Medical practices are in a tough spot when it comes to customer retention.
The healthcare decisions of many customers are guided by their insurance. If they can no longer get care covered, they may be driven to look at other practices practically overnight.
But that doesn’t mean medical practices can’t do anything about customer retention. On the contrary, they should be even more proactive than other businesses by making retention a priority.
The best way to do this is through digital marketing.
When you make digital marketing the centerpiece of your customer retention plan, it means:
- After some initial upfront contribution, doctors don’t need to spend much of their time on it
- Customers have the opportunity to access it any time, wherever and whenever they choose
As you read this, 90% of North Americans are daily internet users, including the large majority of your future customers. You don’t need to cater to Generation Z or Millennials to make an impact with your digital marketing: Elders are getting in on the act, and 83% of those aged 50 to 65 have a smartphone.
Good digital marketing shifts the focus from factors you can’t control – changes in the health insurance industry or overall market conditions – to those you can. Develop helpful and informative materials and your customers will truly understand how you stand out from competitors.
Let’s consider the biggest reasons why digital marketing is a game-changer for customer retention:
1. You Can Reach a Precisely Targeted Audience
You know exactly who your ideal customers are, inside and out.
But does your marketing reflect that same level of focus?
One of the top advantages of modern digital marketing is the ability to operationalize everything you know about your customers to serve them better. Using the insights you already have, you can tailor your marketing strategy and spend to only the methods that are most likely to work.
For example, medical practices that help elders with pain management know that most customers will be aged 50 to 65; some will use Medicaid or Medicare. By taking these factors into account, they can be sure that they’re talking directly to that audience or to the loved ones who influence their care plan.
No matter how specific and precise your ideal customer profile is, you can reach exactly the right person online. In fact, the more detailed your buyer persona, the more affordable it can be to get high quality online traffic that moves the needle on your business goals.
Once someone has already interacted with your website, you can even “retarget” them so they’ll see your ads and other content in the future. This is an ideal way to reconnect with lapsed customers and reignite a relationship, so they’ll become active again rather than looking for alternatives.
2. You Can See Exactly What’s Working (and What’s Not)
Another driver of the shift away from old-fashioned marketing, including traditional media placements, is the fact that you really don’t know how much of your spending is making a positive impact.
A magazine or newspaper can tell you how many people subscribe, and you might be able to estimate roughly how many people drove past a billboard. But even with the most optimistic numbers, there’s just no way to know if customer behavior was influenced by that encounter.
We call that attribution, being able to draw a direct line between a piece of advertising or marketing and the actions consumers take. With digital marketing, you can find out almost instantly whether a blog or video hit the mark, simply by knowing what step the viewer took next.
This empowers you to produce more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
That’s not to say that everything will be a slam dunk. There’s always an experimental phase, especially early on in your digital marketing campaign. But you don’t have to wait months to evaluate the results.
With help from a Central Florida marketing agency, you can feel confident your digital marketing plans will be on track after about three months. And if you need “traffic overnight,” your agency can build a strong foundation to help you attract and service traffic from online advertising.
3. You Can Continue Deepening Relationships Between Visits
Doctors and patients agree: They don’t spend enough time together.
With all the demands of recordkeeping and an increasing number of people to see every day, medical practitioners of all stripes are missing out on deep interpersonal relationships with those who rely on their guidance. For their part, most patients feel something is missing.
You might not have the leeway to spend much more time with your visitors, but you can use digital marketing to help make up the difference. Over the last few years, it’s been proven that video is the next best thing to being there, and video storytelling can make a huge impact on relationships.
Plus, digital marketing gives you the ability to reach out as soon as customers start to disengage.
Yielding over $30 in value for every $1 spent, email marketing has the potential to transform your business. Using the digital marketing data your website and social media naturally collect, you can connect with subscribers through email whenever they show signs of dropping off your radar.
This can help keep them from launching a full-scale search for your replacement, all while reminding them why they chose you in the first place.
4. Digital Marketing Continues to Build Advantages Over Time
Unlike old-fashioned marketing or advertising, digital marketing continues to have an impact long into the future. As you grow your website and practice search engine optimization, you’re more likely to appear prominently for searches relevant to your practice.
Every blog post or video you publish has the opportunity to influence current and future customers for years to come. That’s the idea behind “evergreen content,” information that interests a broad swath of your audience and rarely needs to be updated.
As you develop your digital marketing library, it means more resources you can direct customers to as new questions or problems arise. When they see you are ready to meet their needs at a moment’s notice, they are much less likely to go elsewhere and start from scratch with a new provider.
New York Ave Takes the Mystery Out of Effective Digital Marketing for Medical Practices
With digital marketing on your side, you can stand toe-to-toe with larger rivals and make the case why your customers should stick with you. In a competitive market where customers are always looking for added value, communication is the key – and in this case, communication means marketing.
At New York Ave, we’ve helped medical practices of all shapes and sizes harness the power of digital marketing and use data to make a greater impact over time. You can be as involved as you want to be – or leave it to us while you focus on what you do best.
Contact us to find out more or get started.