How to help promote your Medical Centre in 2019
Medical Centres come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The common formula seems to be gathering ‘x’ number of medical professionals who group together to form ‘Insert Suburb name” Medical Centre.
So if you’re a practice manager or owner you would be aware of the changes in brand and marketing over the last 10-15 years. The major change is the necessity of having an online presence to help build credibility, educate, promote and generate clients. Online marketing starts with your website development and selected social media channels and can expand to other areas related to online search and advertising. It should be noted that many medical centres have embraced the booking side of online by using the platform HealthEngine to offer appointment times. The reality is that just having a place for patients to book is not enough in this day and age. Remarkably still today in 2019, I drive past a medical centre and in view is only a landline number which unless you are in the 60 years and older demographic, no one wants to begin with a phone call.
The best businesses work on becoming a brand, not just a business. A brand is the gut feeling someone gets when they think about your medical centre. Do you offer something special to your patients or are you just the same as everyone else? Do the benefits of having a medical centre go further than just being a convenient way of having someone book timeslots, take payment and give scripts to service a team of medical professionals? There can certainly be strong loyalty to your individual GP’s, I find it surprising how little emphasis is put on the development of the umbrella brand and the value that offers.
“A brand is the gut feeling someone gets when they think about your medical centre.”
In the patient’s mind, a medical practice triggers a set of thoughts and feelings, which becomes their perception of you. Your older customers may not come because of the 'brand' you portray in the online world but they do come for the 'brand' they experience, when they come in. For example, how nicely you dealt with your patient "Richard" makes Richard want to always come back. Or perhaps your practice has other strengths, are your GP's always on time or offer a longer more thorough appointment? Or how you provide that extra newsletter or phone call to see how your patients are feeling? Or do you have a great waiting room? Or that your GP's are all passionate about good nutrition and other wellness beliefs? So this then helps position you differently rather than looking the same as every other medical centre.
So once these values and points of difference are sorted through then it can be communicated clearly and professionally through the online channels such as your website, google, social media, HealthEngine plus any other form of online or offline communication or collateral. The result of this is more new clients, better client retention and a more connected team and business.
So as competition increases and the demographics shift to a generation who spend 3/4 of their life on a phone, a medical centre needs to be well equipped to deal with this reality.