Hello there, my name is Megan Walker. I am the owner of Market Savvy and an Allied Health marketing professional and health promoter.
I have promoted health services, products and causes over the past 25+ years and Market Savvy exists to help practitioners reach more people so they can change more lives through ethical and relationship-based marketing.
Thank you to coreplus for the opportunity to share our thoughts on effective marketing for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and the results from a recent AHP marketing survey.
Survey says …
We recently surveyed 100 Allied Health Professionals of all disciplines and size across Australia and New Zealand in relation to their current marketing practices.
The results were wide and varied.
- Some practices rely on word of mouth alone
- Many have no marketing plan in place
- Others trial a lot of different marketing tactics but typically do not have a long-term marketing approach
- Most are struggling with their marketing
I completely understand this situation and can see how most Allied Health Practices have arrived at “spray and pray” when it comes to marketing. However these practices and practitioners also know that without a consistent and effective marketing plan; potential practice growth, patient numbers and competitive advantage is being disadvantaged.
Over the past 10 years, marketing has become multi-channeled (and each channel ‘watered down’) due to the plethora of platforms; consumer-driven decision making; and increased competition from private practices. Add to this the existing demands faced by a busy Allied Health Practice owner / manager and the uncertainty of knowing which marketing activities to choose and it is understandable that reluctance, confusion and overwhelm wreak havoc on marketing success.
What’s holding you back from achieving your goals?
In our survey, we further prompted AHPs to find out what, if anything, is holding them back from achieving their business and marketing goals. The respondents said:
- Technical skills
- Commitment and discipline
- Social media phobia
- Not prioritising business development
- Not moving with the times
And the majority said they wanted a structured plan, to be able to measure outcomes, to avoid being reactive and achieve a greater number of referrals.
Some are also looking at ways to introduce group programs both in person and via online as well (very exciting!) however they are unsure how to go about this and market their offering effectively online.
Top five tips …
Based on the findings from our survey and our direct work with Allied Health Professionals of all location, size and discipline, here are five tips to help give you clarity when it comes to marketing your practice.
- You need to market your practice for every week that you are in business to iron out your cash-flow and maintain top of mind awareness and local area and online visibility. You need to be seen for people to be able to choose you
- The right referral sources want to build a relationship with you and work together as part of a team
- You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money marketing your practice. An effective and efficient program can take one to two hours per week to implement and maintain
- You don’t have to do everything on the marketing menu
- You MUST identify your top three ideal patients / clients and market to them. It is a recipe for overwhelm trying to be “all things to all people”
You also have the opportunity to get clear about your “why?” (see my latest video “Developing Your Why” https://www.marketsavvy.com.au/resources-blog/developing-your-why), claim your space and serve your niche.
Take the time to decide on who is your ideal patient or client and map out what they want and need from you, what they expect (ask them), what you could do to add value (ask them) and how you can be part of their decision making journey and the content they consume.
And a final tip … it is always much cheaper and faster to work with somebody who has the database (list of contacts) that include your ideal patients / clients. Don’t reinvent the wheel and try to create your own list from scratch, look at ways to create mutual benefit and join forces with other like-minded organisations in your community.
For more information, visit www.marketsavvy.com.au.