hiring a marketing person

Checklist for hiring a marketing person

When you are hiring a marketing person, use this checklist to make sure your chosen employee or partner is aligned with the latest in digital medical marketing. In this field, tactics and tools are changing virtually every year, so you will want to make sure your marketing budget is spent on strategies that work.

hiring a marketing person

Essential tips for hiring a marketing person

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

November 24, 2022

The checklist in a nutshell

quick tips to hire marketing experts

You can apply this to the process of recruiting an employee for your medical marketing, and to the conversations with agencies, medical website developers and social media experts.

We will unpack each of these important checkpoints in more detail.

When hiring a marketing person, check that your chosen expert:

  • Has a passion for growth, goals, and business development
  • Has a deep understanding of data-based content marketing and organic SEO
  • Is able to translate and mediate between two worlds: yours as a busy doctor and the field of experienced creatives

Your worst nightmare is to hire someone who doesn’t know what they are doing, right?

The link between business goals and digital strategy

business goals in private practice

The initial conversation with your marketing expert is pivotal.

They can be a provider, delivering a commodity. They will be good to help you set up a Facebook page, find a cheap website developer, delegate work to other experts such as medical copywriters. But you may notice there is little or no ownership.

They can be a sparring partner, a sounding board and a stakeholder. In this case, they ask quality questions, and are eager to get to know your business and your personality. They bring up customised ideas, not off-the-shelf templates. They help you choose a direction for your brand positioning and propose a long-term strategy with ownership and commitment.

We notice that stepping away from marketing as a commodity sometimes feels like going against the flow. Commodity services are heavily advertised and it appears that marketing is all about doing some tech magic that miraculously sends more referrals to your practice. We can honestly tell you that it isn’t like that.

Marketing campaigns for doctors in private practice tend to be 10x more effective when they use the partnership logic rather than the commodity view. When the two worlds come together, doctors in private practice get the most of their marketing team.

Connecting the doctor’s world and the creative universe

working with marketing agencies

Let’s face it: you as a specialist doctor and the marketing expert live in different worlds. That is why hiring a marketing person is often challenging for surgeons, specialists and allied health professionals.

Your world is built around science, data, knowledge of medicine, the reality of a hospital environment and the reality of your private practice.

Theirs is often built around graphics, software and content.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"If someone on your team is doing your marketing, their most important skill is to connect these two universes. Working with marketing agencies becomes easier if your practice manager has received basic training in the core concepts of medical marketing."

Here at Digital Practice, we include initial training in every package, because we bring together the world of data-driven content marketing, and the reality of your private practice as a business. Online profiles for doctors are about generating leads, stimulating and influencing referrals, and converting visitors into new patients.

hiring a marketing person

Hiring a marketing manager or outsourcing?

marketing manager

Here’s the million-dollar question: Do you let someone in your team handle your marketing as a doctor in private practice?

If you run a larger practice, it may be very tempting to add marketing to the task list of your practice manager or admin team. This works if there is total transparency about the actual skill level of the team member.

Pros: The person is on the payroll and marketing can be done in between other tasks.
Cons: Marketing gets sidelined to this secondary activity that is done between other tasks.

Leading surgeons and specialists have learned that the benefit of being a specialist also applies to medical marketing. Hiring a marketing person who ticks all the boxes comes with tremendous benefits.

Pros: The person is an expert at analysing and performing your local market research to identify the most common online search queries by your prospective patients and the referrers in your niche (they could be GPs but for other areas, they might be physiotherapists, optometrists or dietitians).
Cons: You will need to identify who is a good partner and establish a long-term relationship with a reliable business that is in it for the long run and takes ownership of the ROI.

A marketing manager inside your practice is often a valuable asset as long as they are transparent about their skill sets and limitations. If they are justifying their job to you as a doctor, and missing out on the nuances of contemporary online marketing, you will end up with a lot of noise in the conversation…noise that will eventually cost you money.

The hidden success ingredient

clear communication

No matter which option you choose for your medical marketing setup, clear communication is key.

In digital marketing, clear communication is easily mentioned as a core value, yet this is how it is felt in daily work situations:

  • There is full clarity about your business goals, the income avenues of the practice, the academic and surgical preferences of your lead team, the unique value of the practice and the business capacity of the practice.
  • There is transparency around the efforts that are needed from the marketing company (as a partner/supplier) and from your team (providing input) to achieve the goals.
  • There is a willingness to inspect the level of clarity in the communication at any time, building your strategy or going forward, once your strategy is running.

The opposite happens when a practice owner erases themself from the process and leaves marketing to the team. The opposite also happens when a team member feels they have to juggle between pleasing the practice owner and managing the marketing agency.

The hidden success ingredient you will find in many of our portfolio strategies is that clear communication between the doctor/owner and a senior business development expert here at Digital Practice. Looking at numbers. Making quality decisions. Using data to perform ongoing work in an important field which is the management of your online reputation.

Let's meet

Thinking of hiring us?

work with us

If you want to work with us, you won’t be surprised that we value this clear communication more than anything else. That is why we start with an obligation-free 1:1 Zoom meeting to discuss your business goals, your current marketing situation and our potential strategic approach to help you grow your practice.

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