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conciergemedicine

Avoid the Pitfalls of building a Concierge Medical Practice

Are you considering transforming your medical practice into a concierge medical practice? If so, than there are a few do’s and don’t’s that can make the difference between success and failure.

The average family doctors see about 4,000 patients in their practice which leads very little time for one-on-one interaction with the patient. In order to have a successful concierge practice, you have to change your large insurance-based practice into a more patient-centric practice by reducing the size of your patient load so can provide a higher quality of care.

Starting a new concierge practice is not easy. There are many doctors who do it successfully while others have failed miserably. If you do it properly, you can reap the benefits of receiving higher pay, quality care with patients, and the overall rewarding experience of receiving cash for your time rather than the paper chase and denials of insurance-based practices.

Do: start with a business plan

It is completely astonishing that most small businesses lack a business plan that is relevant to their business services and produces as well as their position in the market place. A business plan is a road map to show you how to price points, service offerings and overall how to reach your goals. The best way to shape the future of your new business is to begin with a business plan that outlines how your concierge medicine practice will be structured. If you are planning to get financing to open your new office, a business plan is required to show the lender your financial viability to qualify for a loan. Your business plan should include information about your patient load, revenue streams, staffing requirements, and recruitment efforts to keep patient load at a sufficient level to support your business.

Don’t: use a ‘boilerplate’ business plan

There are sample business plans available online that you can purchase, and while these can be a great resource as a starting point to let you know the types of things to include in your plan, they should be treated as just an outline. If you copy and paste the information directly from the sample plan without customizing it for your area, the estimates about revenue, patient load, and other information will range from being either slightly wrong to wildly inaccurate, which can affect your success in the future. Spend the necessary time to customize your plan to fit the needs of the market and to position yourself in a more strategic place than your competitors.

Do: educate your patients of your new practice

Most patients today are very familiar with a traditional model for primary care doctor’s offices, and some may have never heard of a concierge doctor before. Change is hard for everyone, but you can ease the transition for your patients by communicating with them about your plans to become a concierge physician, and helping them understand what that means for them. If you surprise your patients one day without any advance notice or education about what a concierge physician is and why it’s beneficial, you may not be able to keep those patients in your new practice.

Don’t: assume your patients know what your new practice will be like, spell it out for them in your marketing materials

As a physician, you are very familiar with different types of practices and different models, and you know the advantages and disadvantages. Patients, on the other hand, are not familiar with all this information, and it is your job to educate them on why you are choosing to become a private physician, and how it will benefit them. If you’re not sure about the best way to reach out to your patients and help educate them, consider hiring a marketing consultant to help.

Do: hire the right team – hire slowly & fire quickly

Your new concierge medicine practice will require the support and help of a great team, including your staff, an accountant who understands concierge medicine practice models, an attorney, and a healthcare consultant with experience setting up and running patient-centric businesses. Every single employee from manager to operator needs to be on board with your patient-centric business model and culture. If one employee is not, then don’t waste your time. Fire them.

Don’t: hire a consultant with the wrong experience

There are a lot of healthcare consultants who can help you convert your practice to concierge medicine, but you want to be sure to hire one that has experience working with patients that fit your demographics, and not one that tries to make your practice fit into a “one-size-fits-all” model. I have noticed the greatest benefit that a consultant can have when being hired for a concierge medical practice is experience in developing a menu of cash services. You do not want the practice management consultant who only has experience in insurance-based medical practice business models. These two models are tremendously different. One model treats patients as if they are a number and the time the doctor spends with the patient is very limited. The other model is based on a patient-centric model whereby each contact with the patient ensures a positive experience.

Do: review your practice regularly

Constant gauging and auditing your progress is a necessary task that will show you if you are meeting your goals. Set a schedule to review your practice at least once a year to ensure that you are meeting your goals, and find areas where you can improve. You can do this on your own, or with the help of a consultant, to make sure that your practice is thriving for years to come.

Sometimes change can be scary, but both patients and physicians often appreciate the improved care that comes with a concierge practice.

 

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Marketing, like politics, is the art of the possible

Marketing is a necessary investment into your practice. Sadly, however, most businesses don’t see a high enough return or no return on their marketing investments. There are many reasons for this but one reason that seems to be a recurring theme when I consult with clients, is that there messaging is lost in translation when it comes to their targeted audiences. This means most small businesses seem to create marketing campaigns that lack one very necessary component and that’s creating a marketing strategy targeted to the right audience that distinguishes your business from competitors. The objective of all marketing plans is to fit your product and or service into the changing environment of everyday life, transforming how people live, work and play.

So what does that mean? Forbes’ contributor, Jack Trout lays out the essence of marketing into two sentences and uses two case studies to explain the steps of a successful marketing campaign.

First, your marketing’s responsibility is to see that everyone is playing the same tune in unison. Second, it’s marketing’s assignment to turn that tune or differentiating idea into what we call a coherent marketing direction.

The notion of a differentiating idea requires some thought. What kind of idea? Where do you find one? These are the initial questions that must be answered.

To help you answer these questions, I propose using the following specific definition. A differentiating idea is a competitive mental angle.

This kind of idea must have a competitive angle to have even a chance for success. This does not necessarily mean a better product or service, but rather, there must be an element of differentness. It could be smaller, bigger, lighter, heavier, cheaper or more expensive. It could be a different distribution system.

Furthermore, the idea must be competitive in the total marketing arena, not just competitive in relation to one or two other products or services. For example, Volkswagen‘s decision in the late 1950s to introduce the “first” small car was an excellent competitive idea. At the time, General Motors was manufacturing nothing but heavily chromed patrol boats. The Beetle was a runaway success.

The VW Beetle was not the first small car on the market, of course. But it was the first car to occupy the “small” position in the mind. “Think small,” said the Volkswagen ads. It made a virtue out of its size, while the others apologized for their small size by talking about “roominess.”

An example of a new bad idea is Volvo’s sporty coupe and convertible. We see no competitive angle against BMW, Mercedes or Audi (just to name a few).

Second, a differentiating idea must have a competitive mental angle. In other words, the battle takes place in the mind of the prospect.

Competitors that do not exist in the mind can be ignored. There were plenty of pizza places with home delivery operations when John Schnatter launched Papa John’s International . But nobody owned the “better ingredients” position in the mind.

A competitive mental angle is the point in the mind that allows your marketing program to work effectively. The angle is the point you must leverage to achieve results. But an idea is not enough. To complete the process, you need to turn the idea into a strategy. (If the idea is a nail, the strategy is the hammer.)

What’s a strategy? A strategy is not a goal. Like life itself, a strategy ought to focus on the journey, not the goal. Top-down thinkers are goal-oriented. They first determine what it is they want to achieve, and then they try to devise ways and means to achieve their goals.

But most goals are simply not achievable. Goal-setting tends to be an exercise in frustration. Marketing, like politics, is the art of the possible.

Roger Smith took over General Motors in 1981. He predicted that GM would eventually own 70% of the traditional Big Three domestic car market, up from about 66% in 1979. To prepare for this awesome responsibility, GM began a $50 billion modernization program. Boy, was he wrong. Currently, General Motors’ share of the Big Three domestic market is 28% and falling. His goal was simply not achievable, because it was not based on a sound idea.

In my definition, a strategy is not a goal. It’s a coherent marketing direction. A strategy is coherent in the sense that it is focused on the idea that has been selected. Volkswagen had a big tactical success with the small car, but it failed to elevate this idea to a coherent strategy. It forgot about “small” and instead elected to bring into the U.S. market a family of big, fast and expensive vehicles. But other car manufacturers had already preempted these automotive ideas. This opened the way for the Japanese to take over the small car idea.

Second, a strategy encompasses coherent marketing activities. Product selection, pricing distribution, advertising–all the activities that make up the marketing mix must be coherently focused on the idea. (Think of a differentiating idea as a particular wavelength of light and the strategy as a laser tuned to that wavelength. You need both to penetrate the mind of the prospect.)

Finally, a strategy is a coherent marketing direction. Once the strategy is established, the direction shouldn’t be changed.

warkprofileprofessionalThe purpose of the strategy is to mobilize your resources to preempt the differentiating idea. By committing all your resources to one strategic direction, you maximize the exploitation of the idea without the limitation that the existence of a goal implies. In other words, don’t put your eggs all in one basket. For more information on marketing, or to help you update your marketing plan, call us at 702-682-8300

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Top Five EHR and Practice Management for Medical Practices

 The Mechanics of Keeping Your Patients Part 2

Running a profitable medical office requires keeping on top of key metrics such as accounts receivable ratios and net collection percentages. However, you have to look beyond those numbers to stay in the black, experts say. Successful practices prioritize teamwork and ensure that everyone on staff knows their role in the revenue cycle and that includes implementing an integrated practice management and EHR software system that best-suits your practice.

For a medical practice, EHR may be important — but practice management is essential. According to KLAS ratings, the top five practice management software systems are as follows:

    • 1. – Epic has become the default system of choice for hospitals, particularly larger hospitals. As a system designed for large enterprises, it is not even an option for small medical practices. While customers may choose Epic as much for its reputation and the breadth of its suite as for any single piece of software, the KLAS rating shows they are also happy with the practice management functionality, which actually reflects the performance of multiple products
  •  2. – Aethenahealth: Aethenahealth rates #1 for practices of fewer than 75 physicians. While most practice management software vendors offer some version of their product as a cloud service, Athenahealth is the one most insistent on sticking exclusively to a cloud model. Just as significantly, the AthenaCollector software is inextricably linked to the company’s business services. One major strength of Aethenahealth is that it can see where in the workflow employees are getting hung up, or how long it takes a patient to get checked in or checked out for a visit.
  •  3. – eClinicalWorks: Ranking in the KLAS survey as one of the top practice management systems for practices of all sizes, eClinicalWorks is second only to Epic for practices with more than 75 physicians. eClinicalWorks boats that it’s clients currently experience a 98% first-pass acceptance rate (claims paid on first submission).
  •  4. – NextGen Healthcare is another of the top-ranked practice management systems in the KLAS survey across practices of all sizes. NextGen offers a revenue cycle management service, although so far fewer than 5% of customers take advantage of it. The software’s ability to track the work that needs to be done to process claims and secure payments are among NextGen’s strongest features. While often overshadowed by EHR hype, practice management is really the core of the system.
  •  5. – McKesson shows up in the KLAS rankings for two products, Practice Plus, one of the favorites for practices of 75 or more doctors, and Practice Partner for smaller practices. McKesson prodcuts are distinguished by their ability to adapt to individual locations, so it’s not cookie cutter, and adjust software workflow to the way a practice functions.

warkprofileprofessionalPractice management software is just one component of helping keep medical offices running smoothly. Technology systems are not the only systems that need to be adopted in your practice. Before you decide a system that fits your practice, you need to have a full grasp of every function in your practice. For example:

  • What happens when a new patient contacts you?
  • What actions happen when you sign on a new patient?
  • What steps do you follow to deliver your healthcare services?
  • What tasks need to be completed when you complete a project?
  • How do you run your back office and administrative affairs?
  • What roles and responsibilities do any team members (employees, subcontractors, etc.) have and what steps do they follow to meet those duties?
  • What does your schedule look like? What constitutes “open for business hours” and “closed for business” time?
  • What are your policies and procedures for working with patients? (Think: patient forms and arbitration agreements.)
  • What are your billing and payment policies and procedures?

The above components are all a part of creating standard operating procedures and policies to adhere to at every level of your practice. If you need help with designing your operations in a way to help your practice runs efficiently, please give us a call. It’s time to start running your medical practice like a very successful business.  Call us today at 702-682-8300.

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The Importance of an Infrastructure in a Medical Practice

The Mechanics of Keeping Your Patients Part 1

Operating a private healthcare practice in today’s environment presents many challenges. Shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business costs, can all feel like barriers to success. Over the last few years, there has been a shift towards attracting private pay patients with the advent of Concierge Medicine, MediSpas, and various complementing services that doctors are pushing in their practice to increase revenue.

What does it take to have a successful medical practice today? Most physicians rely on referrals for getting new patients, as their marketing budget is limited to social media channels and patient referrals. But spreading the word about your business without building an infrastructure within the operations is a recipe for mediocrity. What does that mean? It means that without having systems and procedures in place, patients will constantly be falling through the cracks. But the right “point of care tools” can not only save your practice, they can take it to the next level.

Every medical practice or small business for that matter needs a starting place when building out its infrastructure. With the advent of Obamacare, many practice management software systems have been designed to help automate your operating system along with integrating your PM system with Electronic Health Records.

Integrated platforms that are more user friendly, while both comprehensive in their features and functionality, are vital to success in a very competitive medical industry.  But beware, you ultimately will get what you pay for.  Doctors usually are more familiar with their EMR needs and functionality than they are about the needs on the Practice Management side. Keep in mind that while you may be providing high quality care, you may not be able to collect what you’re due if your Practice Management system or Staff doesn’t have the ability to track the right metrics.  You should also consider outsourcing your Billing & Collections as your best bet in getting your receivables paid.

warkprofileprofessionalPractice management software keeps the medical office running smoothly, and the wrong package can wreak havoc with billing, scheduling, and other essential business processes. A closer look at KLAS’ top-ranked systems will help you choose the one that best fits your practice. Next week we will cover the top five Practice Management software systems for medical practices.

 

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Higher Hires – Practice Management

Hiring the right people should seem like it’s more than blind luck. Every business owner would love a greater sense of certainty that the person they think will be a perfect fit, will be exactly that. But every owner has experienced the frustration of dealing with bad employees, and in turn has made solemn promises to themselves that they will never make the same mistake again. There are ways that you can help keep those promises and it may start with breaking a few of old hiring habits.

Nepotism is a two edged sword.

One of the most satisfying accomplishments is successfully building a business with family members. The ability to employ immediate members of your family, like your children, can be economical during lean times, a common purpose that can be embraced by the entire family, and a great way to continue your enterprise into the future by having your heirs take over the reins. The downside too often outweigh the positives. Nepotism is generally frowned upon because it often places non-family employees at a disadvantage. The temptation of throwing away the employee handbook as it applies to family is too great. This creates tremendous problems for your operation. It instills a sense of entitlement in your employed family members, they never integrate into the workplace team, and they don’t develop valuable workplace skills, experience, and attitude. When family members aren’t performing to the standards set for other employees, it’s a recipe for disaster. Your employees can become resentful, lack productivity and motivation, as well as begin exploring other employment opportunities.

Hiring friends of employees

One of the more convenient ways to find new employees is to ask people around the office if they know anyone that is looking for a job. This is not necessarily a great way to recruit. People who socialize with each other outside of work bring those relationships into the workplace. If things go sour between friends, and we know that they can, then that pollutes the workplace environment.

What you see is what you get

Never make the mistake of thinking that an employee is going to become a different person once they start working for you. If you see that a prospective employee is lacking in a certain area then plan on having that weakness present in the workplace. A person with a bad attitude or poor social skills will not improve because you hired them. A person who lacks the ability to comprehend or learn your desired specialized skills will not become proficient in those skills because they have a great personality. There is the right employee out there. Don’t settle for less. Finding the right people for your practice and getting the best out of them is vital for the success of your practice. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance at 702.682.8300.

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We take great pride in hiring the right people for your practice. Set up a consultation with Lisa Marie Wark and she can create your road map for hiring a winning team here in Las Vegas Nevada.

1. Lisa’s Scorecard

What goes on the scorecard?: The candidate’s personal mission and specific goals they will be responsible for.

2. The Importance of Defined Goals

Lisa’s Motto: “To build great behavioral interviewing models, you’ve got to understand what this person is going to be responsible and accountable for.” Defining your candidate’s goals will help you ask the right questions in the interviewing process.

3. Divide Up the Goals in the Interviewing Process

If you have multiple people interviewing a candidate, divvy up your defined goals. Then, build your interviewing plan around that. This will help you identify “A” players when you debrief with your team.

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Video Testimonials – Most Powerful Marketing Channel

Video is a powerful tool for persuasion. We are now talking, sharing, producing and consuming in a mobile world and video content has a greater impact in all of these areas than anything else. The ease of distributing video content has also resurrected the art of personal persuasion- real people, to whom you can relate, expressing their true feelings about something and suggesting you do the same. There is nothing more powerful than a real satisfied patient, client, or customer expressing themselves to other real people.

 

 

The production is first class, and the message is simple, short, unscripted, and compelling. It meets all of the communication demands of today’s consumers. It is also a component of a larger campaign in promoting Cataract Awareness Month. As part of promoting Cataract Awareness Month on behalf of our client, we are rolling out testimonials on laser cataract surgery that will be distributed throughout the various digital media channels. The above video is one of many that will be used to help with SEO ranking and consistent messaging throughout the digital media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and the web site.

Social media channels are now awash in video content. It was only a matter of technology catching up to our insatiable appetite for moving images. Today we expect to be talked to, entertained by, and persuaded with video. If there is one phrase that optimizes our rules of engagement it’s, “If you want to tell me something, say it, don’t’ write it”. YouTube is a perfect example of how popular videos are used by businesses for messaging. The stats on YouTube alone are staggering.

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  • YouTube has grown to be the largest social media site surpassing Facebook in 2014
  • YouTube has more than 1 billion users
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google
  • Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views
  • The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices
  • Mobile revenue on YouTube is up over 100% y/y

 
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With the exception of brands and businesses that cater to millennials, the rest of the world of commerce lags behind their respective markets in the video medium that is the most effective with consumers. I began to approach my medical clients a year ago about integrating video content into their social media marketing. My suggestions weren’t met with reticence as much as a sincere lack of understanding why a video medium would be desirable to market products and services. The reaction lead me to do a bit more research on the web to see how doctors and their practices were using video in the digital world.

Most of the doctors that had a presence on Facebook, You Tube, and on web sites, although positioned professionally, had a remarkably unprofessional quality to them. Many of them were self-produced and consisted of a doctor talking into the little imbedded camera on a computer screen, under florescent lights, and talking at length. I felt like I was sequestered in some digital dungeon being force fed content for CME credits. The lack of quality reflected poorly on them as professionals and they clearly didn’t understand that this was probably their worst foot forward.

Today that’s beginning to change. Medical professionals recognize they are in an ever increasing competitive market that demands authenticity and excellence. Recording rambling video in something that resembles your mother’s basement doesn’t cut it. Consumers expect the highest quality services and products in the field of medicine and they want to hear about it from people like them. Make your happy patients your best sales people.

Creating excellent video messaging is becoming an imperative for marketing success. I would love to help you achieve that. Feel free to contact us at 702.682.8300.

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Getting Real About Your Social Media ROI

Question: What’s as legendary as the Lock Ness Monster, or as allusive as the Publisher’s Clearing House Million Dollar Prize?

Answer: It’s an acceptable ROI on your business’s digital media efforts…or some would have you believe.

While a return on investment for social media would appear to be one of life’s great mysteries, there are a number of ways to wrap your brain around this vexing issue.

Media is media. Businesses have always needed to market, and the same question always arises, “How much money do I have to spend to convince people to buy what I have to sell?” Whether you spend money on traditional media like TV and radio or social media like Facebook and Twitter, you will always be faced with the uncertainty of which ad at what time and place compelled the consumer to become the customer. We must demythologize digital and social media if we are going to alleviate the anxiety and the angst over spending advertising dollars on digital and social media without feeling like we are chasing an imaginary audience. It’s easier than you may think.

It begins by managing your expectations. Understand that successful marketing is an exercise of trial and error. Messages, resources, and social media channels need to be tested constantly. More resources are committed to the formulas that have an acceptable level of response and return, but the testing should continue to keep pace with evolving markets and delivery systems.

The ultimate goal is to get conversions (customers) and keep conversions, but that is the result of a marketing process. The process begins with presenting yourself to your audience and then trying to figure out if they notice you enough to do something about it. Any great salesman will tell you that the secret to selling is to develop a relationship with your potential customer. Until recently every social media marketer was glued to analytics that would tell you how many friends or followers you had. The enthusiasm for those great numbers died quickly when owners realized those indicators weren’t translating into an increase in customers. It turns out we were looking at the wrong thing.

It’s now apparent that meaningful response to social media messaging comes when someone is willing to engage. That engagement takes the form of traveling the next step down the sales funnel, whether that is sharing a post, hitting a recommended link for more information, or actually giving you contact information that you can now use to create that relationship. Now that you know that engagement is the goal, you can make sure that your social media dollars are going towards a strategy that compels the viewer to engage. The more people you have drawn to the step of engagement the greater success you will have in creating a relationship and ultimately making them a customer.

Measuring your Digital and Social Media ROI is not just limited to small business owners. Global marketers both in Europe and America have increasing pressures to prove their worth. The illustration below shows how the digital channels rank in their ability to measure ROI from global marketers.

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newly-released survey [download page] from Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud that analyzes global marketers’ ability to measure ROI from a variety of digital channels finds that there is only a single discipline that most marketers rate themselves “good” at measuring.

The survey – fielded predominantly among European marketers, who made up three-quarters of the sample – found that 52% of company respondents consider themselves “good” at measuring ROI from paid search (PPC). Similarly, 53% of agency respondents rated their clients’ ability to measure the ROI from paid search as “good.”

No other discipline was able to crack 50% of respondents rating themselves “good” at ROI measurement. In fact, email marketing (for acquisition) was the only other channel for which respondents (both marketers and agencies) were more likely to rate themselves as being “good” than “okay.”

On the other end of the spectrum, just 13% of company respondents rate themselves as “good” at being able to measure the ROI of video advertising, and just 12% of agency respondents agreed with respect to their clients. By one measure, though, content marketing fared even worse: a plurality 43% of company respondents rated themselves “poor” at measuring content marketing’s ROI. That was the only channel of the 19 identified in which more respondents considered themselves “poor” than “okay” (41%) or “good” (16%).

Social media investment also appears to be a pain point, according to marketers and agencies, echoing the sentiments of US CMOs as noted in the study referenced above.

Despite those difficulties, inability to measure ROI is not the primary hindrance to increased digital marketing investments, per the Econsultancy study. Instead, marketers were most likely to say that a restricted budget for all types of marketing prevents more investments in digital, while a lack of staff to make the most of digital investments was the second-most cited barrier. Interestingly, agency respondents see a lack of understanding about digital and company culture as the biggest impediments to clients investing more money in digital.

That’s not to say that there’s not money flowing to digital marketing, though. Instead, this latest annual study finds digital marketing budget expectations to be at their highest point since the survey’s inception in 2010, as 77% of respondents plan spending hikes this year, up from 71% in last year’s survey. Of note, 71% of company respondents agree that it has become easier to secure boardroom buy-in for increased digital marketing budgets, an increase from 64% last year.

warkprofileprofessionalSocial media marketing and the results of that marketing shouldn’t be a great mystery. Put together a plan (or find someone that can do it for you), commit the proper resources to executing the plan, and execute the plan knowing that you have invested wisely in something that’s real…not a legend.  Call me today to create a marketing plan that is tailored for your business. 702.374.1944

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Branding: Your Market I.D.

What Are You?

“Branding” is quickly earning its way onto my Banned Words List. It’s still essential to successful business marketing, but it is in danger of becoming nothing more than a trendy buzz word. And trendy buzzwords too often become a cheap substitute for a little heavy lifting that any business needs to be successful.

Branding only seems difficult because it requires a business owner to take a longer and deeper look at their business. After all, it so much easier to just desperately struggle every day chasing customers that have absolutely no idea why they should trust you! The exercise of branding your business begins not with an over-priced trademark or logo, it begins with a philosophical question, “What or who are we?”

 

I ran across a great article in Forbes where the author said that building your brand starts inside your organization with defining your corporate culture. You have to mold your own set of values and behaviors if those characteristics are ever going to be recognized in your brand. Every department and person in your business should be keenly aware of what your brand means. When you have really committed to building your brand you will begin to understand the need to hire people that reflect your corporate culture and properly represent your brand in the marketplace.

 

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A well-recognized and regarded brand is about owning the market, not competing in the market. When the customer believes in your brand they stop comparing you to the competition. They form an emotional attachment to your product and service. It’s not a question of how many times they see your logo, it’s about what stands behind it: integrity, a great product at a great price, caring customer service, etc. It’s your customer’s emotional attachment, and your brand discipline, that will sustain you through the rough patches, the pretenders, goofy trends, and market swings.

Marketing your brand is an act of discipline too. The ROI on an effective branding campaign is not going to deliver short term results like a standard retail campaign would, but it will be priceless in the long run. Some mediums, like social media, are going to be more effective for branding than it will be for generating direct sales. A video testimonial, because of the visual medium’s emotional appeal is likely to have a greater impact than a newspaper ad.

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A brand is more than a catch word, it’s the definition of who you are and what you represent. It’s on which everything else sits. It’s time to build a foundation for your business. Build a brand. For a consultation, call me directly at 702-374-1944. Let’s start today!

Marketing Plan

Are you a man with a plan?

Marketing plans are like travel plans-if you don’t have one you can find yourself wandering around in circles. A plan compels you to look ahead, and a good marketing plan is a product of thorough research, conservative forecasting, a good chunk of expertise, and a dash of imagination. Unfortunately, too many business owners get the ingredients confused and instead decide that their marketing plan should have a big chunk of imagination.

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Set you inner “Mad Man” aside, and get your arms around the less exciting, but more crucial elements of a successful marketing plan, The Four Ps. The Four Ps are Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Each one of these components is essential. So let’s break it down:

Product: The marketing plan identifies the ‘hook’ for a product or service. You better know who your target audience is, and why they should be willing to buy what you are selling. And you need to tell everyone why they should buy yours instead of your competitor’s.

Price: What pricing strategy will your practice follow for this product/service? Is the plan to sell large volumes so the economies of scale can keep the price low? Or will be marketed as a boutique practice, which keeps the service and products more exclusive but the prices higher?

Promotion: What is the advertising strategy? How will the service/product be packaged? Are you using your satisfied patients and customers as your best salespeople? Are you using advanced technology to promote your practice, and the wealth of knowledge of your physicians? All of these questions need to be addressed and written down so that the marketing campaign is focused.

Place: How will the product/service be distributed? Will it be pushed out through social media channels, print, traditional broadcast media outlets, or all of the above?

These are just the first steps in developing any marketing plan. There is always a ton of fine tuning once you deal with the basics, but at least you are going to be headed in the right direction. As we all know, summer is around the corner and can be a seasonally slow time for elective medical services, so you need a marketing plan more than ever.

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It’s not too late to put a campaign together. You need a strategy to build strong and loyal patient relationships, as well as grabbing a bigger share of the market. I can help you do that. Give me a call directly at 702-374-1944.

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Take It Personally

Personalizing Your Practice

We have all sat in those marketing meetings where the talk is all about the newest and greatest gadget that will attract new patients, where we have armed ourselves with the storyboard comparing our unique practice to the competition’s. But when all is said and done, the process and strategy of reaching new patients starts with the basics:  Personalizing Your Brand Leads to a Connection 

And the end result of being personable and connecting to prospective patients increases conversions. The graph below shows on average the benefits of a personalized media campaign. As you can see, personalizing your message increases engagement and conversions.

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In order to start a conversation with a prospective patient you need to define who you are. Are you the cosmetic high-end dentist? Are you the family eye doctor? Do you have a fixed menu of services or is pricing not discussed with the healthcare provider? When prospective patients see your practice, what comes to mind? Now that you have defined what you think you are…you need to personalize your brand to your prospective patients. Defining who you are and being disciplined in conveying that to patients sounds elementary, but you would be surprised how quickly you can stray from your brand and confuse your patients.

 

When you Personalize your Brand, you are Connecting to Patients

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Remember after you ask a question, you need to listen. One company that has been effective and very successful in listening to its customers is Starbucks. Although they stumbled badly last week with their “Race Together” initiative they heard their customers and did a quick about-face and discontinued it yesterday. In a company where the “experience” compensates for the high prices, it is in Starbucks’ best interest to receive feedback directly from BrandsFocusingPersStrat_61-74_infographicthe customers themselves. Starbucks has created a consumer portal, “My Starbucks Idea” where employees discuss ideas that are being implemented while responding to other suggestions.

Another company that has seen tremendous success in personalizing their brand is Southwest Airlines. Southwest has effectively used social media to show what makes them unique and uses social media activity and community engagement to highlight their uniqueness. From promoting a viral video of a rapping flight attendant on YouTube to informing customers of delayed flights, Southwest has successfully created a personable image that conveys a friendly, unique, and intimate brand to its loyal flyers. In fact, a customer on a flight randomly filmed their experience that was posted and quickly went viral. Southwest executives thought it was fun as well, and looked at it as a great branding opportunity, and promoted it on all its social media channels. Since the video was published, it has been on major television networks, talk shows, and news networks.

warkprofileprofessionalIt’s never too late to define, empower, and personalize your brand. Whether you have been around for twenty years or are just opening your doors, defining who you are in the marketplace is essential in attracting and retaining prospective patients. Then, remember to follow-through by meeting and exceeding patients’ expectations.

Call me directly at 702-374-1944 and let’s start branding your business today.

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