- Posted by wainscot
- On April 30, 2014
There are many digital avenues to consider when planning the online marketing for your medical practice.
When you add in print advertising (as we described in a recent blog post), and the number of things you need to do may seem overwhelming. The best way to cut through this complexity is to think about who you’re marketing to.
Recently, we told you about buyer personas. You might be wondering how this concept relates to medical practices. In the same way it’s important for a small business owner to know who’s going to buy their product, it’s important for you as a healthcare professional to know who’s going to become your patient.
The key to successfully marketing your medical practice is…your ideal patient.
But what is an “ideal patient?”
It all goes back to the idea of target marketing. Target marketing is about figuring out what segment of the general population you want to target your marketing efforts towards–chopping down your target audience to a smaller segment.
In order to really connect with your audience, you need to get even more specific than that. You need to create a profile of your fictional, ideal client. For small businesses, that fictional client profile is called a buyer persona, which we talk more about here.
For your medical practice, you’ll want to create your ideal patient. Reaching the right people through your marketing campaign means figuring out what it is they want to hear, and in order to figure that out, you’ll need to figure out who they are. People want to go to a doctor that they trust, and your target market will trust you when your marketing campaign is centered around an ideal patient.
So how do you go about finding- or rather, figuring out- your ideal patient?
First, you’ll want to categorize your current patients. This might mean physically sorting through file folders with your patients’ information in them or sorting electronic records. Sort these into your “best”, “worst”, and “middle-of-the-road” patients based on who you enjoy treating and whose needs are best served by what your medical practice offers.
From there, you’ll want to figure out what your “best” patients have in common. This could be a demographic characteristic like age, sex, income, or occupation. It might be a specific health concern. Or it might be an attitudinal or lifestyle description, like “travels frequently” or “is a competitive athlete”. Once you have an idea of who your ideal patient is, start asking yourself questions like the following in order to build the profile:
- What does a day in their life look like?
- What do they value most?
- What are their goals?
- Where do they go for medical information?
- What experience are they looking for when seeking out a medical practice?
Note that we’re not suggesting that you only treat patients who fit the mold of your ideal patient. Rather, shape your marketing campaigns and your practice so that they will be more likely to attract your ideal patient. If your ideal patient is a mother with young children, something as simple as having toys in the waiting room for can help her feel at ease.