Marketing on a Budget: Making Sure Every Dollar Pays Dividends

By Claudio Gormaz

Let’s face it; promotional efforts can be costly. Unless you have an endless supply of money, your advertising budget is a reality. However, that doesn’t mean your publicity can’t excel.

In fact, this article is written specifically with your success in mind, and fishing in the richest pools without breaking the bank.

The name of the game is TARGETING.

Here’s an exciting fact often illustrated in many business schools and direct response advertising studies: Traditionally, most advertising display ads are written for the wants and needs of the brand new prospects by appealing to everybody—to cut the broadest swath. Unfortunately, this segment only represents about 5% of your desired market.

We worked with a client whose medical focus targets those patients that are between 35 and 50 years old; he finds that both sexes wish to maintain their youthful psyche and appearance. As such, he has streamlined his practice to perform a great many liposuctions, mommy makeoversm and “CoolSculpting” to regain their pre-baby bodies; and for his male patients, he specializes in gynecomastia and hair restoration. Unmistakably, he has a highly targeted audience. Therefore, he can’t afford to have his promotional message (and budget) diluted by people who don’t fit his criteria.

The most rewarding solution this doctor can exercise is to implement the one strategy that yields the highest return on investment. In fact, the most profitable resources for new business is found in the people who already use your services. Those patients who believe in, trust, and continually use and refer you which account for the most significant source of annual receipts. Many major advertising studies indicate that this pool accounts for nearly 95% of all services sold annually.

Plus, these same marketing studies verify: it costs five to seven times more to acquire a new patient than to retain a current one. Invespcro.com points out that the probability of providing additional services for an existing patient is 60% to 70%, while the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%. Finally, existing patients are 50% more likely to try new services and spend 31% more, when compared to new patients.

Consider a report published by the Harvard Business School by Amy Gallo. She cites research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company. He demonstrates that increasing customer retention (in your case, patient retention) rates by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

There’s still one critical value that we haven’t yet discussed but demonstrates a dramatic effect on your clinics’ long-term bottom line: the lifetime value of each patient. The lifetime value is a calculation that takes into account the amount you receive every time a patient visits you for treatment, multiplied by the number of visits per year, multiplied by the number of years you expect to see them.

To not get bogged down by specific dollar amounts, I will clarify the point using a $100 matrix. So, if your patient represents $100 per month (A), you would then multiply that by the number of months (for this example, let’s say 12 times = B). Now multiply that number by the anticipated number of years (C). Therefore: A x B = $1200. $1200 x C = $6000 for your clinic (per patient).

Your next thoughts may be, “What am I going to say to my patients?” and “How am I going to approach them?”

Since patient attraction is EVERYTHING in business, you’re going to learn how to transform your clinic into a patient magnet via improved, persuasive, and compelling messaging (aka content).

“Why” you may ask? Because current and prospective patients will review your website, your blogs, and articles, and they will view the videos you provide, etc.. It is your primary responsibility to ensure that your information is memorable, persuasive, and compelling.

You must convince them that you are the superior option.

The information you provide (again, known as Content Marketing) drives your promotional platform. So, AVOID using the “laundry list” method employed by too many doctors on far too many websites, whereby they produce a catalog of services they provide, delivered from the doctor’s perspective. Fact, multiple psychological studies show that most people don’t remember lists and bullet points.

My goal is not to be politically correct; my objective is to help you maximize your results!

Too many doctors have beautiful websites that say nothing and don’t distinguish them from anyone else. If you sincerely wish to escalate your outcomes and efficiency, your message MUST be written from the standpoint of your patients’ needs and wants.

According to the Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent messaging to attract and acquire a defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Like all targeted communication, the only job that content marketing has is to create behaviors among target audiences that benefit your practice; simultaneously, your focus should be to deliver a profound message that solves your patients’ needs.

Think of your content marketing as a well-told story. You want to inspire the reader’s attention, imagination, and recall; that is how you will be remembered and sought out.

Ideally, you want your readers standing and applauding instead of yawning and ignoring you.

This next component is the delivery of your message.

A targeted promotional piece grabs someone’s attention immediately and doesn’t let go.

This means that you need to create robust and persuasive headlines in every one of your promotional pieces.

A good headline can attract attention. A great headline can turn a prospective patient into an immediate sale and a long-term relationship.

In any given ad, for any given industry, you will notice that up to 95% of all ads have no headline. Mounds of marketing surveys point out this significant statistic: 80% of all the readers only read headlines. A properly designed headline is the main ingredient in your communication; it’s so persuasive, it can increase your ad’s power by as much as 2000%.

According to advertising pioneer Claude Hopkins, “The identical ad run with various headlines differs tremendously in its returns. It is not uncommon for a change in headlines to multiply returns from five or ten times over. “

After you create your headline, develop your sub-headline (which appears directly under the headline); it gives more insight into your message and services. The subhead also further outlines why the patient should care enough to keep reading.

Approach the creation of your headline (actually, all your content) in this manner: “Your patients have a problem they don’t want; but, there is a solution they want but don’t have.”

All your content needs to solve these two needs: You must deliver a message so compelling and persuasive that it practically forces your current and future patients to pick up the phone and call you now.

Your headline needs to Interpret your patient’s needs, your sub-headline needs to Engage to lead toward a result they seek. Moreover, the content you provide needs to Educate readers on the benefits of your services and Offer a solution that’s readily at hand.

Your headline must interpret – which means that your headline acknowledges the problem your patients have that they don’t want. For example, “Are you sick and tired of the bags under your eyes?”

Your sub-headline engages your patient with the results they seek; it must address the outcome they want but don’t have. For example: “Learn proven techniques to recover your vigorous appearance!”

Conclusion: If you want fruitful marketing, you must understand your patients’ needs.

Next, you need to convert the complex into a relatable and memorable narrative; create engaging, relevant, and compelling messages. Deliver greater benefit to your current patients; tell your story from the patient’s perspective; and, employee solid headlines in every marketing piece.

Claudio Gormaz, along with business partner Steve Cox, are medical marketing strategists. They have worked with the medical community for over 2 decades. Many prominent practices in the country have benefited from their promotional strategies, developed fruitful and predictable advertising messages, as well as creating solid branding platforms while elevating their resident expert status. They are also highly accomplished business storytellers converting the complex into memorable narratives. They can be contacted via 530-492-9971, StevenVonLoren Marketing Strategists, or their personal emails: gormazca@nullgmail.com and stevenvonloren@nullgmail.com.