Medical practices and the healthcare industry have always followed the same marketing and branding aesthetics that all reputable businesses follow – focus on the positive and never bad mouth your competitors.  Due to trends on the internet and social media, the dynamics of both marketing and healthcare are changing. Many practices and healthcare providers are looking to stand out in the crowd. Some more modern branding strategies that focus on turning the negative into the positive could take their medical marketing to the next level.

Domino’s Pizza is a perfect example of this new marketing strategy. Their campaign renouncing their own recipe and asking the public for feedback on the improvement truly embraced the negative. To those deeply rooted in the traditional marketing strategies, this was the equivalent of brand suicide.  In actuality, it showed the public that they valued the public’s opinion and their renewed commitment to quality.

Comcast has attempted the same strategy but ended up clinging to traditional marketing and focusing on the positive. They allude to the fact that their customer service calls have lacked much regard for their client’s time by saying they are providing a two-hour service window and many time-saving apps. As their spokesperson, Keirin says   “We should fit into your life, not the other way around.”

More people probably remember the Domino’s campaign, but the Comcast commercial was just one of many. By focusing on the negative, your practice can improve both its medical marketing strategy and the quality of service provided to patients.

Online Feedback and Reviews  

Customer service questionnaires have been used for decades by major health systems. Unfortunately, in the past, not all small and medium-sized practices implemented them.

In today’s technology-based society, most medical practices have a website and the opportunity to offer their patients and online review forms to receive feedback. Social media and online directory reviews are other sources of feedback, both positive and negative.The ability to get feedback in real time can allow your practice to respond with prompt action, preventing the potential migration of patients to another practice.

Take any negative data and use it to make improvements. Never ignore a negative review or feedback. Patients will be less inclined to continue speaking badly of your practice to others if they receive a response and possible resolution. Even if the feedback or review is unfounded, responding in a positive manner and apologizing for their unpleasant experience shows that all your patients are valued by your practice.  Remember, bad news travels fast.

Call Out Your Competition

In the past, and especially in the medical and healthcare fields, it has been frowned upon to make light of the competition’s weaknesses as a marketing strategy.  As the healthcare market becomes more crowded and more diversified, your practice’s medical marketing strategy will need to clearly define your strengths to discerning patients.

There is no need to mention your competition by name and turn your advertising campaign into a mudslinging contest. You can compare your services. For example, a new patient has to wait 4 weeks to get an appointment with the practice around the corner and your practice is offering new patient appointments in just two weeks. It might be time to advertise that you offer a shorter new patient wait time than the other local practice.

Esurance does this in their ad campaign featuring Beatrice featuring her friends and all of her photos taped to the wall. They effectively called out Geico and their “15 minute or less guarantee” without ever speaking the insurance company’s name.

Employee Feedback

This is typically a tricky situation. While feedback from the employees at your medical practice can be a great help when it comes to making improvements, they may not always feel comfortable providing that feedback.

Today’s online tools like Formstack can provide an anonymous feedback form for your practice’s employees to provide you with their input. This type of tool lets you construct the survey and email it to your employees, allowing them to complete it in the privacy of their home and feel comfortable giving their honest feedback.  This will make management aware of problems and respond quickly, making the appropriate adjustment to prevent the loss of valuable staff.

Medical Marketing

Just like any other business, you need to be on the cutting edge, grab your audience’s attention and keep it by providing a positive customer experience. Taking negative information about your practice and utilizing it produces positive results with your patients and within your practice. Embracing the negative can give your medical marketing a real boost.

If you need help with your medical marketing we can help. From website design, reputation management and social media and content marketing, Grow My Practice Online has got you covered. We are a team of digital advertising experts whose only goal is to expand your practice and attract new patients. We take great pride in creating great work that generates results for you. Contact us today to see what we can do for you practice.


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