Ep. 32 Practice Marketing Minis: Why Your Participation Is a Game Changer

by | Aug 17, 2022

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Ep. 32 Practice Marketing Minis: Why Your Participation Matters 

You chose to be in healthcare to help people, are sometimes pulled away to tend to business matters. To minimize time taken away from delivering quality care to patients, many decision makers in healthcare will hire outside help to remain competitive and drive revenue. 

But not all outsourcing is of the same nature. For example, as you may handoff your transcription to a third party without another thought, marketing your practice is different. However, this does not mean you need to check on the the marketing agency every day, or even every week, but at least monthly you ought to confirm brand alignment, goal progress, and return on investment. 

In this episode, we sit down with Bri Boice, client success rockstar and master of relationship management. Bri shares with us her experience of why it is so critical to be hands-on with your marketing, even if it is only around 12 times per year. In this episode we go over: 

  • Goal-setting 
  • How much time should you spend on calibrating your marketing? 
  • What marketers need from you that only you can provide. 
  • How your contributions to your marketing makes your brand so much more compelling and competitive. 
  • Nurturing your brand and developing your practice personality. 
  • The power of humanizing your brand. 
  • How brand personality influences patient choice (with a firsthand example included). 
  • How authentic marketing leaves a lasting impression (with a real world example). 

Hosted by Rebekah Duke, this episode of the Medical Advantage Podcast continues our practice marketing series based on our new eBook, hot off the presses and free to download: The Complete Medical Practice Digital Marketing Success Blueprint.     

Thank you for joining us for this session of the Medical Advantage Podcast, where we take time each episode to discuss the ideas and technologies changing healthcare, and the best practices your organization can take to stay productive and profitable. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to ensure you never miss an episode. Download our free practice marketing eBook here

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Full Episode Transcript

Medical Advantage Podcast: Welcome to the Medical Advantage Podcast, where you can hear healthcare professionals, expert consultants, and industry thought leaders discuss the exciting new ideas and technologies that are changing the business of healthcare. Tune in to each episode as we hear from some of the most innovative minds in medicine about the future of healthcare and how your organization can stay profitable, efficient, and on top of industry best practices. 

Rebekah Duke: Hello and welcome back to the Medical Advantage Podcast. For those of you new to our podcast and new to us Medical Advantage is a healthcare services company who provide a broad portfolio of services for medical practices, specialists, groups, and private equity. All who would benefit from practice marketing services

I’m Rebekah Duke, creative and senior copywriter at Medical Advantage with another installment of our medical practice marketing series based on our recently published eBook, the complete. Medical Practice Digital Marketing Success Blueprint, available free for download on our website. Today’s guest, here to share insights about medical practices playing an active role in marketing, and the benefits of that, is Brianne Boice, client success rockstar, and relationship master. Bri helps our healthcare clients get the best outcomes from their marketing efforts and helps them reach very specific goals. Welcome.  

Brianne Boice: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.  

Rebekah Duke: In our kickoff episode of this series, we declare that marketing is an investment and not just an expense, but we want to address time as an investment as well. Marketing agencies want to take as much off your plate as possible, but marketing works so much better when it’s approached as a partnership rather than complete outsourcing. 

There’s that intimate knowledge that only your practice knows about, and your marketing team needs to tap that source to establish, nurture, and maintain your brand. So today we’re stressing the importance of collaboration between practices and marketing services to ensure that you get the most return on your money investment by giving a bit of your time and other resources such as fun staff photos. 

If you can carve out a bit of time to remain engaged with your marketing strategy implementation, you’ll have a stronger, more authentic and more attractive brand. So let’s get down to business. Bri, can you go into why it’s necessary to have clear goals in mind before hiring a marketing agency? 

Brianne Boice: Definitely. So when you are hiring a marketing agency, you’re gonna wanna make sure that you have what you’re looking to get out of it. Rather, we’re looking for brand recognition, patient acquisitions, are we looking to help out and see what we can do for our community? There’s a lot of different reasons that we go to marketing and when you collaborate with a marketing agency, knowing what your end goal is, knowing what success is gonna look like to you at the end of it, really helps make sure that you’re tailoring that experience.  

Rebekah Duke: Yes, definitely. You wanna have that clear vision and understand all the parts of that to make it become a reality. But this doesn’t mean that a medical practice is gonna be completely on its own to navigate how to market themselves. You know, as a client success rockstar, can you tell us how we help practices refine and set their goals?  

Brianne Boice: Definitely. So I think one of the unique things that we’re able to do is we can look at your competitive market in your area, right? 

We can see what your competitors are doing and see how we are able to leverage what they’re doing and kind of come at it from a different angle or you know, kind of piggyback off some ideas they may also have. And also we can sit there and say, what are your goals? What do you wanna look like? 

We see people who have this goal, we have people who want patient acquisitions. Is that something that you want? Are you hoping to attract more new patients? Are you hoping to attract higher paying patients? Are you wanting to have more brand recognition? So when people drive by, they say, oh yeah, I go to that place. 

Or if they see an ad in a coffee shop or something, they can say, “oh, I go to that eye doctor and it’s absolutely amazing. They’re so nice there.” So with the conversations with our staff and our different support, we can always help make sure that we’re tailoring our services to what your needs are and what your desires are as you grow your practice. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes, having all those perspectives working together to form a complete strategy is what it takes to get those goals clearly defined. Definitely. So while the end game is to definitely get more revenue by getting more leads, there’s more to marketing than just driving leads. Correct.  

Brianne Boice: Absolutely. I think that, 10 years ago or so, we had the golden ticket, right where it was referrals. Patients would get a referral to a specialty office. Patients would get a referral from a friend or a family member and they would say, “oh, okay. You know, I like this doctor. It’s great.” And that’s kind of how it would go. Now with people using the internet, with people using social media so much, it’s not the same. 

They might go on the website, Google your name, look at your social media. But if you don’t have a strong presence, if you don’t have strong marketing, then people can kind of just look over you and say, “oh, okay. You know, I don’t like this person, or I’m not attracted to their website.” 

It’s marketing yourself, marketing your office and your services in a way for the community to connect with you for patients to get to know you before they even walk through the door to say, “oh, okay. You know, this doctor is really qualified. She sees all type of people. And it’s something that I would feel comfortable going to her.” and it’s kind of like your first interview in a way.  

Rebekah Duke: Yes. To connect with people on a human level, you have to show that humanity. So let’s talk a little bit more about developing your brand and your practice personality on a human level.  

Brianne Boice: Of course. So you have to look at the community that we’re serving, right? Every community is different. And so it’s so important to look at the community we’re serving and there are a lot of ways that we can help people feel represented. Rather it’s imagery, right? We have different pictures of different types of people, different families, different patients, people with different needs, all types of things. 

We’re able to do that and even if you can snap some photos with the doctor or with our medical assistants, nurse practitioners, dental assistants, whoever it may be in those different areas. It’s really helpful because that makes somebody who sometimes maybe don’t feel as represented, feel a little bit more represented and feel like, oh, okay, cool. You know, they see people like me.  

Also, your verbiage is going to be huge, right? What’s your tone? Are you more of a hippie doctor who is totally cool and wants to do all the cool things and all that, or are you kind of more by the books and this is why you take a scientific approach to things. 

Or just really casual and you say, you know what? Hey, I am going to kind of let my patients in a way lead, I’m gonna lead them to the right thing, but I wanna have that open dialogue about it. Or are you kind of an alternative type of doctor?  

You know, myself, my daughter had to go see a lung doctor, and so when we got referred, the first thing I did was jump on social. And I went and saw because I wanted a doctor who wasn’t gonna go straight for heavy medications myself. I like the kind of alternate medicine, right? I like looking at things and seeing, what can we, how can we push our body and supplement with medication if we need to? And so seeing that, from her social media alone, she had a lot of the same values that I did, a lot of the same viewpoints. 

It was really helpful for me and I was able to look at it and say, okay, this is somebody I would feel comfortable. She’s going to understand my needs as a mother, and she’s gonna understand what we’re looking for. As we kind of go on this journey and we were able to supplement and we were able to figure things out, it started a really good relationship where she kind of didn’t have to explain her philosophy to me ahead of time, because I understood from her marketing, from her social media and from her website. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes. And your patients will not know these things about you unless you tell them. So, you know, she did a wonderful job of making it very clear that she was the right provider for your child.  

Brianne Boice: Exactly.  

Rebekah Duke: So time investment, how does this impact your return on investment?  

Brianne Boice: So time is something that we don’t have enough of, right? Everyone, if I could add five more hours to my day, I’d be a happy camper. So time is something that is fleeting and something that we definitely try to be super respectful of in the beginning. Of course as starting out anything, it is going to take a little bit more time. So those first 10 to 12 weeks, you are gonna be spending more time with our team, right? 

As we learn you, as we get to know you. Because our goal at the end of it is to be able to come and say, Hey, Dr. Smith, we wrote these social media ads for you and we know your tone. We know your imagery and we know your goals. And so you can say, “oh, those are perfect. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” 

So it does take time in the beginning, but the nice thing is that it is time that you’re getting return on this investment because people are going to look at it and say, “okay, great. You know, he has these images that I like.” He is talking about something that’s topical to me. He said, you know, just different things all over that really make a big impact as we move forward and we get to know your practice.  

Usually, most of our clients, it’s about a 30 to 45 minute marketing meeting once a month, and we go over what’s happening, how are we developing, do we have any needs from our clinic, right? Do we need anything from you? And what are our goals moving forward?  

Rebekah Duke: Jumping off of that, what are some of the specific things that you need to refine with those campaigns?  

Brianne Boice: Definitely. So one thing that we do is we try to make sure that we understand your brand right? We wanna understand what makes you different from that, not just what are your business goals, right? But really, what are your why? Why did you become a doctor? Why did you become a nurse practitioner? What made you decide that you wanted to go into this field? What was your overall goal when, when it all started? Those type of things will help us understand, engage your voice better, and it’ll also make you stand out as we market your practice. 

We also look at better keywords for you. So how are people going to be Googling in your area? How are you gonna come up on different search platforms and making sure that we are getting you visible to your ideal market? Not every group for people is right for every practice, and that’s just the truth of it. 

And so, getting you visibly in front of the people that are going to value your services and make sure that those are the right people that you’re wanting to attract your practice is huge. And on top of that, we make sure that we write the content that is relevant to what you are, the care that you’re providing, and the patient population that you are servicing.  

So not only is the content, yes, okay, it makes sense and I’m doing this and technically it’s right, but what is your voice in it? What makes you different? What makes you want to do this? And by meeting you and really having that one-on-one time with you, it really makes a huge difference. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes. Knowing who you’re talking to in the first place, certainly leads the conversation in that regard. So Bri, you mentioned earlier that in the beginning there’s a pretty substantial time investment. Does that stay the same or does it start to taper off?  

Brianne Boice: Definitely. So in the beginning there is going to be that larger time investment and then as we get to know you and as we start marketing your brand, you’re really gonna be looking at a 30 to 45 minute marketing meeting once a month, and then obviously we’re here for support if you need anything else throughout that time. And we try to make it, as we accommodate your schedule as much as we possibly can, to make it so we’re not taking you away from patients or surgeries or anything that you’re doing.  

Rebekah Duke: Yes. And having those regular meetings just keeps you aligned because let’s say there’s a treatment that you’re no longer offering that needs to be off your website. Let’s say that there’s a new treatment that you are now offering that needs to be added to your website. So it’s all about keeping your marketing consistent and current. 

Brianne Boice: Exactly.  

Rebekah Duke: So what does engagement look like to you between a marketing team and a practice? 

Brianne Boice: I think that it really looks like humanizing our ourselves and really letting our personalities come through. You know we live in a TikTok age, right? I can go on TikTok and find a hundred different doctors if I want, and it’s like I get to know them and if I went to go see them, I would feel I knew them already because I’ve seen them work. I’ve heard their voice, I’ve heard their anecdotes already and that’s amazing to see.  

And so it really kind of gives us an insight, right? And it lets us know when you go to the doctor and your toe hurts, all you know from that doctor is that my toe hurt and she made it feel better. Woohoo. You might not know that they’re doing some really cool cutting edge things next door and having that opportunity to kind of peek into that room next door and see what your doctor is really capable of is something that’s super cool and it’s something that your patients will really appreciate. 

On top of that, you know, anytime that you can get real pictures of your staff, patients, doctors interacting with each other is huge. Clients, patients, prospective patients, absolutely love that. We love to see our doctors in their natural habitat, if you will, looking, doing what they do best. Even if it’s you writing up a chart late at night.  

It’s something that is interesting to them. It’s something that kind of shows how much work you put into your practice and how much time and dedication that you have and videos of you interacting with different types of patience is always good.  

Give an idea of what your bedside manner looks like. I have a daughter and when she was little there was this video going around and I just remember it, the doctor was giving a kid shots and he was like throwing tissues in his face and the baby was just, cracking up. Right? Just thought it was the funniest thing, gave the kid two shots, he didn’t even know what happened.  

And I’m like, I want that pediatrician, like, oh my God, right? Every mother’s worst nightmare is those things that we know are gonna make our kid cry. And so it’s just like having that and seeing it was just cool. I mean, I watched that five years ago now, and I still remember it to this day.  

And then also engaging in the community. We all live in a community, right? Rather you work in a different community you live in anything like that. We all live somewhere where we have people around us and we have this community. 

So if you do a 5k, if you go to continuing educations, even if they’re outside of state, if you are picking up trash for Earth Day, like any of those things that you guys do, even team building exercises where you support a local business. Those type of things really show your dedication to the community that you’re serving and your willingness to participate and willingness to kind of interact with the community. And that’s what people love.  

And then also, it’s kind of the bread and butter is gonna be responding to those reviews, even the bad ones. You wanna respond to them. You wanna make sure that people see, “Hey, thank you so much for your great review. We really appreciate it.” But people also say, “Hey, I understand you didn’t have the best experience. Please call me and let me know what happened. I’d love to talk this out with you.”  

It really humanizes the experience that people are going through. And if that patient were to have a bad experience, it would probably make them feel more comfortable knowing that you are going to talk to them and kind of have a tender hand at them and not be like judging or making them feel like their experience wasn’t valid. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes. I love how you use the word humanized to explain exactly how this works and you know, as a relationship master you would know. So that’s excellent advice about how to really have a brand that sticks out in people’s minds so that they remember you for years to come. And so that you start to build those relationships with not only patients, but with your community as well. 

So Bri, you’ve had the opportunity to have more than one point of view in this whole healthcare space, both working as part of a medical staff, a patient, a mother of your little patient, and on this end, as part of consulting practices for marketing strategies for practices, can you share some of your observations for us with all these different experiences you’ve had?  

Brianne Boice: Definitely. Yeah, so starting out I was a practice manager for a small single doctor, and marketing was on my shoulders, it was something that I had to do. And then as we move and grow, we learn different things and so, my number one takeaway is anything that you can do, and you’ll see it if you go on different websites for medical offices and all that, you’ll see anytime there’s a picture of the doctor or a patient or anything like that, you are going to get way more comments and likes. 

So seeing doctors kind of do what they do, those not traditional educational posts is just huge and we love interacting with our doctors. We love it. We love interacting with the person that is helping our kid and kind of seeing a different side of them.  

Even those staff spotlights are great and they don’t have to be, she’s worked at the office for 15 years. Like, I mean, yeah, people love to hear that, but also, you know, what do you like to do in your free time? Do you have two golden doodles? Do you work at shelters? What is it? And it kind of just opens up those areas for communication, especially people who, don’t have the gift of gab, kind of going in with those preset questions or information kind of help the conversation flow more naturally. 

We have, so I am located here in Michigan and we have a huge health organization, University of Michigan, and their marketing team is fabulous. If you go on their Instagram, you’ll see pictures of children who have had heart transplants and it’s 20 years later and they’re getting engaged. And they just kept up with them, right?  

And you’ll see there was one doctor who he got paralyzed from the waist down. And I don’t think it’s specific to U of M, but they were just sharing the story. He got paralyzed from the waist down and they were able to find a way a wheelchair that held him up so he could still perform surgeries. 

And so it’s just kind of these amazing anecdotes, amazing stories about perservation, about moving forward and persevering past what your mind thinks or whatever setbacks you have, and just kind of showing the longevity of a patient and what they’re going through and what we do personally.  

We have a client and she markets a lot of holistic type treatments and it’s just wonderful to see her engaging with the community. She’s so good, she responds to all of the reviews, all the comments, everything. She goes on her Facebook Lives and she talks about things. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and she made a post about a non-alcoholic margarita for her patients and it helps with your gut health and it clearly aligned with her brand and what she posts regularly.  

But it’s just one of those things, those are the little extra steps that you take as a practice and as a consumer of what we do that really are gonna push you to that next level and make you even more humanized and make you even more valuable to your community. 

Rebekah Duke: Wow. Those are some very inspiring examples. Thank you so much for going into that with how all those human touches all come together to create such a strong brand presence. Well, that’s our time for today. Thank you so much Bri for being here and sharing insights and thank you audience for joining us today. 

For more direction on how to invest wisely in practice marketing, download our eBook down in the eBook section at medicaladvantage.com

Medical Advantage Podcast: Thanks for joining us this week on the Medical Advantage Podcast where we discuss the ideas and technologies changing healthcare and what they mean to your organization. For more information, visit us at medicaladvantage.com and make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast, so you never miss a show. 

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