Back in the day, all it took to be a successful doctor was a medical degree and a modicum of competence. But that’s not enough anymore. That’s just a minimum requirement!
Medicine, for better or worse, is becoming more sensitive to the market forces that most businesses have endured for years. With more doctors and greater access to care, patients have a choice in who they see now. And with more choice on the part of the patient, that means more competition amongst doctors going after the same subset of patients.
And how do you attract those patients? Marketing. Now more than ever, doctors, or at least their managers need to be marketing savvy. Not necessarily a formal marketing degree but an appreciation that marketing is a key element in addition to being a “good” doctor. Many doctors don’t recognize this. They think that patients somehow will magically know they’re a good doctor even if that patient has never heard of them. The only way the patient will ever recognize that a quality doctor is in their midst is if they read about them or see them on TV.
That means the doctor or whatever entity they’re a part of (clinic, hospital) must advertise their expertise on social media, print or television or other online tools such as blogs. It sounds crazy because doctors went to school to be doctors, not marketing executives. But that’s exactly what the most successful doctors are – savvy marketing specialists, either through formal or on-the-job training.
However, let’s not forget that the true test of a good doctor is the one that recognizes the marketing side of their business but doesn’t lose sight of the fact that they are here to do no harm. If they remember that, there’s nothing wrong with marketing themselves for the greater good of their patients.