Referral marketing is a different approach to traditional marketing efforts. Standard healthcare marketing focuses on techniques such as advertising campaigns, website SEO, email or traditional mail marketing, and public relations. While these are all important methods to promote a practice and its physicians as a “brand”, they are not always the most effective in influencing new patients to choose that practice.
Instead of attempting to connect to a large volume of potential patients, referral marketing uses a streamlined process to create a connection between the practice and potential referring physicians. Individual patients have a variety of possible needs that can influence their decision about which practice to choose, making it very difficult for a physician to know where to focus their marketing. Patients may be looking for electronic communications, cutting edge medical equipment, or they may be directed to different providers based on their insurance plan. They may be concerned about the possibility of high deductibles. So, instead of trying to address all these possible scenarios, referral marketing casts a wider net of influence, focusing on the entire base of patients with which a referring physician already has a trusted relationship. Connecting with these other practices is where the role of a physician liaison becomes beneficial. There is a growing field of marketing practices that can be hired to call on doctors’ offices, maintain relationships, and generate referrals to the practice.
The physician liaison creates connections between their client or employer and potential referring physicians. They develop this new relationship, helping to establish and maintain a new patient referral process and contribute to the growth of the medical practice they represent. Physician liaisons effectively become a representative of the physician or practice, attending events on their behalf, setting up meetings and lunches between physicians, and delivering marketing materials and referral sheets to the referring physician. A marketing firm that offers physician liaison services will establish tracking and reporting for measurable goals that can help the physician or practice see results and decide what is working or not working.
Referral marketing through a physician liaison is one of the most effective ways any size practice can increase its incoming patient referrals. Large hospitals have had physician liaisons for years, using them to reach out daily to general and specialty practitioners to present to them their range of treatments and reasons to refer patients to the hospital. If a small specialized medical practice wants to increase referrals to their practice, they can benefit from using the same tactics of large hospitals at a more personal level.
Get started on building a referral marketing strategy for your practice today by contacting Lippman Media. The expert marketing team has years of experience working with top physician liaisons and have strong relationships across the Valley. Visit www.LippmanMedia.com for more information on referral marketing for your practice.
Article Submitted By:
Glenda Monkarsh, CEO Lippman Media