5 Reasons to Hire a Healthcare Marketing Consultant
Some providers are turning to healthcare marketing consultants to help improve their bottom line. This specialized type of marketing consultant has much experience in healthcare. This enables them to quickly pinpoint where marketing improvements need to be made. The consultant offers realistic solutions designed to improve performance. And because no two providers are the same, the strategy the consultant offers will be tailored to fit the provider’s unique needs.
If you are reading this article, then you probably already realized that your marketing needs some improvement. You probably even know where breakdowns exist. It could be patient related. It can be your reputation. It could be your referral network. You just need someone to take the lead to develop solutions and help you articulate success. This is where a healthcare marketing consultant comes in handy.
Here are top reasons to hire a healthcare marketing consultant:
1. You haven’t dedicated any manpower to your marketing
Healthcare providers, particularly those that are small try to do so much in-house. Sometimes this can result in neglecting important pieces of your marketing. In some cases they’ve dedicated someone who is not qualified to handle key pieces. This too can be counterproductive as missteps can damage efforts. If you have yet to dedicate qualified personnel to your marketing in-house, then bringing on a marketing consultant can help bridge the gap. A consultant can be brought on temporarily to kick-start your marketing on a per project or retainer basis. If you are a provider that lacks the manpower or budget to hire an in-house marketing manager, a consultant can make a major contribution to moving the needle of your marketing forward. It is a necessary step to growing your organization.
2. You’re not getting enough new patients
One of the most common challenges that providers face is that they are not getting enough new patients. Some providers are even unwilling to invest in marketing until they’ve reached some arbitrary milestone with patient numbers. It’s as if dabbling in marketing should be some reward for achieving success without its aid to begin with. If you are falling short on getting new patients, then hiring a marketing consultant can make sense for your organization.
An accomplished consultant will inherently know that not getting enough new patients is a problem that stems from a breakdown somewhere in the marketing mix. The consultant will uncover the problem and offer a solution to strengthen efforts to get new patients. They will also strengthen efforts to retain current patients. Marketing consultants are not magicians though. If you are operationally challenged in some way, marketing may offer you very little. An experienced marketing consultant will tell you this early in the consultation. This is also a sign that you are dealing with a good marketer who will not take you for a ride.
3. Your marketing lacks strategy
High performing healthcare providers like hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, private practices, clinics and care networks – all have something very much in common. They have a strategic marketing plan in place. It allows them to prosper by attracting new patients while creating loyalty with existing patients. A marketing plan that is strategic can adapt. It enables an organization to grow revenue in constantly changing regulatory environments. It can endure bust economies. And it can outshine competition in highly competitive markets.
An experienced healthcare marketing consultant will very much be a strategist. They will take into consideration all the factors that create the market conditions in which you operate in. The consultant will work with you to find solutions that will boost your bottom line. These solutions will be centered on attracting and retaining patients. If your current marketing lacks strategy, then it’s time to hire a marketing consultant.
4. Your reputation needs improvement
In healthcare reputation is everything. Without it, faith is lost among patients and referral sources. Creating healthy outcomes with your patients is critical. If you are unable to provide good experiences and outcomes, then no marketing will ever be able to save you. An experienced healthcare marketing consultant will be honest in their assessment of your practice. If the breakdown exists in your care, then they will give you their business card and ask for you to call them once it is fixed.
Once you’ve improved your standard of care, a consultant can help you in a number of ways. They will be able to improve and protect your reputation both online and offline. Reputation building is a process that not only comes from positive experiences with patients but also through active brand building efforts. This is why engaging with a marketing consultant in the long-term can be productive to both your overall reputation and brand.
5. You have competition breathing down your neck
The competitive landscape of healthcare is always changing shape. New competitors will open their doors while others will close theirs. It’s a natural evolution of the market. When providers become complacent in their services and their healthcare marketing efforts they run the risk of losing patients to new competitors. A healthcare marketing consultant will dedicate time to a competitive analysis to look at internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) that make up your market. This is necessary part of the process. Once factors are established, the consultant will formulate a strategy designed to take back the market.
If you’re operating in a crowded marketplace and hurting because of it, a marketing consultant can help you gain back valuable market share. Hiring a marketing consultant before competition becomes fierce is also a smart idea. This will allow you to protect valuable market share once competition arrives at your doorstep.
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