Monday, September 24, 2012

Gas up your Marketing Engine!

Healthcare reform, ACO’s, competitive bidding, reimbursement -  what is a business to do when everything is so up in the air? The best advice is to keep up the fight. Stay as educated as you can on the pending healthcare reform, but you need to keep your business going even in uncertain times.  Building your brand and staying in front of patients is more important that ever. Marketing is the fuel to fire your business so don’t pull off the gas!

Your Story
An easy marketing approach is to simply tell your brand story. How did your business start, why are you in business, what is that you provide to patients, what makes you different than your competition? All of these are starting points for a conversation with your patients and potential customers. Invite them to learn what you can do for them to make their lives better. Your story can be turned into printed ads, website information, radio or commercial advertising and more. Once you have a strong grasp of who and what you are, it is easy to communicate it to those that listen.

Your Community
Most of your patients come from the community around you. Stay connected by getting involved in local events, health fairs, charities, and awareness walks. You can sponsor a booth or offer donations. Talk up your participation up in your locations and get your current customers involved. Other opportunities include joining your local Chamber of Commerce or other local networking groups. With sites such as LinkedIn or MeetUp there are many ways to get connected and build local relationships. These can be free or low costs efforts to keep your marketing machine going while building your name.

Tap into these new relationships to co-op your advertising efforts. You can cross market with your local neighbors. If you are next door to a cafe or coffee shop why not have a sidewalk sale with free samples drawing traffic to both locations. Join forces with your nearby hospitals or care centers. If possible to set up a referral or lead system or partner with them on a local educational event to mutually benefit both of your businesses. Partners have the potential to share advertising expenses such as print or radio ads. Collaboration stretches all parties marketing dollars and shows camaraderie to your mutual customers.

We might not know all the answers when it comes to the future of healthcare industry, but we definitely want to stay in the game. Your competition might be pulling back, so now is the time to strike with strong marketing efforts. Have other marketing suggestions? Please share in the comments below. Keep fueling your selling engine with the power of strategic marketing!