4 Reasons Your Medical Practice MUST Invest in Direct Marketing

Last updated: April 16, 2019 | By Dory LeBlanc

When you’re looking to bring in new patients to increase appointments and revenue, branding can only get you part of the way there. Your practice also needs to consider implementing a marketing strategy. But which do you choose: mass marketing or direct marketing? Much like branding, mass marketing promotes a message toward a wide audience. However, direct marketing takes a more targeted approach.

Think of direct response marketing as the yin to branding’s yang. Direct marketing is data-driven and encourages immediate consumer interaction with the target audience. It uses creative communication that establishes and maintains an ongoing 1-on-1 relationship with a patient. You need a healthy balance of branding and direct marketing to unleash your practice’s true potential.

Benefits of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing has many benefits that mass marketing doesn’t, such as:

1. Targeted Marketing

Direct response’s data-driven approach means you can use demographic information to identify your target audience and market directly to their needs. For example, a pediatrician’s office could send postcards or flyers to households with children that includes a discount code for back-to-school physicals.

2. Customized Messages

Direct response marketing is helpful to your branding efforts because it delivers customized messages to relevant audiences. It means you can market to a variety of niche audiences at once, without diluting or cluttering your brand’s overall message.

With customized messages, you can also utilize and be conscious of seasonality in your marketing. Examples of health care businesses affected by seasonality include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • ENTs: More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. Otolaryngologists could increase their mailing quantity and offer discounts during active allergy seasons.
  • Dermatologists: During the spring and summer, dermatologists might look to provide offers for those wanting to look their best for bikini season.
  • 24-Hour/After-Hours clinics: These clinics could benefit during colder months, flu season or back to school — offering later hours for busy parents, for example.

Try to think about how seasonality affects your business.

3. ROI & Result Tracking

Think of marketing as an investment, not an expense. Every dollar you put into a marketing campaign should bring in at least $1.01 in revenue to your business. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and resources.

Direct response marketing has the benefit of being highly trackable. With the right metrics in place, you’re able to see exactly how a campaign is affecting your medical practice. If a campaign isn’t achieving the desired results, you’re able to see how and why, so you can adjust your approach in future campaigns.

4. Improved Patient Experience

Medical professionals care deeply about helping people and following marketing best practices isn’t just good for your wallet – it benefits patients too. This is vitally important today, as consumers are inundated with medical options. As a result, people are using the internet to find answers to what’s ailing them and pinpoint the best kind of provider. A Pew Research Study found 77 percent of people looking for health-related services start with an online search.

Clinical direct marketing works to empower consumers with the information they need to make the best decisions regarding their health. Health care providers are already using population health management (PHM) to improve the patient experience. PHM aggregates patient data, the analysis of that data and actionable patient records to improve efficiency and care. This process can be streamlined with direct marketing so it reaches those who would benefit from a health care provider’s services the most.

It’s Trending for a Reason

With all the benefits direct marketing offers health care professionals, it’s becoming an increasingly popular way to get the message out. Take a look at your current marketing efforts and determine how they could benefit from direct response marketing. Which campaigns could use additional targeting and customization? Which could use direct marketing to educate consumers more?

Direct response marketing complements branding efforts, helps bring in new business and increases revenue. As a result, health care professionals reach segmented audiences and capitalize on seasonality. It’s an accountable method of marketing that benefits patients as much as medical practices. What’s not to love?

Contact your local Valpak rep to learn more about advertising your practice to consumers who spend 27% more with physicians1 for as little at 2-3 cents per household.

 

1. Compared to the average U.S. consumer. Claritas data with current year projections, January 2019.