At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED), we often hear podiatric practitioners discuss marketing. You can create a more effective marketing strategy by determining and then marketing to the audiences that you’re are trying to attract.
Step 1: Decide who your target audience is. Ask yourself these questions about your prospective patients:
- Who is the patient you are trying to reach? What specialties of your practice do you want to promote?
- Where do your patients live?
- What types of activities do your patients engage in?
- Who will refer these patients to you?
Once you know who the patients are that you are trying to reach and where they are, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Go where your patients are. If you are trying to reach geriatric or diabetic patients, advertising in a college town newspaper is probably not the best use of your marketing dollars. Think outside the box. Gone are the days when an ad in the yellow pages will be the primary source of new patients. If your specialty is sports injuries, for example, consider teaming up with a fitness shoe store for an event to help educate athletes about overuse injuries and how to prevent them. Ask a local running club if you could make a presentation about how footwear affects your time and your foot health at an upcoming meeting. Always have business cards and some freebies (magnets, pens, etc.) that have all the pertinent contact information for your practice featured prominently.
Step 3: Evaluate the results. After attempting some external marketing events targeted at your desired patient population it’s essential to evaluate the results. How many new referrals can you trace directly to one of your marketing efforts? As a general rule of thumb, practices should set aside 10% of their income for marketing. Put a realistic value on your time and analyze the return you are getting in terms of numbers of new referrals.
Marketing is one of many practice management issues podiatric physicians have to hone. At IPED, we make it easier by assembling pertinent information in one place and allowing you to access it via blogs, webinars and videos when it best suits your schedule. To learn more about the benefits of membership, speak with our Executive Director, Ruth Donahue, by calling: 978-296-7634.