For most pediatricians, the focus of work is on being up-to-date with medical information and providing the best care for patients. However, taking some time to consider how a practice is marketed to the community it serves and the image that it projects can lead to increased business. Chip Hart, Pediatrics Solutions Consulting Group Director with the Physician’s Computer Company in Winooski, Vermont, offered a number of tips to up a practice’s marketing game in “How to market your practice when you have not time or money (or talent)” at the virtual 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition.
Hart offered a number of simple ways to improve a practice’s image including:
- Remember that a practice is a service business and the patients are the customers, who are easily distracted.
- Don’t stick to just the Yellow Pages for advertising the practice. At the same time, make sure that the practice’s website keeps up with current trends and make sure that it’s mobile-friendly, as more people interact with the internet solely through their mobile devices.
- Promote any changes to the practice, such as evening hours or new services, more than once to ensure that patients catch the message. A single promotion running for a week may miss many families in the practice.
- Use every visit, phone call on hold, and bill to market the practice and the practice’s services.
- Take stock of where the practice excels and where the practice doesn’t. Pediatricians should write down stories of both when they happen.
- Examine the practice’s logo. Is it sending the right message? Does it look dated? If the logo doesn’t fit the practice’s ethos, then a redesign is in order.
- Look at the physical space with a critical eye. Ask questions like: What are families seeing when they come in? How recently has the furniture and other items been replaced?
- Consider doing a blog. The blog could offer information of frequently asked questions and can use content that may have already been produced by the practice for patient handouts.
- Make sure to cross-promote across the practice. Ensure the practice’s site is on every piece of paper given to families. Mention the practice’s Facebook or other social media presences in the practice’s hold message.
- Ask patients and families about the practice. Create short surveys to ask questions about the practice’s services. The results can identify potential growth areas or highlight areas in need of improvement.
- Approach businesses in the community that either serve a high number of parents, such as grocery stores, or who employ a sizeable number of adults aged 20 to 40 years to see if they would mind posting print advertising in break rooms or community boards.