In today’s world, marketing is a must in a crowded industry such as physical therapy. Consumers are more involved than ever before in decisions about their health including choosing their health care providers. In the past, the majority of patients would receive treatment from the physical therapist their primary care doctor referred to them. Now, patients are becoming more empowered to make their own decisions. Customers are now relying more on a clinic’s digital presence and online customer reviews when making their decision on what clinic to go to and what provider to see. That’s why it is more important than ever to have a concise and detailed marketing plan to keep your practice on top of the competition. It is also important to track the success and growth of your business with the right practice management software system.
Effective marketing will create more visibility for your company in the dense physical therapy and rehabilitation industry. Here are six steps on how to create a successful marketing plan for your practice:
- Define your Unique Selling Proposition statement: It is very important to develop a statement about your company that stays consistent throughout your marketing initiatives. The statement would include your expertise and the services you provide, the type of customer that you provide your services to, and what makes your practice different or stand out among the rest of the therapists in your space. This positioning statement will become more clear when you complete the rest of the marketing plan. You can then pull from this statement to create a slogan that can be the base of your company’s branding.
- Identify your target consumer: Knowing who your ideal customer based on services offered will make it easier to know how to market to them. Know your target market by identifying their average age, gender, income, hobbies, interests, channels to reach them on, and their need for physical therapy or rehab. Knowing the age of your target market is important to identify if they are healthcare decision makers. Seeking out your target’s lifestyle will make light of what type of marketing channels you can reach them through.
- SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal and specific to your practice. Opportunities and threats are external and generalized for the physical therapy and rehab industry space. Identifying your strengths and comparing them with your competitors will help you distinguish the “differentiation” piece of your positioning statement.
- Research your competitors: Make a list of your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses in the rehab industry as well as in the eyes of the patient. Analyze their online presence and take note of their different marketing initiatives (social media, blog, website, e-newsletter, print ads, etc.) This will give you a good visual on what you have to do to be ahead of the game.
- Establish effective marketing channels: Based on your research of your target market and your marketing budget, you need to identify the most effective marketing channels to reach new customers and retain current customers. A very important channel for any practice is your company website. This is important for your online visibility and reparability. If a potential customer is referred to you by a friend and tries to research you online and does not come across your website, they may think your practice is closed. Having a well constructed website with the list of your specialties and services as well as a list of your staff with pictures will make your practice stand out. Other marketing channels would be Google Pay Per Click ads, social media, direct marketing, print advertising, public relations events, social media and blogs.
- Develop a plan and allocate ownership: Once you have deciphered your positioning statement, target market, differentiation, competition, and marketing channels, you need to create a plan to keep your marketing efforts on track. Make a marketing calendar and map out all marketing efforts will give you an idea of what needs to be done and keep you organized to achieve your marketing goals. Also assigning ownership of each channel will help balance the workload.
Successful execution of these six strategic marketing steps and tracking the increase of billable hours with our complete practice management solution software will help your business flourish in the physical therapy and rehab industry.