Every day we hear lots of healthcare marketing myths being thrown around. Some of these myths can interfere with your marketing, while others make it hard to see any return on investment. In either case, holding onto these beliefs is sabotaging your business.
So, let’s get Myth-Busting:
1. “I Have Enough Patients, I Don’t Need Marketing”
It’s great to hear you’re doing well at the moment! You’ve probably had a steady flow of patients for a while now — maybe several years or more. Surely that’ll just stay the same, right?
No-one will ever switch doctors, right …?
There are so many ways to lose patients — many of them out of your control. They might move out of town. They might change their insurance provider. The referring doctors you’ve relied on for so long might go out of business or will make new referral partnerships with another practice.
Doing well now doesn’t mean doing well tomorrow. This is one of many big healthcare marketing myths.
2. “Healthcare Marketing Isn’t Ethical”
There’s an ounce of truth to this — some medical marketing isn’t ethical. Examples are marketing companies that make promises they can’t keep or they make ridiculous and baseless claims, etc.
These are unethical in any business. Healthcare marketing is designed to center around patients and letting them know you’re available, have the skills, tools and knowledge to treat them well when they fall ill. There’s nothing unethical in letting people know you are fully qualified and interested in providing them with healthcare when they need it. Thus, this is easily addressed as one of the healthcare marketing myths.
3. “We Get Enough Referrals, We Don’t Need Marketing”
Hospitals and practices routinely overestimate their influence in the community. You live and breathe your business, and deal with patients who are obviously aware of you — but do they truly represent the larger community?
Even if they do, awareness doesn’t always translate to interest. They might go to a hospital for an emergency, but who are they calling for an ambulance? Do they know they can call a hospital directly for that?
Advertising is a must if you expect people to know about your services. After all, you want patients to choose your medical practice over another every time. Be aware of the ongoing healthcare marketing myths.
4. “It’s Too Expensive to Advertise”
Marketing, done properly, is supposed to make money, NOT lose money! If your marketing is going nowhere, it’s time to reassess those marketing efforts, not eliminate them completely. The proper investment in your marketing strategies will return a very real and very large ROI.
5. “I Wouldn’t Click on That Ad, So Don’t Use It”
While you obviously have input on your brand and advertising, keep in mind a very simple concept:
You are not your target audience! This is yet another one of the bigger healthcare marketing myths.
That’s something every marketing professional has to keep in front of their mind. Base your decisions on REAL data metrics, and not on how you personally feel about it. When the demographic analytics suggest a certain marketing strategy, it’s always best to trust the data rather than assuming your personal feeling is most relevant.
6. “Nobody Clicks on Paid Advertisements for Doctors”
Similar to the above; you might think nobody clicks on paid advertisement because you don’t. But plenty of people do. We have the data to prove it and it’s the quickest way to get more patients.
Once again, the real data proves many times over that paid advertising WORKS!
7. “My Website Should Be About Education”
Education is very important. Educating people with your site is the cornerstone of “Content Marketing” for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes.
Education should be reserved for a Blog on your site. Keep educational pages accessible on “treatment pages” so as to not cause confusion of the essentials. People want to know what services you offer, where you are, and how to get in touch with your practice.
All other considerations are secondary and all should work toward making things easy for everyone who visits your site.
8. “I Have New Equipment I Have to Advertise”
Medical professionals love getting their hands on the latest technology — we all do really! But ask yourself if that technology is something that the patients will care about? Patients want to know how you will help them. Does your new equipment help them answer that question?
For example, a new X-Ray machine that processes images faster probably isn’t worth shouting about – but a new X-Ray machine that has higher resolution, with finer details to help diagnosis problems earlier? That, patients will care about.
9. “We Already Market Online Using Social Media”
Great, you’re on social media! So many people miss this step. But digital advertising goes well beyond social media posts. You are not going to build a huge audience around your Facebook posts, especially with current algorithms favoring friends and family. Even with a large audience, you’re not likely to obtain new patients, but rather just retain current clients (a valuable thing to do, but extremely limited.)
It’s highly recommended that you use paid Social Media Ads. They produce far better reach than your organic posts while you can get very specific with targeting efforts. Using paid Social Media Ads synergistically with your other digital marketing strategy will work wonders. You will be surprised at how well this works! Thus debunking another of healthcare marketing myths.
10. “Marketing Doesn’t Work – I’m Not Receiving Calls”
Like with the unethical advertising point, there’s certainly a kernel of truth here. Increased phone calls are an important metric to see how well your advertising efforts are going.
However, before jumping to conclusions, be sure to check the real, hard data. Are you actually not getting more phone calls, or are you simply not noticing them? Are you tracking how people found you to call in the first place? “May I ask how you heard about us?” should always be a question you ask any new patient.
Also keep in mind long-term value marketing for your branding; not every single piece needs to bring a new person through the door. Keep a long term view during the process.
What is the single worst thing you can do? Give up marketing because you don’t think it’s working. You must assess the data and metrics, alter your direction when needed, but DO NOT eliminate your advertising budget!
If you need help in your healthcare marketing strategies and efforts, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We will customize a campaign that will work for YOUR needs and produce a very healthy ROI – guaranteed!