Docs should ramp up their marketing in 2016

By Matt Kuhrt

If your practice has been cruising along on autopilot, garnering new patients via referrals and a convenient location, it's time to get proactive about marketing before you get left behind, according to an article in Forbes.

As a group, doctors are taking a more aggressive stance when it comes to advertising, says John Socratous, CEO of Wizmotions. That trend is born of necessity: With the increasing number of outlets offering retail medicine and the increasing number of patients opting for the convenience of going to a facility as opposed to an individual doctor, there's more competition than ever for new patients.

The proliferation of online reviews also bears a great deal of responsibility for the changing landscape. While patients see the sites as valuable tools for evaluating and comparing care providers, it's often more difficult for physicians to locate much practical value in them. The dilemma at the heart of that imbalance has to do with how comfortable doctors feel with regard to viewing patients as customers or consumers of medical services.

With online reviews, a service-oriented approach that demonstrates empathy and an openness to patient views and feedback can actually improve care in addition to generating more stars in online reviews, as FiercePracticeManagement has previously reported.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of healthcare trends can also pay off on the bottom line. Patients have access to all kinds of information, and services such as WebMD mean doctors are no longer seen as the sole authority on matters to do with health and medicine. With information comes entrenched opinion, so, for example, the current crop of patients with a preference for natural remedies and lifestyle changes are likely to be more receptive to physicians who are up to speed on the same trends. Doctors who neglect or otherwise downplay the viability of these approaches will end up alienating potential patients, according to the article.

To learn more:
- read the article in Forbes