When looking at other successful practices (whichever happens to be your specialty), you will see that they are having the most success with a mix of 75% online and social media (a blog, an ezine with an opt-in option, Facebook, etc.) and 25% direct mail marketing. You can run the numbers and predict that a similar marketing campaign targeting your target patient population should increase your referrals by 25% over six months.
Time to Test
The least amount of time you should spend testing a marketing campaign is six months. At the end of that period, you should have enough data to tell you if it’s a success. The key here is watching the data and collecting the numbers.
The online data will be much easier for you to collect when someone opts in to receive your ezine or the number of people who like your Facebook page increases. The direct mail is a little more difficult, and that’s where your staff needs to be involved. Make sure that when a new patient calls in for an appointment that your staff asks how they heard about your practice. Get the name of the referring patient or physician. Set up a spreadsheet to track the results.
Once you’ve tested your marketing campaign over a six-month period (and tweaked it where needed), gather all your results. Compare which marketing tool produced the best results and calculate the return on your investment.
Did your practice grow? Did it stay the same? In either case, the question to ask is why? Keep what worked and throw out what didn’t. Build on your success with a new mix of marketing tools for your practice and start another six-month trial.
Present Your Results
Share the good news with your staff and the rest of the private practice community. Let them know what worked and what didn’t. When your practice succeeds, your specialty succeeds.
And if your staff knows that their efforts were rewarded with success, they’ll understand why their extra effort was needed and be more willing to help in the next campaign.
Consider marketing your practice the way you think of treating your patients in your practice. You wouldn’t keep treating a patient in the same way if you weren’t getting the results you expected. Do the same thing with each marketing campaign, and you’ll be that much closer to living and practicing by design.
I wish you the best along your journeys!
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