Why Are Doctors Turning to Advertising & Marketing Skills, Typically Reserved for Entrepreneurs?
Doctors are finally learning much needed marketing and advertising skills for successfully attracting new patients.
PR9.NET December 18, 2005 - Doctors today are finding it harder to grow their practice. Unofficial sources estimate a failure rate of 50% of practices. In the 1980's during the health insurance golden years, even a mediocre DC could make $150,000 to $250,000. Today, the average income for a DC has declined to $70,000 to $80,000 and skyrocketing malpractice rates and challenging insurance plans are forcing doctors to address the business side of building their practice.
But one entrepreneur is helping doctors to overcome these factors and in some cases thrive again. Ben Cummings, founder of Practice Building Center, began working with doctors ten years ago to teach them marketing skills typically reserved for entrepreneurs. "Doctors kept calling us saying they needed to learn advertising and marketing ideas to help them compete. I was lucky enough to see how some top practices were successfully bringing in new patients, so I quickly discovered what worked and what didn't."
Ben Cummings recommends 5 things doctors can do to attract more patients:
1. Target Your Marketing: Don't play blind archery. Doctors tend to be talked into ineffective advertising ideas by sales reps who frequently encourage them to do mass marketing. A doctor will spend less and get better results with target marketing. One doctor chose to target market himself to golfers. Doing so grew his practice 65%.
2. Neighborhood Marketing Works: Research shows that over 90% of patients reside within a 3 mile radius of the practice. That means that your highest probability candidates live in neighborhoods closest to your practice. Smart doctors are getting excellent results with direct mail which target these households. In this way, they are getting their message delivered only to those candidates most likely to become new patients.
3. Use a Guarantee: While a doctor can't guarantee a cure, they can guarantee patient satisfaction. Doing so makes you instantly stand out. Very few patients will ask for a refund. But they love the gesture and many say it was the reason they chose to try the practice. The use of a guarantee can be very effective.
4. Make an Irresistible Offer: For doctors to attract more patients, they should look at ways to make it easy for people to try out their service. One excellent solution is to offer a free exam. This provides a risk free way for patients to test the waters and opens the doors to many more potential patients.
5. Use Dramatic Marketing to Stand Out: Studies show we have a scant 3.5 seconds to grab the prospects attention. To stand out, use creative and unique marketing. For example, we have doctors mail out real wood postcards with the slogan, "Is this how your back feels?" This mailer produces excellent results because it just can't be ignored.
Ben Cummings develops effective promotions for doctors to attract a steady stream of new patients. For many more marketing ideas and tips on practice building visit http://www.practicebuildingcenter.com.
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About Practice Building Center
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