Are your marketing efforts paying off? Or are you losing customers to your competition?

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything – hours of research, multiple platforms, even consultants – but you’re still not sure if your marketing works?

We’ve had many clients come to us and say “marketing’s not working”, and ask us to diagnose and assess the power of their brand. We’ve done this very successfully for a lot of businesses – and we’d be happy to do the same for yours.

But first – why don’t we go over a few things to help you audit your own marketing?

Do you REALLY understand your market?

Many business owners make this mistake – where they just assume they know their audience without doing proper market research.

For example, we’ve worked with a company that served lower economic income individuals and families. The executive leaders were under the impression that we couldn’t do mobile advertising because our target audience (lower economic income individuals) didn’t have smartphones.

When we looked at the data and did our research, we found out that actually, more than 80% of lower-income individuals in the U.S. have access to a smartphone, which served as their primary access to the internet. This told us that rather than focusing on desktop-first content, we should be making everything optimized for mobile viewing.

Are you niched down enough?

You need to narrow your focus as discreetly as possible, especially when it comes to paid advertising. This can be a specific customer group with a specific geography or age band – or a specific condition, line of thinking, problem, or pain point.

For example, for one health system care line, their niche was people who need a total knee replacement. So targeting just those in the 55 to 70 age band would likely hit a few, but adding the additional targeting of those who were active athletes, had a previous sports injury, or chronic overuse syndrome from long-time runners, for instance, would provide an even more precise target to those likely to need your services.

We love this quote. Often the biggest mistake we see is that people are afraid to narrow down because they fear they won’t have enough customers. But correctly identifying your niche is actually really important to make the best use of your marketing budget and to really target your message to the right people.

After all, it’s hard to build a relationship with “those people out there”, but it gets much easier to create a community and build a connection with marathon runners who may need a new knee.

Is your branding crystal clear?

Do you know exactly what is it that you offer? We know for healthcare sometimes this can be tricky. I mean, “yeah, we offer health services.” But discovering, with clarity, what differentiates your walk-in clinic from all of your competitors, will help you compete for new customers.

For example, if your clinic has staff that speaks three different languages – make sure to highlight that in your marketing materials. Maybe translate them into those languages and only hire new staff who are bi- or tri-lingual as well. That is a big advantage that would bring you a specific niche of customers.

So rather than making marketing decisions based on what your competitors are doing, think about what you stand for, what sets you apart from the competition, and what only you can provide your patients, and focus on how you can deliver that message to your customers.

What about your messaging?

We often talk in a language that is special to us. This is especially true in healthcare, we love to talk about all the big diagnostic terms and the big fancy surveys – and we tend to forget that it creates a disconnect to the consumer.

For example, when working with a health insurer we found that the most misunderstood term in health insurance was “deductible”. This came as a surprise because a deductible applies to everything from your car to your house insurance. This demonstrated to us how simple our materials needed to be.

In healthcare in general, taking the time to find out how you are communicating about services, tests, follow-up, etc. is essential.

Do you use acronyms for everything? Are you handing a paper to a patient with the expectation they follow through with some instruction? Is that clearly outlined? Are you sure they know? Do they know what a CBC is…instead of a test at the lab, where they will draw a little blood to look at the health of your body and systems?

Being able to identify how you talk about things versus how the consumer talks about them and seeing where that disconnect lies is essential in any business, more so in healthcare.

What’s your strategy?

A lot of healthcare folks have an “if we build it, they will come” mentality about their marketing. They figure that the sign on the building itself is going to be enough to drive volume to their practice. But that’s simply not the case.

For example, when we worked with a standalone specialty pediatric hospital, they struggled to compete with a system that was more than 300 miles away for services. It’s not that they didn’t have some of the best surgeons and providers in the nation, it was that their competitor had very strong value statements in their marketing, and knew how to get their message out there, so they captured the audience, even from hundreds of miles away.

Truth is, you need a strategy for your marketing to be effective. You can’t just put content out there for the sake of “activity” – there needs to be a purpose to it. Make sure it’s relevant, that it has value, and that it tells the audience what you do and why you do it.

Where are you promoting your business?

You can’t be everywhere – or at least you can’t be everywhere EFFECTIVELY. If you try to do this, you will end up diluting your effectiveness and the impact of your budget. We always recommend picking one or two channels, doing those really well, and then adding onto it as you need to expand your reach.

For example, if you’re a walk-in clinic in Montana, you won’t want to be reaching people in Kansas, especially if you’re doing paid marketing. In this case, Google and SEO would be your best friends, because you’d be able to target very specific locations and show up in search for them. Or maybe you will geo-target specific zip codes in your own county. The lesson is, just be sure that you are in front of the right audience and not showing up where it is not relevant.

Nowadays there are many different platforms, from your website to Instagram, Facebook, Clubhouse, TikTok – you name it. If you are not sure where you need to be, we recommend going back to your strategy. Have you identified who your primary target market and audiences are? Are you clear on what your primary goals are? Do you know exactly what a “win” looks like for your organization or clinic? This clarity in strategy will help you in decision-making and resource investment.

How is your customer experience?

Did you know that 1 in 5 customers said they will leave a brand after one negative experience? In fact, healthcare has less than a 40% retention rate – meaning 60% of your customers are leaving your practice and never coming back.

This is strongly related to customer experience. Especially in healthcare, patients tend to feel like a cog on a wheel, with 45% saying just feeling thanked and appreciated will increase their loyalty.

You need to be committed to not only providing quality care, but also a good customer experience. And if there’s a negative experience, do something about it. Because of all the people who said they’d leave after a bad experience, 80% said they would give another chance if the problem were handled correctly.

In sum, happy customers buy more, pay more, and will recommend you more often. And we all know how word of mouth referrals are the number one source of referrals for health care.

If you’re looking to turn your marketing game around for 2022, Boss Lady Consulting is committed to helping you uncover the power of your brand and crafting a custom marketing strategy that will accelerate your brand growth. Book a no-pressure exploration call with us today to learn more:

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