Throughout the years, I have worked with many healthcare practices on creating marketing strategies and executing campaigns. Often, money and effort is spent on every detail from ROI measurements to content creation to graphic design, but there is one detail that always seems to get overlooked. This detail might in fact be the most critical element of the campaign. The success of your marketing campaign hinges on communicating the goals and objectives of the campaign to your staff and training them on how to handle the customers brought in by the campaign.

It is vital that your staff is aware of what your objectives are for your campaign. Your marketing efforts will bring people to call your practice, but it’s your staff that will convert these people into patients.

Here are a few examples that I have seen that you can either relate to or hopefully learn from:

  1. A cosmetic surgery practice ran a campaign offering 25% off cosmetic injections in an effort to attract patients to the practice. The injections were a loss leader; they would not cover the campaign cost, but once at the practice, the practice hoped to up-sell additional services. Patients came through the doors and took advantage of the cosmetic injection deal, however the staff was never told about the objective of the campaign, nor were they trained on how to upsell the more lucrative services. So, while the campaign did have the benefit of introducing new patients to the practice and raising brand awareness, it did not satisfy the objective set forth in the beginning as none of the cosmetic injection patients pursued any other procedures.
  2. A dental implant practice invested a large amount of marketing dollars in radio advertisements and every time the radio ad aired an influx of calls come through. Unfortunately, the staff receiving the calls was never told when these ads would run and many times it would be during their lunch break. 50% of the calls from the campaign either went to the call service center or voicemail. Not answering the call at the initial point of contact created more work for staff to have to make follow-up calls and greatly lowered the conversion rate for the person to make an appointment.
  3. A physical therapy practice that rarely allocated money towards advertising decided to run an ad in the local paper about a new technique used to treat vertigo. Not only was staff not told that the ad was running, but they were never told about this new service offering. In what was probably the worst example of this I have ever been witness to, the uninformed staff turned potential patients away saying they must be calling the wrong practice.

As you can see, no matter how successful your campaign is at attracting potential customers or patients, forgetting about your own staff can undermine everything. The next time you launch a marketing campaign, be sure to remember that communication is key to success.

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