by Dr. Vicki Rackner
There’s a house on the corner of my street with a foot path cut right through the lawn. The owners don’t like it; every year they try something new to keep kids off of their property. Within a few months, though, the shortcut returns.
Your marketing plan is like a map of referral paths to your practice. Notice the “happy coincidences” that are the first signs of unexpected emerging paths. They can be a shortcut to accelerated practice growth.
Here are a few examples:
A receptionist of a dental practice notices that increasing numbers of patients in the waiting room confess their fear of dentists. Everyone on staff seems skilled at putting these patients at ease. Their new practice branding centers on patients with dental phobias. They modify their marketing plan to include the develpment of educational materials for managing dental phobias, and an outreach to therapists who treat phobias.
A radiologist and owner of a breast imaging center notices that a breast cancer diagnosis motivates friends and family to schedule overdue mammograms. We created a “refer a friend” campaign, proactively letting patients know that family and friends would be welcomed at their facility.
A hospice nurse notices that people approach her at social events, asking what to say to people who are dying. The hospice created an educational campaign “What do you say to someone who’s dying?”
An orthodontist notices that many of his patients are brides-to-be. He contacts wedding planners and bridal shops, and offers a discount coupon saying, “ Congratulations on your engagement. Let me offer you an early wedding present–10 % off on your invisibile braces. Every bride wants a beautiful smile. Call us to schedule your free consultation.”
A dermatologist notices that she’s seeing more patients with a rare skin condition called Grover’s Disease. She created the needed educational materials for physicians and patients, and now she’s the regional expert.
Conventional marketing is powered by your momentum, and sometimes it can seem like an uphill climb. These unexpected emerging paths are powered by their own momentum. Notice them. Develop them. It’s a strategy for fast, cost-effective practice growth.