Your practice has a brand—keep it healthy
It is very likely that your patients already know what your brand is, or at least how they perceive your brand. Do you?
It may be time for a check-up. Making a marketing plan and refining your brand will help you understand how to connect better with your patients and grow your practice.
Your brand is your practice’s personality. When potential new patients look at your pratice, what they learn about this personality will directly impact their decision to make that first appointment. A brand that is relate-able, positive and relevant will probably make a better impact on your patients than an unhealthy brand.
To check your brand’s health, consider these questions:
- What do patients see?
What do they think about my clinic? Do visitors of my website and readers of my marketing materials understand what I am trying to communicate?
- Is my brand consistent?
Review your marketing materials to make sure they do not have contradictory information and ideas. Sending mixed-messages in your marketing can confuse your patients.
- Is my brand viewed positively?
Look at online reviews of your clinic, for example. Are any of these reviews negative? Does your brand present your clinic in the best possible light?
- Do I know my audience?
Make sure your marketing materials and brand image reflect sufficient knowledge of your audience. Do you know who you want to reach and bring into your clinic?
Market Research 101
If you need to research your market, many low-cost and highly-effective methods are available. Obtaining information about both your patients and your competitors can help you develop and refine your marketing strategy.
- Online Brand—Using Alexa, for example, you can research your competitors’ web traffic rankings or see how your own online presence compares with other websites. Using online search engines or your local phone book, search for other chiropractors within your market area and study how they market their brands. If you love something they are doing, think about how to apply a similar strategy with your practice.
- Patient Satisfaction Surveys—Create your own free, HIPAA-compliant patient satisfaction surveys online with Survey Monkey templates or make a print-based, confidential survey for your patients to complete at their next office visit. Premium services from Survey Monkey and other market research companies are also available if your clinic needs more advanced tools and analytics.
An article in Family Practice Management recommended creating surveys that are short, simple and clear.1 Surveying patients provides you with valuable information about how patients view your brand. Surveys also help improve your image by presenting your clinic as in-touch and sensitive to patient needs.
Building a Great Brand
You can build your brand and improve your clinic’s image by creating a brand strategy. Remember, your strategy is more than a social media page and your brand is more than a logo! Clinics can cultivate a positive brand image over time by assessing their patients, finding out how to address their health concerns with relevant services and taking practical steps towards managing the brand with marketing.
- To develop your brand, consider adding these tools to your arsenal:
- Brochures outlining the services and types of care your clinic offers
- Blogs written by the doctor
- Email marketing campaigns
- Health eBooks
- Social media pages
- Ads (online, print, television or radio)
Whatever forms of advertising you choose, consistency is key. The more frequently your audience hears from you, the better. Your marketing materials should reinforce the value of your services and encourage prospective patients to connect and interact with your clinic.
By practicing good brand hygiene, you can build positive rapport with patients and grow your clinic. Your clinic’s image is everything! Take great care to protect your brand and your reputation.
1 Brandi White. “Measuring Patient Satisfaction: How to Do it and Why to Bother”
http://www.aafp.org/fpm/1999/0100/p40.html/. Published January 1999. Accessed September 2015.