Jason Borody, of Australia’s medical marketing specialists Vividus, talks about the benefits and opportunities of data-based referral marketing.
In today’s hyper-connected modern world, people have more options than ever before. Gone are the days where medical practices simply needed to put out an ‘open’ sign to attract a steady flow of patients. Instead, we can find pretty much any information online. Deciding which clinic to visit is no longer simply a matter of geography – we’re spoilt for choice and can compare clinics with a quick Google search. Without a comprehensive marketing strategy actively working to build referral relationships, retain client base, and stay ahead of the competition, it’s nearly impossible for private medical practices to maintain a healthy bottom line.
Physician referrals are the lifeblood of many medical practices, and (done right) can provide a steady supply of new patients and grow the business. Yet physicians often struggle with consistency and sustainability when it comes to growing referrals. Quite often a measuring stick for whether referrals are growing is a slap-hazard spreadsheet and a gut feeling (or an empty waiting room). With a drop in referrals not only impacting immediate revenue but also cutting off potential to generate each patient’s lifetime value, managing a robust referral marketing strategy is essential for practices looking to thrive in Australia’s competitive medical landscape.
Medical marketing providers such as Vividus use a data-driven blend of systemisation, analysis, and refinement to make smarter decisions and help clinics stay ahead of the pack. Data analysis is the key to any successful marketing strategy, allowing physicians to continuously measure results and increase patient growth without the guess work. As the saying goes, what can be measured, can be improved. According to Heinz Marketing, when a marketing company manages a referral program (instead of in-house), companies are 3x more likely to achieve revenue goals. It’s certainly proven true for us – our referral strategy analysis allows us to:
• Identify referrer trends and opportunities to leverage better results.
• Compare historical data to identify events that may be factoring into lost business.
• Establish a baseline to measure performance against competitors.
• Visualise patient-to-service referral location flows.
• Determine which areas are underperforming and develop programmes to strengthen them.
• Make new discoveries about the business, referrers, and patients.
• Target high referring physicians and practices with an approach tailored to their professional objectives.
We use this and more insightful data analysis to develop marketing agendas that stimulate growth and solidify a competitive place in our clients’ local healthcare landscape. The data can even be used to enrich a referrer-attraction strategy. Referring doctors are looking for providers they can trust – using data insights to show you understand their patients, and to demonstrate your dedication to providing a high quality of care, could tip the scales in your favour when it comes time for them to refer their patients to a specialised provider. At the end of the day, a healthcare marketing strategy is an investment. It’s one that pays off when helping you build a scalable, predictable and repeatable growth machine for your business. Waiting to implement a marketing strategy until your existing patient list grows thin will leave your practice painfully unprepared for longevity. As doctors themselves say, prevention is better than cure! So, let me leave you with a couple of questions. How are you currently tracking key growth indicators in your practice? More importantly, what are you doing about the insights you’re identifying?
Marketing solutions for Medical Practices
If you’d like to discuss the benefits and opportunities of data-based referral marketing further, please contact us for an introduction to Jason Borody. This Medical Marketing article has been prepared by Vividus Pty Ltd (ABN 25086684884). The article may contain information from third parties and Vividus does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of such information. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided in good faith.
The content in this article was published in The Private Practice Winter 2018 edition. Download the print version by clicking below.