Physician, market thyself

Checking the blood pressure by using a sphygmo...
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The consensus at a recent meetup devoted to email marketing was that health care professionals generally are inept at marketing themselves.

That wasn’t the primary focus of the Fort Collins Business Marketing Group discussion, but it brought to mind some questions:

  • What role does marketing play in most small medical practices, if any? (Larger institutions often have substantial budgets to help them compete for patients, but I have yet to receive anything other than a bill from a doctor’s office.)
  • How can physicians, therapists and others use social and other media to educate patients and potential clients?
  • Do they need to market themselves?

As this article illustrates, the consequences of marketing mistakes can be higher in the medical profession than others. Privacy laws being what they are, a single poorly conceived tweet could prove financially devastating.

Still, carefully crafted marketing messages can help build a medical, nutrition or counseling practice just as well as they can improve business for a coffee shop or pizzeria. It just takes some time, a budget (even a modest one) and a little imagination.

Does your doctor do a good job of marketing? I’d love to hear about it.

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