It seems that a day doesn’t pass when the media airs a bad news story about medical practitioners or the private health system, with headlines that include:
- Poor service
- Corrupt, greedy or unqualified practitioners
- Bad management and outcomes
- High insurance premiums – High practitioner fees – Gaps
- Private system in disarray
Unfortunately, we all know that a bad news story gets far more airplay than a good news story. So, what can be done to prevent this having a negative effect on your business; or even better – how can you achieve business growth in these times?
Become a trusted source of information and education – build brand power
Your overall marketing goal as a provider of private health services is to create trust through the provision of relevant activities and information that generates faith in your service and tells a good news story. This builds the power of your brand.
Is there data around marketing results in economic lows?
There has been a lot of research based around the maintenance of marketing and advertising programs during economic lows and the resultant benefits. Although the research is not specific to medical, we can safely assume the same outcomes. Essentially, surveys have demonstrated that advertising and marketing during an economic downturn have proven to be not a drain on profit, but rather a contributor to profit – and that marketing at these times helps companies thrive. Further evidence also shows that businesses that maintain ongoing marketing programs during lows will be better placed to increase profitability once the market in which it operates returns to a condition of stability or expansion.
Look at what your brand is saying about you
Remember that advertising works cumulatively. Well considered and properly designed marketing pieces play an important role in the development of trust in a brand. As a trusted provider of a highly respected service, your marketing messages and advertising collateral need to be an accurate reflection of the level of service patients can expect from you.
Don’t treat marketing as an event. A mistake that is common within the medical industry is to undertake reactive, intermittent marketing i.e. “This is a new service and no-one knows about us”; “Our business is feeling pain because of a new competitor”; Don’t start and stop here!
Maintaining a strong identity and developing brand recognition involves consistent outreach. Data shows us that the moment your marketing outreach stops it immediately begins to lose power and a “tap on, tap off” approach can introduce a roller coaster effect that impacts on your business profitability and stability.
Think outside of the box
How do you generate a higher profile that allows you to stand out from your competitors, establish and maintain your “front of mind” position?
We achieve this with the development of a strategic marketing plan that provides structured, targeted communication strategies and gives attention to the aspects of your service that shine; ensuring we concentrate on the right message, in the right place to the right audience.
Some key factors to gain results from marketing in tough times:
- Right message, right channel, right audience
- Trust: become recognised as an industry expert
- Show a demonstrated interest in your community’s health
- Keep in touch and value loyal patients, referrers and influencers
- Don’t cheapen your brand with inappropriate advertising channels
- Be consistent and regular in your marketing communications
- Get involved with solid community programs, outreach and sponsorships to worthwhile causes
In tough times or good times, the same golden rule applies:
“Start with a marketing strategy, understand what makes you unique, plan a communication pathway, follow the path and check on outcomes. Don’t leave things to chance.”
Do you need help on getting to the top – or maintaining your position at the top? CJU’s team of medical marketing experts are here to help.
Call us to arrange for a confidential consultation. Enquire now about how we can help grow your medical business 1300 941 250.