These are x-rays of my son’s broken arm. Tuesday, he was “flying” down hill on a razor scooter. He thought everything was going fine. Then all of a sudden, BAM, he crashed into the curb, hitting his knee, head and arm. My wife and I thought he was just bruised up a bit. It would take awhile (about 24 hours later) before we even realized it was broken.
While we waited forever to get his cast on, I thought of how “broken” my marketing plan used to be for my practice. (And how thankful I was that this $1000+ accident didn’t happen back then, when we were dead broke!)
How many times are you hustling in practice, and you think things are going great?
One month the new patients are plentiful. Money is just flowing in. No need to market your practice then right?
Then what usually happens? The next month is terrible! No new patients. Collections are down. It’s like feast or famine being in chiropractic practice sometimes! Unless you implement a marketing plan…
It’s really very easy to put together a marketing plan. Just number 1-52 on a sheet of paper. Think of something you can do every week for the next year. About half should be external and half internal marketing.
Every major holiday should be on there, that’s 9 or 10. Then the smaller holidays like Fathers Day, Mothers Day, etc. Your practice anniversary. Newspaper ads (at least quarterly), newsletters (monthly), and patient appreciation days should be on your list as well.
Your list should be over half full at his point. Now think of some fun or crazy things. “Relief from the IRS Week”, “Hottest Summer Ever Special”, “Back to School” or even silly stuff like National Mustard Week. When my youngest daughter was born, I wrote a fun letter to my inactive patients that was “written by her”. They loved it and we had a good response because people actually read it.
Also, every group has it’s week, like “National Headache Week”, “National Small Business Week”, or “National Scoliosis Week”. Look here for more ideas:
http://www.naturenet.net/education/dates.html – for the environmentally friendly
Now you should have a full list. Because you don’t want to market to the same group every week, make a note beside each one telling yourself which group this is directed towards. For example, active patients, inactive patients, new patients-private (direct mail marketing, networking events), new patient-public (newspaper ads).
Get a calendar and layout the dates for the next 12 months. Also make sure things are evenly spread out. Don’t market to just your active patients for 4 weeks straight.
Why go to the trouble of coming up with something different each week? Because one of the most powerful concepts in advertising, the “Reason Why”. If the reason why you are making a special offer or discount is not made clear, or if it’s seen to often, patients won’t believe you.
Have some creative ideas that you’ve come up with? List them in the comments below.