Marketing for Doctors: The Message to Market Match Test
Have you ever had a marketing piece fail, and you just can’t figure out why? You thought what you included in the piece was very important and something your patients should take action on right away, so why didn’t they? While there are several reasons to consider, one of the first things you should check is your Message to Market Match. It’s critical to how you communicate and market to patients, and given all of the major changes that have occurred in 2020, it’s something you need to take extra special care with as you get your marketing campaigns going again.
Getting your messaging correct is a critical component of how successful you are with increasing your new patient number, ultimately leading to practice growth. In the most basic terms, Message to Market Match means starting every communication with an analysis of your market, then thinking about what they want (not just what you want them to do), and using that information to formulate your marketing. It’s basically the “Why Should They Care?” test.
Sounds easy, right? Well, you might be surprised how difficult this can actually be, and how easy it is to forget this when formulating your marketing pieces until you become really intentional about growing your private practice.
Start with Everyday Conversations
To help our team understand how to become intentional about doing this in our marketing, Jay first explained to us how to do it in our everyday conversations. This is marketing for doctors 101. Because you see, matching your message to your market is not just for when you are talking to external audiences. It is also critical in your internal messages to your team and your personal messages, too. The first step to being successful is to learn the art of looking through someone else’s eyes. It is the only way to truly understand what a person is thinking and to figure out what will motivate them to take action. Ultimately, leading to growing your private practice.
Jay told us, to look through someone else’s eyes you need to start with what you already know about them. For team members, this can be made easier if your organization utilizes behavioral assessments. Scheduling Institute uses and recommends the Kolbe program and the CliftonStrengths assessment. Knowing a person’s Kolbe and their Strengths is like a magic trick… it’s a connection trick. You also need to look at their body of work or their history. What actions have they taken in the past in similar situations? Finally, look at their current issue and see what problem exists that needs to be fixed. From their perspective – not yours!
External Audiences Come Next
The same basic steps apply to external audiences with patient communication. You may not know what their Kolbe is, but you can find out their demographics and even their personal preferences with a little research. With every visit, you should be tracking your patients’ history… not just their clinical history, but also their purchasing and behavioral history too. You can use this information to figure out exactly who your ideal patient is, as well as the type of patient you don’t want any more of in your practice. In regards to marketing for doctors, things may seem difficult on how to target patients and relate to them. If you take the simple steps listed above you can make a big impact on your private practice.
As for what their situation is and what type of problems exist for them, you can start by looking at what they are asking your office for on the phone or during their hygiene visits to learn what they really want. Every visit is an opportunity to learn more about what your favorite patients’ lives are like so you can make your marketing messages as relevant as possible for them.
If your pieces feel like those from other companies they know and like, and you use images and references you’ve heard them talking about, you’ll be one step closer to staying in their consideration set for any major treatment decisions they need to make. Think of it this way: every visit is like your own personal focus group. If you pay attention, you’ll know what you need to say to them and even the types of images you should use in your marketing messages to move them towards the action you want them to take.
The Art of Looking Through Someone Else’s Eyes
So, as we head into the rest of this year, think about how well you are matching your message to your market. This has been a tough year for most people – do you need to take that into account with your messaging? Spend time practicing the art of looking through someone else’s eyes to ensure you’re not only avoiding being tone-deaf to the current situation but that you are reaching your patients and potential patients with a message that is relevant and feels like it is speaking directly to their unique needs. Patient communication should be a core focus when it comes to marketing your private practice as well.
And guess what? There is a very cool unintended consequence of doing that. You will find that the more time you spend looking through someone else’s eyes at yourself, especially in relationships that aren’t going well, you will discover that the problems are not really what you thought they were. Most often, you will find that the changes needed are changes in YOU, or in the case of your patients, changes needed in YOUR PRACTICE – not the other way around. And these types of changes, the ones involving YOU, are the best kind of changes because they are completely, and we mean totally, in your control to fix.
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