How to select the right types of marketing for your medical practice

You may not be aware of the fact that you are marketing in different ways to achieve different goals and to attract different types of patients. It is important to understand that there are two types of marketing: internal and external.

Internal marketing 

This is the marketing that you do to keep your existing patients and reactivate dormant patients. Internal marketing is how you communicate with your existing patients on every front; it is what you and your staff do after a patient calls you.

Internal marketing is critical as it is everything you do to make certain that the patient remains with your practice.

Examples of internal marketing include:

  • The reception area
  • Referral brochures
  • Wall art
  • Phone communication
  • Recalls
  • Email newsletters
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Patient ‘thank you’s’
  • Rewards programs for loyal patients
  • On-hold marketing
External marketing

External marketing is what you do to attract new patients into your practice and entice a patient to contact you.

Examples of external marketing include:

  • Print advertising
  • Digital advertising
  • Website content
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Medical practice marketing materials, including logo, business cards, letterhead, and brochures
  • Radio & TV commercials
  • Yellow Pages advertisements

What marketing is best?

So where do you start? Which type of marketing is best for you and your practice? Which is more important, internal marketing or external marketing?

Many people believe that one size fits all when it comes to marketing. A common perception is that your practice should be doing what their competitors are doing and that all types of marketing are suitable for all types of practices.

You need to think about what you are trying to achieve, who you are trying to market to, and what you want people to do when they see/ hear a particular piece of marketing.

Once again, this comes down to knowing your goals:

  • Are you trying to attract new patients to your practice?
  • Are you trying to reactivate your existing patients?
  • Are you trying to get referrals?

Most likely, you need to have a combination of both types of marketing within your practice. A common mistake that I see when talking to medical professionals is that they are focused solely on external marketing and trying to get new patients, overlooking the huge value that can be achieved in utilising internal marketing.

In summary

At the foundation of your business, you need to have a great team, a strong brand, and a firm understanding of your patient touch points and the different types of marketing. This is the launch point for all of your marketing efforts and practice success to come.