CJU News

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
696

web brand

You’re starting your business and are now thinking of developing a brand. One of the key elements of a brand is your business name. You consider what you like and what you know. You think of a name that you feel captures you and your service or business perfectly. In the medical industry, often times doctors choose to keep it simple and use their name “Dr xxx” as their business title.


So… you have chosen a name, but will it work as a brand?


Although you might think the name is ideal, the real questions is does it convey what the business is about and does it encapsulate your brand as a whole? More importantly, will your clients identify with it? Unless the client already knows you, why would they attribute any brand meaning or loyalty to you as a business? Although you need to love your brand (you will have it for a lifetime), the power of a brand isn’t so much about what you like, but how powerful it is in reaching your client.


In simple terms: the purpose of investing into brand development is to help to get your client involved, interested and invested into your business.
When developing a brand for your business we need to begin by asking a few questions.

  1. Who are we trying to reach out to and identify with?
  2.  What are we trying to convey? (the tangible and intangible elements of your business) 
  3. Will the brand allow for business growth?

1.Who are we trying to identify with?

Naturally, many of us initially develop an idea for a brand based on our knowledge and perceptions of what we do as a business. However, we need to consider what is our client’s knowledge and perception of our business?

We want to develop a brand that allows your clients to clearly understand what you do and that they can relate to. By doing this we are giving your client the chance to attribute a sense of connection with your business. 

You might have different elements to your business that is targeting different types of clients and you brand development also has to take that into consideration.


Continue reading
0
565

hiring medical staff

Should doctors have a sales force? Hmmm…. The reality is that all doctors have a sales force.

They are your frontline staff. Receptionists, nurses, practice managers, anyone who has a direct interface with your patients - whether clinical or non-clinical - is your sales force.

The scope of medical practice staff duties are unusual. They are often very broad and quite unique. They include detailed administrative duties, billings and payments, complex appointment and diary management, diligent and timely reporting etc etc...

But perhaps the most important aspect of their work is their interaction with your patients. Each day they deal with your patients, potential patients and referrers on the phone, fax, email and face to face.

They are the first experience the potential patient has of your practice, and through their interactions they help to set the stage of whether you see a happy or an unhappy patient.

Sometimes your potential patients will choose not to see you due to their first experience of your practice.

They also strongly determine in the minds of your patients whether they;

  • Believe in your service
  • That you care about them
  • That they can trust you
  • That you will look after them
  • That you will give them better outcomes
  • That you are honest, reliable

To sum up – they are a powerful influence on answering the question “Why should I choose you dr x?”

A large part of CJU’s business with clients is to “mystery shop” their practice. We do this to audit your “shopfront” and gauge how your staff perform with a potential patient.

Very often the results of these mystery shops are not what has been expected by the doctor due to a disconnect between what the doctor believes their “sales force” is doing and what is actually taking place. It’s not necessarily that your staff are being rude (although sadly, that isn’t uncommon) - but that they don’t take advantage of the opportunity to engage and capture a potential patient. More often than not, this is simply because they lack ‘sales’ training. Not the ‘hard sell’ type but training that enables them to start building a relationship with potential patients from the moment they answer the phone, knowing how to politely follow up potential patients and participate in the conversion process.

When you look at your staff from this perspective – how satisfied are you?

When a medical practice engages staff there are many aspects that need to be addressed. That they can handle all elements of working within and/or managing a practice from a technical and clinical point of view has always been a pre-requisite in staff selection.

In today’s competitive world, their interpersonal skills and ability to engage with people, capture details and follow up will make the difference between running a practice and having a successful, thriving business that has happy patients.

How can we help?

CJU assesses staff skills and tailor makes training sessions specifically to target areas of concern. We ensure it is a positive and rewarding experience that staff buy into and value. Call us to discuss how we can help your sales force grow your medical business.

0
848

NOT SO LONG AGO, THE ANSWER TO THIS WAS “WELL – IT DEPENDS ON WHAT SECTOR YOU ARE IN”, BUT TIMES REALLY HAVE CHANGED, NO MATTER IF YOU ARE A GP A MEDICAL SPECIALIST OR A CLINIC. 

Marketing Strategy image

The AMA, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the RACGP now believe that marketing is an essential part of a medical business and include segments on marketing to their members via their starting in private practice seminars.

As exceptional as technical and clinical skills are, they no longer guarantee business success in private practice. The marketplace now has factors that weren’t around 5+ years ago. First and foremost is “Dr Google”, there at a moment’s notice, as a source of information for anyone to access and help in the decision making process.

Recent data from Google stated that 80% of Internet users look for health information online, including 44% who search for information on medical professionals or healthcare facilities.

Here are some examples of actual businesses and their results

Example 1: A GP decides to open a practice. They find premises in a well-known holiday centre in an affluent area. Before opening they engage for the development of a marketing strategy and a competitor review. Research shows the area has a number of long established practices, highlights their weaknesses and identifies untapped opportunities. The marketing highlights the new practice strengths and targets sectors with services not currently provided in the area. The practice is launched and experiences immediate patient numbers followed by progressive growth and demand on services.

Example 2: A specialist business has a highly successful practice. They want to expand and move into another area. The challenge:  The area is saturated with other specialists of this type. They are the new, unknown, unconnected kid on the block. Marketing and planning has always been a key component of their business, they undertake a review to examine:

  • the drivers of their patient base (referrers, influencers, patients)
  • competitors
  • positioning and key messaging

The business is launched and quickly develops, despite the challenges, thanks to a strong marketing plan based on positioning of the practice and a good understanding of their unique marketplace drivers and expectations.

In the above examples, pre planning and marketplace review delivered results – but this isn’t always the case

Example 3: A specialist opens a private solo practice. The specialist is highly trained, has employed exceptional staff and offers a premium service in an aggressively competitive specialty field in an affluent location. Solid marketing activity marketing has been undertaken from the practice opening but has yielded poor results. Why?

It didn’t consider their position as a premium service talking to a sophisticated audience and lobbying against other well established premium competitors.

The marketing gave an inaccurate picture of the practice. It didn’t convey a premium service to gain confidence from referrers or patients. Although time went into a strategy – they missed their mark due to poor execution.

A question we frequently get asked is:

The marketing material was produced in house and on a low budget -  for this practice, a significant flaw. Why?

A question we frequently get asked is: “Do I need really need to spend money on marketing to succeed in my business and how much do I spend?”

There is no black and white answer to this. In essence, your marketing plan needs a budget component that takes into account your overall business goals.

So how do I set a realistic marketing budget for my business?

Set your business goals and know what you want to achieve. Make this based around patient numbers, patient types and cases. If you haven’t set a marketing budget before, there are lots of ideas based around %, but here is a simple 3 step process example to help you get started.

Know your goal:

Step 1

Start with the end result of patient numbers foremost in your mind.
Equate your incremental growth goal into dollars. Over your current annual revenues, how much do you want to increase in the next year?

Step 2

Return on Investment (ROI)
Divide your $ goal by an ROI of 4. Some strategies have better results than others. Overall your goal for your marketing plan should be a return between 3 and 5 to 1. We can use 4 as a middle ground ROI. This is a per annum goal and your matching budget can be broken down into monthly or quarterly increments – but remember that you will usually have the heaviest amount of spend in the early stages of your marketing.

Step 3

Monitor your goal and your budget and keep them aligned. Maintain the ratio between goal and budget if you need to adjust up or down. ie – if you are increasing in growth at a higher rate – you can increase your marketing. Monitor what is effective and adjust it accordingly. Stick to your marketing plan and be aware of your budget spends. It is often the small ad hoc items that start to eat into your budget pie - like distress rate media and promotional items that never formed part of your plan can bleed hundreds to thousands of dollars and are unlikely to deliver results.

Have a goal – make a plan, recognise marketing is a performance based revenue item

Knowing how to communicate  your key points of difference is paramount to growing a successful medical business. Just how you differentiate yourself in the eyes of your patients and/or referrers is key.

While there are a myriad of marketing activities that you can undertake to grow your business, a unique and well-conceived, customised marketing strategy is designed to establish what message and activity will be in-line with your goals and deliver results.

NO ONE KNOWS YOUR STRENGTHS BETTER THAN YOU – BUT SOMETIMES YOU’RE NOT SHOWING THEM! OR – “you can’t sell a secret”

Often, you are so intrinsically involved in every aspect of your clinical offering, staffing and all the other elements of your daily operations that you simply don’t have the time to think top-line about your business. That’s where we can help. CJU is able to look at your business from the outside in. We work with you to get to the heart of your business… and formulate a successful marketing plan.

Have a marketing strategy. The effort or cost that it takes you up front will be well worthwhile and will help ensure your business success.

0
1441

AutoAwards ProductPage
HOW DO THESE TOOLS WORK AND WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

We know that it’s now very common for medical practitioners to have a website. But how do you get a website to rank on internet searches?

To put things into perspective, there are an estimated 500 websites that go live each minute. When a site goes live, it does not rank on any search engines as they are not aware that it exists yet. Once a ‘fetch’ has been performed and the search engines, such as Google, have been invited to index the website, it is likely to only appear after searching through many pages.

There are two ways that we can get a website to rank. By using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and sometimes by using a combination of both.

If all you do is build a website and never work on SEO or have SEM (the most commonly used is Google Adwords) and you don’t have a truly unique name then you will only ever be found on the internet in one of two ways:

  • People know your exact URL and type this in (website address)
  • People search for your name or your business name (this only works if you have something unique)

SO WHY CHOOSE SEO, SEM OR BOTH?

Each option has its own pros and cons and costs involved. The key is understanding how you want your website to work for you so that are then able to use these tools to your advantage.

WHAT IS SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) focuses on the content of your website and involves the ongoing process of on-page optimisation, key-phrase analysis and link building. Basically these help improve your website ranking within the organic listings in the search engine results pages. As Google makes well over 400 algorithm changes each year which affects rankings, this is an essential, ongoing process.

WHY SEO? 

The purpose of SEO is to enable your website to rank well organically in internet searches. The power of SEO is that websites that rank organically can often be viewed as a more “trusted” source of information. There are many people who will only go to sites that have an organic ranking and will not visit sites that show in the search as an “ad” or “sponsored link”. SEO is a slow build and can’t involve short-cuts without the risk of having your website penalised or black listed by Google – which means you might have to build a new one to be found on line.

PROS AND CONS OF SEO

  • - SEO is a long term strategy
  • + Sites that rank organically are viewed as a trusted source
  • - It takes between 6-12 months for your organic ranking to improve
  • - SEO is a moving target. There are no cheap SEO programs as the work is ongoing and needs Google experts to get results.

COSTS AND CAUTIONS FOR SEO

Costs for good SEO can range from $400 to over $1500 per month, depending on how competitive your business is and what your goals are. Make sure you have a reputable Australian based company providing your SEO service as marketplace understanding and search terms vary greatly across different countries.

WHAT IS SEM?

The purpose of SEM is to have your ad appear, which links to your website, when specified search terms are typed into search engines. The most common form of online SEM is Google Adwords, but there are also options provided by Bing, Yelp and other search engines – but really, in Australia Google is king and therefore the best option.

SEM works by setting an advertising budget based around particular search terms. To achieve best results we use a ‘call to action’ campaign approach and include a landing page. SEM means you are “bidding” to rank against certain search terms. Your budget needs to be set according to how competitive your search terms are.

SEM enables you to have an immediate online presence and start to generate client visits without waiting for over 6 months to develop an organic presence. If you want to start making people aware of your business/service and drive new enquiries, you can put in place a strategic SEM campaign for this purpose.

PROS AND CONS OF SEM

  • + Allows you to rank immediately in internet searches
  • + You can set your own budget
  • + You can have a targeted campaign approach
  • + Can work together with an SEO campaign to improve your website ranking
  • - Not valued as highly in rankings as an organic search
  • - Can be expensive if you have competitive search terms
  • - Stops working when your budget runs out

COSTS AND CAUTIONS FOR SEM

Build a proper SEM campaign based on consumer research. Costs will vary greatly depending upon the level of competition.

WHY USE BOTH?

A well-conceived strategic plan will use SEM and SEO to make sure you have immediate presence in internet searches with the long term goal of ranking organically so the two tools are used in tandem to get short and long term results.

THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Understand what role you want your website to play in your business development. If your site is just a digital profile of you and your service provision, or an information portal that you are directing your patients to, then you may not need to rank in a Google search.

BUT …

If you’re intending to use your website to gain attention and market presence, build your strength in the marketplace and find new clients, and you want to be found in an internet search that is based around the services you’re providing that has others providing the same type of service - then you need to use SEM, SEO or both.

CJU Medical Marketing provides customised strategic digital marketing plans using SEO and SEM. Call us to arrange a complimentary review of your website design and content.

0
935

Maybe the real question is – how is your website ranking?

Mobilegeddon smallMany medical practitioners now have a website. It's quickly become a necessary part of our doing business in a world where people demand information and regularly search on-line for answers or to check credentials.

If you've noticed a drop in your website's ranking, it might be that it was doing well up until around April, but then you've noticed a decline. That's because Google introduced a change (the so-called 'Mobilegeddon') as to how it ranks sites - and if your site is not mobile friendly it will have been penalised.

The changes were made due to the number of web searches made using hand held devices (Google advises now 50% plus of searches in Australia in December 2014 were done by mobile devices). That prompted Google to announce that its search engine will favour mobile friendly websites in mobile searches and that this will have a significant impact on search results. The aim being to ensure that users get relevant and high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.

Google has gone on to advise that responsive web design is now industry best practice. These type of sites are the way to ensure that people are getting the best browser experience regardless of the device they are using when they view your site – and that is what Google promises its users.

So what does this mean for you?

If your website is not designed as mobile friendly, you will see a decline in how you rank which will result in (if it hasn't already) a decline in visitors to your site.  If you're unsure if your website is mobile friendly, Google has provided a mobile-friendly test. Just go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you do have a website already.....

And you want your medical business website to rank well with Google and your site isn't mobile friendly, it might be time for you to think about an upgrade in design. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to have a new website created as most websites can be redeveloped for this purpose.

If you don't have a website....

If you are deciding to build a website, make sure it is built as responsive design.

Also make sure you give us a call to answer any questions you may have and to discuss how we can assist in creating you a solutions orientated, mobile responsive website.

 

0