Dental marketing and medical marketing are a whole different practice than marketing other products. You are seeking new clients to build ongoing relationships with in a difficult economy. To develop an effective public relations and marketing campaign, assess the circumstances of your current market.
Clients Choose to Self-Diagnose
Since the introduction of services like WebMD, more people are beginning to consider the Internet an appropriate place to go in lieu of an initial visit to the doctor. Self-diagnosis goes beyond typing symptoms Into Google, though. Many employers now encourage their employees to use a nurses’ hotline rather than taking a trip to the doctor. In an effort to cut healthcare expenditures, these organizations have been created by health insurance companies and are marketed during open enrollment meetings. The decrease in number of people who consider their doctor the first person to ask about a medical problem means that you need stronger public relations and medical marketing or dental marketing to encourage a visit.
Job Decline Means a Decline in Medical Insurance
Beyond insurance companies encouraging people to self-diagnose, less people have medical and dental insurance due to the decline in the job market. The primary way Americans receive insurance is through an employer insurance group. Unemployed individuals often will avoid trips to the doctor to avoid paying fees. As employers look to cut costs, they are also cutting benefits even for individuals who are still employed. When the market is tough, marketing becomes more important. You are competing for less customers, so you need a cohesive medical marketing plan to attract them.
Outbound Marketing Generates Low Returns
The state of marketing has changed dramatically since the advent of the Internet; more specifically, search engines have permanently changed the way we find “leads”. You used to be able to send a picture of a toothbrush by mail and expect 3 new clients for your dental business. People can use the Internet to find dentists on their own with convenience. They can do so while also reading reviews of your service and press releases about your practice’s developments. If you’re small practice cannot be easily located through an Internet search, your client base will not find you. The best way to attract customers in this new market is through a cohesive inbound marketing plan specifically geared for dental marketing or medical marketing to assure your practice is searchable on the Internet. Once your potential clients find you on the Internet, your marketing and public relations plan must assure that your website is the best advertisement you produce.