The following is a guest post from a lady whose opinions and ideas I respect greatly, I asked her to put her ten cents in on her angle on marketing your practice. The following is the article she wrote and I would like to take the time to thank her
In his post, “Your Brand, What Branding Means In An Audiological Practice.” Geoffrey Cooling explained why it’s important for your practice to STAND for something and why even the smallest detail (like the look of your reception area) matters. This is a highly competitive business. Your patients can probably go down the street or even use the internet to buy hearing aids.
Your current and prospective patients need to trust you and feel great about their decision to work with you. That trust and good feeling are what you, your staff, and your office build. But how do you get folks to come to you? That’s where marketing and communications comes in, and that’s my expertise.
It’s marketing communications’ job to get the right kinds of folks to your door. That takes attraction and visibility. You need to be seen and capture attention. Repetition of a message over time and consistency of presentation/message help make you visible. Being interesting and memorable gets you visibility quicker.
Establishing a memorable brand identity can be a shortcut into the hearts and minds of prospective patients. Being distinctive and recognizable makes you memorable and separates you from the competition. And that can shorten the sales cycle down the road. Sound good?
Here are steps for establishing a brand identity:
1) List everything that’s distinctive and memorable about your practice. (From products to location to business processes to the way you treat patients.)
2) Choose one attribute that will establish a positive tone with patients. Stay away from boring. Ask patients what’s important to them.
3) Make sure whatever you choose isn’t being used by a direct competitor.
4) List all the ways you can bring your brand identity to life:
• Tag line
• Business stationery, emails
• Ads, literature, mailers
• Promotional items
• Social media
5) Implement, implement, implement. Set a schedule for getting things done.
Nothing unique or catchy to say? Don’t worry. You can still get known. It just may take longer. What you’re shooting for is repetition and consistency. Repetition helps folks remember you. Consistency makes it easier for folks to recognize and trust you.
The “outside in” part is that whatever you promise in your public presence (ads, brochures, website, etc.) needs to be fulfilled when someone comes to see you. If you promise something, but don’t deliver, it’ll make you less believable. It might even make you seem untrustworthy…and that could hurt business.
Claire E. Cunningham is a marketing communications expert who headed marketing for SoundPoint Audiology, a U.S. chain of hearing aid clinics. Claire can be reached through her website http://claire-e-cunningham.weebly.com. She publishes a blog on marketing and communications topics: http://marcomcommunique.blogspot.com