Over the past several months, I have spoken to several different physicians and their teams in an effort to discover why some practices chose to market their practice, and why some don't. And if so, what are their first steps, favorite tools, and additional advice for colleagues.
Today I would like to focus on dermatologist Corey Hartman, and his practice the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama, based in Birmingham. I spoke with Christina Brown, the office manager for Skin Wellness Center. Hartman's practice has been marketing its services for over a year now, using internal team members and marketing software that is integrated into its EHR, Nextech.
Why market a practice?
Brown said that the practice's main push for beginning a marketing initiative was the extremely competitive marketing environment in Birmingham. In dermatology, practices are competing not only with dermatologists, but plastic surgeons, as well as other specialties that dabble in skin procedures.
Hartman initially felt that marketing was taboo; he, like many other medical professionals, felt uncomfortable with the thought of marketing his practice.
"It was a big step for him," Brown said, "Dr. Hartman could see the trend forming."
First steps, tools, and resources
Initially the practice tried some forms of group-discount marketing that in the long run were good to get its name out, but not effective for the clients they were trying to reach, said Brown.
So now, because the practice's EHR system tracks and provides excellent analytics on where patients come from and the top procedures they are performing in their office, Brown combines that data with Facebook marketing, stay-in-touch marketing (using Constant Contact), and plenty of community events.
Hartman's office also utilized a Web developer and a few other experts to create a strong marketing presence online for patients who are Web savvy.
Brown's biggest advice is to simply try marketing strategies. "The results will come — try it and give it a solid year to start seeing major growth."
Next week I will look take a peek into a New York surgeon's practice that has been in business for 24 years.