Physician marketing: It’s important to ask the right questions

One of the best things a hospital marketer can do is show genuine knowledge of and respect for physicians’ duties and responsibilities by learning about the service line. This shows a demonstrated commitment to service, and will allow the marketing team to adequately address physician’s concerns with competence. When the marketing team meets with physicians, they should conduct this meeting with the answers to the following questions and concepts in mind.

WHAT’S THE BUSINESS PROBLEM?

As discussed in our Florida advertising agency whitepaper on physician marketing, physicians often come forward with the solutions, without ever addressing the actual problem. If the physicians are unable to properly articulate the underlying issues, follow a rule of thumb and ask them why they think such solutions will be effective. [quote] The physicians’ responses may offer some insights into the true underlying issues, which will help the teams in their efforts to work together to create the most practical solutions.[/quote]

WHAT’S OUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE? WHY CHOOSE US?

A common problem in marketing settings is that companies attempt to appeal to the masses, rather than targeting specific niches that may be specifically interested in the business’s services or offerings. In identifying the specialists’ differentiators, the physicians and marketing team are able to begin to create a selling focus. These differentiators provide specific incentives for individuals in the community to elect this particular hospital, as opposed to others in the community. If there are numerous differentiators, it is important to target and tout those where success makes the most financial sense, such as a practice area expertise or a new state-of-the-art facility.

WHAT’S STANDING IN THE WAY OF SUCCESS?

By defining impediments to success, the teams are able to work through them in order to determine practical and efficient solutions. If there are barriers that need to be addressed, defining them can help the teams prioritize them and offer solutions for combating these roadblocks. Sometimes specialists have operational issues that are standing in the way. For instance, their office doesn’t have appropriate scheduling software, or their office location is hard to find. These are operational issues that come to surface when marketing discussions begin.

WHAT’S WORKED BEFORE?

Many businesses rely on data sets because they offer insight into what’s worked in previous marketing initiatives. Focusing on the positive, rather than the negative, allows the hospitals to achieve repeated success in marketing efforts by replicating successful past projects. Physicians may be able to relay stories of past successes that can lead decision-making. Remember, many physicians think of their practice as their own business, and can take a lot of pride of ownership in it. Their historical perspective is relevant.

Check out our whitepaper on Marketing to Meet Hospital Business Objectives,
While Keeping Physicians Happy