marketer for doctors

A good marketer for doctors will change your life

When was the last conversation you had with a qualified marketer for doctors? I often hear stories of confusing experiences when doctors look into medical marketing. Let’s inspect what a good marketer for doctors should do, to give you an easy-to-use benchmark when you have your next conversation. 

marketer for doctors

A good marketer for doctors will change your life

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

October 5, 2022

Marketing: a word many doctors misunderstand

marketing as a game-changer

Let’s not focus on the stories of doctors who buy into marketing promises to then be disappointed. This is often caused by excessive outsourcing to cheap labour economies. Digital work is sold and outsourced just for profit. 

Let’s focus on medical marketing as a game-changer when it’s done properly.

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

"As a doctor or a surgeon, your scientific and clinical work happens in a totally different space compared to marketing and advertising work. That is why it is essential to work with someone who knows the private practice, the health system and your specialty area."

The goals of your medical marketing strategy will vary, depending on the setup of your practice. I will assume that you are only interested in this type of business strategy because you work in a private practice setup.

The misunderstanding comes from the confusion with advertising. Advertising pushes information to an audience and rents space. Think of the billboard over the freeway or the TV commercial. You pay to be inserted in something that reaches many people. They may not be due for a hip replacement, IVF or a gastric sleeve at all.

The proper definition of medical marketing is being present when consumers become patients and are looking for information.

Medical marketing often produces the same outcomes as advertising because it can increase your patient numbers and your revenue. It can also help you shift the focus of your private practice toward the exact treatment types that are more interesting from a business perspective.

An effective medical marketing campaign typically has multiple components:

  • Smart data analysis means that you market your practice based on the exact types of content patients are googling for.
  • Brand positioning is the process that is used to create awareness around your unique profile. Consumers don’t buy a commodity when they choose a doctor. They select a person for their experience and qualifications, but the internet has given them a tool to do their research. The word no longer refers to scientific research in this context. It refers to the human process of checking you out as a human being.
  • Online visibility is all about strategically planning the visibility you need for the treatment types you offer. It means that your private practice becomes more robust as a business, because you are constantly increasing awareness based on market research and you are building a strong brand that stretches beyond your individual reputation.

The marketer for doctors wears multiple hats and that is why you will not find many junior marketers for doctors. It takes years in the health industry, the marketing industry and the digital space to accumulate this combined skill set.

Marketing is much bigger than you think

business development in medical

Old school medical marketing is a mixed bag of advertising techniques. Contemporary medical marketing takes a different approach.

Business development in medical practices becomes a holistic exercise.

  • What does the practice stand for in terms of values, clinical experience, consultation style, and genuine care experience?
  • What does the patient think when they leave your consultation room?
  • What does the patient remember most when they look back on their treatment journey?
Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Business development can no longer be about ‘getting more patients’. It has to be about ‘helping more people choose your practice’. Otherwise, it becomes a frustrating, unpredictable and detached exercise that only leads to a decline in patient numbers."

Business development in medical services is about designing your patients’ experience. 

Many surgeons tell me they are at their best in theatre. And that is fine, as long as we go on a journey to look at the other moments a patient interacts with your practice. And once you discover the main focus of numerous Google reviews for doctors, you will see that the human experience is pivotal, when people decide to recommend you or not.

The marketer for doctors understands this underlying psychology. The tension between feeling at your best in theatre and the importance of bedside manners.

The marketer for doctors is a storyteller

storyteller skills

A doctor once told me that she wanted to build a leading Women’s Health Clinic. She had a vision, both for the energy that women would experience as they walked into this clinic, and for the setup, the type of treatments offered and the team. 

We worked together, researching the topics women were googling for in this area. We built the online presence that would create visibility and start online conversations.

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

"We went as far as analysing everything women searched for, classifying it against the exact type of treatments we had in mind for this clinic. This meticulous work had not been done for any other women’s health clinic in the local market we were targeting."

Five years later, whenever we would discuss Women’s Health around Australia, this one brand would be mentioned as a standard. An example of a brand story that consistently positions the clinic, the specialists and the team. 

Storyteller skills in medical marketing are not about telling the story of your life. They are about teasing out the uniqueness of your practice, your service, your experience and your vision for the practice that you are building. People resonate with other people’s purpose and we’re always honoured when a customer invites us to become part of their unique journey.

marketer for doctors

The marketer is also curious

medical journalism skills

There is another skill set we have identified as crucial when building medical marketing strategies. There is a simple way to label this skill set and a more advanced one. 

Curiosity is a simple way of describing that mindset. Your marketer excels at asking the right questions and wants to know why you are doing what you do. They want to know how you see yourself in 5 years’ time. They are curious about the business aspects of your practice, your academic background, your clinical motivation and how you look at consulting.

Medical Journalism Skills: That is how we label the combined skills of analysing what a medical specialty area is about, and the private healthcare angles to look at a practice. It’s also the skill that is needed to organise information once the marketer collects input. As you know from our previous articles, Google-friendly content requires a specific way of organising patient education content, so the search engine can recognise and validate your medical content as valuable for the patient who is doing an online search.

The modern medical marketer is a journalist and a curious person. As opposed to a tech nerd eager to sell you the latest social media platform.

The way we do it? A unique 360-degrees approach!

business consultancy

When we decided to build our services as a marketer for doctors, we chose to do it from an angle of business consultancy. You don’t use medical marketing for the sake of it. When you look into digital medical marketing, you probably want more patients, or reposition your practice as a brand. 

That’s why we created a unique 360-degree approach for medical marketing.

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

"We have reverse-engineered the medical marketing journey so you, as a doctor, can go back to basics. It means we help you communicate with patients as soon as they start googling for a symptom, a condition or a treatment type in your local area. That simplicity, combined with our focus on business consultancy that helps you grow, is what allows our customers to grow."

When asked if we can guarantee more business for a private practice, we don’t believe in the typical smoke-and-mirrors communication used by many marketing agencies. We can guarantee more visibility, an improved reputation for your practice and your surgeons or specialists, and a lead-generation method that will keep working for you long after the investment was made. That is – I believe – what a great marketer for doctors should focus on. 

Let's meet

Why not test the water?

book a consult

You can book a consult with me here to go over the strategic goals for your private practice. We can look at the potential to grow your referral base, optimise your online profile and reputation and systemise your patient lead generation. I look forward to hearing more about your practice! 

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