The Times, They are a Changin’: Medical Marketing

As I previously alluded to in this post, the way a doctor, particularly a plastic surgeon goes about medical marketing of his/her practice has changed so much. From no medical marketing at all, to print ads and social media, we are now entering a new era in physician marketing. Before, you marketed to consumers that weren’t your patients in the hopes that they would become your patients.

 

Now you market to existing and future patients to engage and keep them engaged and ultimately to encourage your patients to promote you, their doctor, to their cohort of friends, family and colleagues. I find that many doctors, such as oncologists and primary care doctors don’t feel like they need to market like a plastic surgeon. There seems to be some assumption that a doctor only needs to market themselves if their demographic of patients are cash-pay or cosmetic in nature. But reread the beginning of this paragraph: “Now you market to existing and future patients to engage and keep them engaged…” Why does this only apply to plastic surgeons? Shouldn’t every doctor want to find and retain existing and future patients?

 

I’m acutely aware that most doctors didn’t go into this business to be marketers but it has become a necessity (as an aside, many doctors refuse to recognize that this has become a business that cares for patients). Patients, now armed with insurance through the Affordable Care Act or employer-based insurance that all have high deductibles, are looking for doctors that meet their needs medically and financially.  If you’re not out there marketing on some level, they’ll find another doctor that tells them what they want to know – the cost of services on their website or on social media.

 

This is so obvious to me but I’m afraid many doctors are at least 5 years behind in accepting this new paradigm. That means that patients will be drawn to doctors that are good at marketing which has absolutely no correlation to how competent they are in the healing arts. In other words, we need the good doctors to embrace medical marketing – our society’s health depends on it.

 

Take a look at the video below that includes a “tour” of my waiting room. Engaging patients with social media, not only before they come in or after they leave, but WHILE they’re in the office, is the next frontier! Media display available from Enplug. [if the video doesn’t appear, refresh your browser]

 

 

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