Marketing to military members and veterans, and how to stand out as a chiropractic service for active and former members
YOU WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH; perhaps, reward uncommon valor with your medical expertise and not ignore “America’s Best.” Whether you have been working with the military community for years or you are just starting a practice that focuses on veterans, the question (from a marketing to military standpoint) is “How do you stand out as the best option for veterans in town?”
Like the military, you want to be seen as the very best in your field. As such, you must learn and emulate the patterns of success that the military has employed for decades. Thus, no operation ever begins without a well-studied and calculated plan in place. Your plan must include:
- Understanding your patients’ intents and concept(s) of their needs and subsequent healing;
- Knowing and communicating the specified tasks; and
- Knowing the strength of your team. In military terms, know your own “combat power” and your required levels of assistance.
Intentional research and planning
Your marketing and promotions must be intentional — i.e., intentionality aligning with an understanding of your military patients’ specific needs (as manifested from serving).
Take a page from the military and accept that nothing happens by accident. Hence, you must do some reconnaissance and figure out where your audience lives, where they hang out, what they read and so on. Then you will set a plan in motion to build up your presence and identity within the local military and veteran associations and organizations (i.e., local VFW, USO, military blogs, events, etc.).
Your “mission” is to stand apart from the masses; you need to create a robust and workable platform that is unmistakable — that you are here, and that you are the sole option for their medical needs.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Chiropractic services are part of the standard Medical Benefits Package available to all eligible veterans. Similar to other specialties, access to VA chiropractic services is by referral from a VA primary care or specialty provider. The VA provides these services on-site at one or more VA facilities in each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN).”
Now here’s the opportunity that may be available to you: “VA facilities that do not have on-site chiropractic clinics provide these services via the VA Community Care Program or other community care mechanisms.” It is incumbent upon you to see how you can become part of that community network.
Marketing to military: speak the language — their language
You need to inspire these vets to come and see you by understanding their wants and needs. As you promote your medical services it behooves you to speak in the language they speak, and talk about things that concern them.
Your promotional pieces have to stand out from all the others, and I am not necessarily talking about four-color, three-dimensional ads that have fireworks shooting out of them. It’s all about what you say.
Don’t believe me? Next time you’re at the checkout stand at your supermarket, and you see a headline that reads, “Elvis found alive and well living in Tahiti” — tell me if it doesn’t catch your attention even for just a couple of seconds.
What you say will compel your future patient to investigate further. Your marketing pieces need to draw the recipients’ attention; they need to entice them to look deeper, and most importantly, your promotional efforts need to motivate people to take a step toward you. Inspiration is literally the glue that brings and holds together people of different backgrounds but with aligned interests. This is where you begin creating bonds.
Get them to visit your ‘headquarters’
Everything that we have been speaking has led us to this point — you must now demonstrate why you are the superior option. Chances are, you are not the only chiropractor within a 45-minute drive. When patients arrive at your practice, you need to make sure they will never want to leave.
As a result, you want to make sure that your staff is not only familiar with but well-versed in many of the unique needs your future military patients will have. The goal is to instill confidence that they, the vet, made the right decision in selecting your office.
Additionally, in this supersonic world in which we live, future patients will do their own online reconnaissance of your practice long before they walk through your door. Your website, waiting room(s), blogs, newsletters, promotional patient letters, etc., must market to military members and deliver your vision. Then you can provide your patients with quantifiable evidence that “you get them,” and you are the “go-to” doctor in town.
Magnify your case/stature by publishing your perspective and knowledge about treatment for the most prevalent battle- and non-battle-related musculoskeletal injuries. Create a book both focusing on the alleviation and treatment of neck pain experienced by rotary-wing crew and aviator personnel — or informative pamphlets, special reports describing home remedies to alleviate their pain, and so on. Publishing allows you to spotlight your expertise by elaborating on how and what you will do for your patients in the process of healing them.
Make your written material available to your patients in your offices and on your website. As your reputation grows, consider launching an online radio program or podcast. Share those podcasts with patients and visitors by playing them in your waiting room(s), as well as making them available on your website.
Develop and communicate your ‘why’
As mentioned earlier, it’s all about what you say. For that reason, your vision needs to resonate loud and clear (aka your “why”); and “it” is what inspires people to follow you. Besides including your “why” on all your promotional content, create a mission statement that clearly states why you do what you do.
- Google: Our mission is to organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful.
- Teach for America: One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
- The Nature Conservancy: The mission of the Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and water on which all life depends; and, to be a sustainable world for future generations.
You must identify and articulate your driving force and push that message front and center. If this task is not within your skillset, now would be the perfect time to create an alliance with an accomplished and proven medical marketing copywriter.
Having a military patient base is built on being genuine and inspiring, above your medical talent — arouse in those potential patients when marketing to military members a deep sense that this doctor “really gets me.”
Claudio Gormaz is a medical marketing strategist and freelance writer for the last two decades. He develops robust branding platforms, enhances reputation campaigns, and cultivates fruitful and predictable advertising messages. He can be contacted at 951-294-2274, at summitmarketingstrategies.com, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.