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Best Marketing Media for 50+ Age Group

What types of marketing media is best for smaller practices whose target market is the 50+ age group? Our practice utilizes newspaper and direct mail, and we usually get a good response. What other tools are out there that we could dabble with to gain more of the market?

There are really only four areas in which to attract new patients into your practice and gain market share:
Patient Referrals
Previous Patients/Recall
Physician Marketing/Outreach
Marketing/Advertising (which includes web, media, merchandising etc.)

If you can maximize your efforts in those four areas your practice will realize success! I find many practices have inflated marketing budgets because they lack a strategic marketing plan. I also see that many practices spend more than necessary on marketing/advertising because they lack discipline in developing strategies to maximize the three other sources of patient acquisition. Before addressing your question specifically, I highly encourage you and your staff to assess and/or consider the following:
Implement a PROACTIVE Friends and Family referral system that involves all staff
Devote the time and resources necessary to create an effective physician education and outreach program – plants seeds now that will grow later! Also accept that this is a long term process that requires commitment
Passionately recall previous patients to ensure they are hearing as well as possible. Follow up with cancellations, no shows and patients who are not coming in for annuals and instrument maintenance. This is vital to ensuring new technology upgrades and a healthy patient referral program.
Newspaper and Direct Mail are still effective despite increased competition, costs and dwindling circulations. Our target market still considers the newspaper part of daily routine/tradition and as long as snail mail is being delivered they will continue to receive direct mail in their boxes. Being creative with your message, calls to action and placement is key to setting yourself apart and increasing return on investment (ROI). I also believe the days of Yellow Pages are behind us and recommend reallocating those dollars to optimizing your Web presence. Allowing the 50+ market to find you via the Web is a vital tool I would recommend you invest in. Our target market, especially the 50+, primarily use the Web to locate new service providers. There are some very effective ways to drive Web traffic to your site and increase appointments. ‘1st page’ premium Web placement and ‘splash’ page designs are creative ways to capture attention quickly and direct users to your full website. I have several trusted vendor partners that specialize in Web placement optimization. Two other areas that can help create awareness and build your brand is AM talk radio and TV in the form of ‘ask the expert’ interviews with a local TV personality – these are meant to enhance your other efforts and must be carefully considered as it relates to your budget.

Bill Lavinder, ChampionOne Group, LLC


Filed under: Marketing

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