under your belt, you are in a great place to examine the marketing dollars you’ve spent this year and determine the success of your spending. Did you get a little freaked out at just now, that we’re closer to 2013 than 2011? Don’t worry, breathe in and out and take advantage of strategic healthcare marketing scheduling with smart budgeting and you’ll be better off in the new year than ever before!
Health Care practices across the board are seeing the negative effects of our poor economy in the form of decreased collections; so the importance of smart spending when it comes to marketing has become more evident than ever before.
Independent practices are especially aware of the pressure to spend wisely, so how do you make sure you’re putting your hard earned money towards the right campaigns? Follow our simple steps to success and you’ll start seeing dollar signs in your eyes when you look in the mirror.
Step One: Budget Baby
Consider all that goes into your marketing efforts throughout the year and take into account the time and costs of each activity. By preparing ahead of time and setting budgets for spending on things like brochures, press releases, advertising and social media contests based on their reach and impact, you will keep yourself from overspending on campaigns that are ineffective.
Every couple months, go back and evaluate the money you’re spending. For instance, if last November you spent a few grand on a commercial and you didn’t see a spike in patient volume during that time, try spending that money on PPC campaigns spread across the year instead, especially if your AdWords campaigns refer something like 50 additional visitors to your website each month.
Step Two: Don’t Pay and Pray
Avoid the old “Pay and Pray” approach to advertising spending, where you throw money at an expensive campaign and assume that an average billboard with your physician’s face and something boring,uh we mean, catchy, like “Where patient care comes first!” will bring in the amount of patients to cover the cost of the ad. Ladies and Gentlefolks, don’t invest money into projects where you can’t predict realistic and beneficial ROI. (That’s Return On Investment, just in case you thought it stood for Really Ostentatious Imbeciles) Also, if you cannot measure your own success of a campaign you’ve invested in, consider whether or not you are comfortable blindly spending without knowing your results.
Step Three: Walk In Their High Heels
Think like your target market, meaning the person you are trying to target with your marketing message. Perhaps you are looking to improve volume of breast cancer screening patients during October, would you place an ad in the newspaper next to an ad for lawnmowers and boxer briefs? NO. You would put your message in places where women in their 40’s are looking. If you are trying to attract patients ready to make health care appointment decisions, you need to get in front of them when they are ready to book, which studies show is ONLINE, not when they are driving down a highway towards Disney World.
BONUS TIP: 90% of the time, women are the health care decision makers in families, so it behooves you to appeal to them. Don’t go out and buy some ladies footwear or anything, but it won’t hurt you to metaphorically take a walk in their shoes.
Step Four: Provide Value and Evoke Action
Whether you are creating ads for a Pay Per Click campaign online, building a landing page, making a post on your practice’s Facebook page or putting an ad in your local paper you have to do three things:
- STAND OUT
- Show the value of your product/practice
- Include a Call to Action (A Call to Action is something like, “Sign Up For Our Newsletter Today and Enter to Win a Trip to The Bahamas!” pushing them to take action towards becoming a potential patient or consumer.)
Of course, all of these steps are imperative but strategic schedules for budgeting are of the utmost importance. You are probably already doing this for your practice, but in order to make sure you’re spending on the right campaigns and in the best mediums, take our advice and take advantage of our freebies below. We promise you’ll be glad you did because at Save On Medical, We Get It.