Your Chiropractic Practice Marketing Plan
By Edward W Petty
Feb 28, 2008, 23:40
How is your marketing plan?
Do you have one?
You really should have a marketing plan for your chiropractic practice, and it should be updated monthly, nudged weekly, and totally reviewed every three months.
This may sound oversimplified, boring, or too too obvious, but in our experience, it is a major key to practice building.
Sure, there are many other factors behind a successful business, but constantly marketing is essential. And, if your practice is not growing, it may be because you are not routinely marketing.
And how do you make sure that you are marketing? Have a plan.
A Marketing Plan Is Simply Marketing Activities Scheduled,
Assigned, Regularly Supervised, And Measured.
The key to effective marketing is simply planning. This is because marketing often just does not get done. It is not that your marketing did not work. More than likely, it just didn’t happen.
To overcome this, you need to schedule short planning times each week, and longer periods each month.
This is the core of the Marketing Management System as we have developed it.
Your marketing plans should include the following:
• Recurring Marketing-Oriented Procedures. These include not only your internal marketing procedures, but recurring clinical and administrative procedures as well. They are the usual recurring procedures that go on regularly in your office. Often overlooked and neglected, they are the most important form of marketing. They need to be reviewed and practiced regularly to be keep fresh and important. Because they are so routine, I usually schedule them last.
Very successful offices rely mostly on these types of procedures. When you hear chiropractic doctors say “We don’t do marketing”, it is because they have their marketing as part of their internal procedures and they do these extra-ordinarily well. These could be the way the phones get answered, the report of findings, the new patient lecture, the simple consistency of patient flow procedures, great internal staff and doctor communication, staff training procedures, staff meetings, etc.
• Special Promotions. Hold special promotions every now and then. These could include a Kid’s Day, a donation drive, mother’s appreciation day, teacher’s appreciation week, etc. I walked into an office a few days ago and in the middle of a very cold, snow packed winter, the doctor and staff were wearing summer clothes, offering smoothies (without the run), with a big sign saying: “Welcome to Chiroville”, no doubt referencing “Margaritaville” and warm ocean lifestyle. What a refreshing and friendly surprise greeted each patient that day!
• Patient and Community Education Programs. These are usually held in your office. Educate your community through your office and patients by providing special workshops that are chiropractic or health related. Or, you can sponsor a special “Awareness Week”, such as a Headache Awareness Week, offering no charge or discounted condition specific screenings, consultations, and or exams.
• External Community Services and Networking Events. These can range from spinal screenings, to in office ergonomic workshops, lunchtime “Lunch & Learns” for local businesses, setting up referral sources with business or other professionals, or working in the food pantry twice a month feeding the homeless.
There are other procedures, such as advertising, PPO soliciting and reviewing, yellow pages, web site, but many of these can be put onto a yearly, quarterly, or monthly recurring checklist.
The above are various categories of marketing. But again, the most important part of marketing is doing it, and the key to getting marketing done is to schedule it and assign it and measure it.
For the best reference, review the materials in your Marketing Toolkit which is part of your Marketing Manager System computer software, if you have it.
Here is a sample marketing calendar for a chiropractic office.
NOTE TO CLIENTS AND MMS MEMBERS: You may find a customizable sample calendar on our MMS Member’s web site.
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