Marketing in any business is often neglected due to amount time, understanding and structure involved in developing and launching, in addition the plethora of marketing options that are available. The question often is,
“Where do I start?” This is where a database marketing company can help by becoming the organizer and implementer for many different areas of marketing in the world of podiatry. The database company I often work with is Blue Orchid Marketing and since utilizing their services, the practice I market for in New Jersey, in addition to many across the Country that we’ve had or have the pleasure of working with, have become much more efficient and effective. The utilization of a database typically comes into play in the internal marketing focus on the Integrated MedReps, LLC program.
In a nutshell, a database marketing company works with your practice to become a “data collection” entity for your practice. In other words, all website inquiries where the visitor provides their information (name, email, address, etc.), the database marketing company receives this information and stores it for future us. In addition, other marketing initiatives such as a “call to action” marketing campaign that involves inquiries by voicemail, or raffle tickets/information requests from health fairs or presentations, are all collected to be stored in your “practice database”. The term “grow your herd” is well known in marketing as developing a contact list as big as possible so you can continuously market to them until your services are needed. The database marketing company collects and manages this “herd” for you so you can develop marketing plans such as e-newsletters, newsletters, postcards, letters, etc. and have them launched efficiently.
In addition to capturing external contact information to grow your “herd”, a database marketing company can also routinely extract your existing patient data from your practice software (make sure to have them sign a HIPPA business agreement). The purpose behind this is so you can internally market to your existing patient base, which provides a much higher return on investment than an external marketing campaign. In a practice’s routine extractions, the database marketing company captures all the patients’ general information, in addition to diagnosis and treatment codes. This allows us to do focus marketing campaigns on a particular group of patients. For example, you can choose to systematically run an “orthotic recall campaign” that mails 3 letters, spread across 3 weeks, to all patients prescribed orthotics that have not returned to the practice in 18 months or longer. This is only 1 example of an “internal marketing campaign” because with the patients’ diagnosis and treatment codes, it is possible develop a recall campaign for diabetics, general recall, etc. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to build your practice with the help of a database marketing company. The initial step of bringing the company in and building it into your practice is a bit time consuming, but well worth it when great things are happening for your practice automatically.
By Chad Schwarz