Take each touchpoint through the marketing journey to gain a better idea of your current strengths and all of the ways you can interact with potential patients
The more you understand about your patient’s marketing journey — how they go from developing an awareness that your practice exists to coming into your office for their first chiropractic treatment — the easier it is to create a campaign targeted toward each step.
You’re better able to meet each prospect where they are, making your marketing strategy more successful.
One way to do this is with a map. Often referred to as customer journey mapping, this provides a visual representation of the steps your patient is likely to take when deciding whether to do business with you. It’s essentially a flowchart of how they transition through the marketing process.
The patient marketing journey isn’t always linear
While mapping your patient’s marketing journey, keep in mind that this is not always a linear process. Although it’s nice to have an idea of a typical patient’s steps from awareness to “making the buy,” it’s just as important to remember that not every patient will experience the process the same way.
Some may skip a step (or two) and others might take all of the steps, but in a different order. Patients can also go back and forth, taking a few steps toward using your services, then withdrawing a bit to reconsider, then considering it again, and so on. You might even encounter patients who take a step that you hadn’t previously thought about. When this happens, simply update your map to account for this new additional step.
Patient journey mapping options
There are many ways you can map your patient’s marketing journey. You can create a diagram, for instance, that shows each step in a circle or box with a line to the next step or the next set of potential step options. Another alternative is to list the key steps on a spreadsheet, then put them in map form.
The first approach may be more beneficial if you are a visual person. It provides the ability to more easily see how a patient may transition from one step in the journey to the next. If you’re more analytical, starting with a spreadsheet may be best. This enables you to gather all of your information before organizing it into a map.
If you’ve never done mapping before, using sticky notes and a whiteboard or wall is an additional option to consider. This makes it easier to move around different steps, changing the process around as new ideas emerge.
Know your target patient
Before you begin mapping, it’s helpful to take some time and consider your target patient. This is the person you want to do business with most. Maybe you specialize in sports chiropractic. In this case, your target patient would be an athlete. Perhaps your ideal patients are seniors. This would make your target anyone over 65, or patients getting ready to enter that demographic.
The reason knowing your target or ideal patient is critical to mapping is you want to make sure you’re drawing in the right person. If you’re not, it’s like having this fabulous map to Disney World when where you really wanted to go was the Grand Canyon. Even though the map was great, it didn’t take you where you to your desired destination.
When identifying your target patient, consider their:
- Educational Level;
- and Geographical Location.
Also think about how they use the internet, what social media platforms they’re on, and what type of media they prefer most. This provides insight as to what types of marketing they may find more appealing. It also tells you where you should be online to gain the greatest amount of exposure.
Creating your map
Once you’re ready to start putting together your map, consider all of the ways (or places) you might interact or engage with your target market. These are called touchpoints. Ones to consider include:
- Your website
- Social media platforms
- Review sites (Yelp, Google, etc.)
- Print ads
- Health expos or events
Next, look more closely at each touchpoint and think about what steps take that particular interaction from awareness to a sale. For example, if a potential patient interacts with your website, do they have a positive experience? Is your site simple to use and easy to navigate? Does it answer their most common questions, such as how you can help, your business location, and the hours you are open?
If it does all of these things, providing them a more positive experience, the next step may be to capture their contact information. Create a pop-up on your website that prompts visitors to enter their email addresses. Offer a free e-book in exchange or ask them to subscribe to your monthly newsletter full of tips for staying healthy.
Then decide what happens after they sign up. Do they get an email confirming their subscription or supplying the e-book you promised? Does it tip off future emails? Perhaps most importantly, does it suggest that they come in for a consultation or exam?
Take each touchpoint through this process to gain a better idea of all of the ways you can interact with potential patients. Put them into a map and you can easily see the many opportunities you have to help them along their marketing journey, transitioning them from prospect to patient.