Use a Mix of Internal and External Resources for Practice Promotion
Urgent Care marketing is a multi-faceted process. Online and offline advertising, social media and online reputation, and of course your website are all important pieces. In addition, some level of personal outreach should be part of the mix. And to really grow your practice, it is critical that you deliver the type of service and care that encourages first-time patients to return for all of their urgent care needs.
As a medical professional, providing first-class care is obviously critical. To thrive in a competitive urgent care market, delivering first-class service is just as critical. All of your staff members need to understand the importance of a patient-centric approach, and how this is directly related to the success of the practice. Ultimately, the goal is to build relationships with individuals, families, and organizations that lead to repeat visits. By adopting this approach, you will multiply the effects of your marketing investment.
Urgent Care Marketing Roles
Successfully marketing an urgent care clinic requires a wide variety of skills. Practices will typically outsource some portion of these tasks to a marketing agency or consultant. The exact mix will vary, but it is important to remember that some tasks must be performed locally. An agency can support your staff in these local tasks, but you will be most successful when finding a good fit between your agency and your internal marketing resources.
As a start-up or smaller urgent care practice, your internal resources will likely begin as some portion of the owner’s or office manager’s time. Many practices will hire an entry level marketing assistant early on, and this role can evolve into, or expand to include, a higher level marketing manager as the practice grows. We do find that if an owner or office manager does not have relevant marketing experience, that hiring even a part-time entry-level marketer to help support an external agency is extremely valuable.
In-house urgent care marketers are often given the title of Community Marketer, as a large part of their role involves community outreach. This can range from organizing and participating in health fairs or other events to building relationships with local schools or businesses who cater to tourists. For urgent care practices that offer occupational medicine services, this same person may help with outreach to area businesses.
Practices that do a significant amount of occupational medicine may have one or more Account Reps who help build and maintain employer relationships. These reps may handle their own prospecting, although in many cases practices will use some sort of Outsourced Lead Generation.
Getting back to the private patient side of urgent care, most practices will outsource most of the following more technical roles:
Website Developer and Manager – Your web developer is the person who writes the code and deals with the technical setup of your site. They will often work with your Designer and Copywriter (see below) to build your site. In some cases, the Developer may also be the website Manager for technical and content updates. Other times, the Manager role will be taken on by your agency or an in-house employee.
Social Media Manager – This person (or team) will set up and update Facebook and other social media sites that you use. An agency can help with this role, but a great social media presence will include photos and insight from your local team. When managing social media accounts for clients, we get the best results when working hand-in-hand with a Community Marketer or someone else at the practice.
Reputation Manager – This person makes sure that your practice information is spread in a consistent and detailed fashion to online directories, and helps monitor and respond to reviews. When dealing with patient reviews, the person in this role will need to work directly with a practice manager who is able to address patient complaints. This role can also include PR efforts to get coverage of the practice on local news and resource sites.
Advertising Manager – From managing campaigns on Google, Facebook, and Yelp to making decisions about the best hyperlocal and regional opportunities, you’ll need someone who understands how to get the best ROI from your ad spend.
Graphic Designer – This is a smaller role, but not one to skimp on. The design of your logo, website, brochures, and posters and other materials in your office should all work together to build your brand. Images should all be created or selected based on how they reinforce the core message that you are working to deliver.
Copywriter and Copyeditor – These roles should be divided among a group of 2 or more people, as this is a best practice for writing in general. Someone on your internal team should review all content before it appears on your site, but the actual creation of the content and much of the editing can easily be outsourced.
Marketing Analyst – in today’s connected environment, we can collect tons of data on our various marketing campaigns. The marketing analyst examines this data in order to maximize your ROI. This role should be played by a high-level person from your agency or an internal marketing manager, and should be managed by the owner or another top executive with the practice.
Need help with any of the functions listed above? Let us know.