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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So What’s The Big Idea Anyway? (Part 1)

By: Dan Pisek, Practice Marketing Coach

Wrapping your vehicle with your logo and brand colours and driving around your local community. Making a presentation to kids at a local school to promote the importance of good brushing. Introducing yourself to other local businesses. Getting involved or sponsoring an event in your community. Taking promotional frisbees to the beach. Booking the local arena for a “Patient Appreciation Day Skate”. These are just a few ideas that I have discussed with different practices to use to set themselves apart from their competition.

I am often asked the question “What big ideas do you have to help me promote my practice?” Anyone who knows me, or has worked with me to market their practice, knows that I love discussing new big ideas. But before the big ideas start happening, there needs to be a Marketing Action Plan in place which speaks to my “five practice fundamentals”:
  1. Have a brand identity that speaks to your practice vision.
  2. Leverage your website to be your perfect sales agent.
  3. Make the most of every patient relationship with a proactive approach to communication.
  4. Build awareness in your local community with a regular presence.
  5. Engage your team to make the most of your marketing efforts.
A great brand identity, current practice website, patient newsletters (print or electronic), consistent mailers, regular marketing meetings with your team are all tactics that need to be in place and working well together. It’s kind of like making music: you want to have the right instruments playing in your band - and the better the harmony in the instruments playing together, the better your sound.

Once you have my “five practice fundamentals” supporting your big picture vision of your perfect practice, then you can begin to think about other
opportunities to market your office.

I believe that every practice is different and holds its own set of unique marketing opportunities. It seems like more and more practices that I speak
with already have identified an idea or two, but just don’t know what to do with them, or how to take action. For example, on a smaller scale, this could mean installing the right window graphics with the right message on the front of your office, adding the right patient education television system in your patient waiting area, better merchandising of some selected treatments or services, introducing hot towels, a coffee bar or something new to enhance the patient experience, or taking the patient referral program to a higher level.

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