Cut out the middle man by cross-promoting
As the head of a marketing agency, I often find myself as the middle-man between medical practitioners and their patients. What doctors, surgeons, chiropractors and many other medical practitioners fail to realize is that they can cut down on the middle men and women rather easily by establishing cross-promotional opportunities with other practitioners in related fields. For example, a physical therapist can link up with a credible chiropractor and a well-touted orthopedic surgeon in the area to create patient referral funnels back and forth. Similarly, an internal medicine doctor can do the same by linking up with a rheumatologist and an adult medical day care center. And so on, and so forth.
Simply put, a medical professional should think of other related practitioners targeting a similar customer base but not directly competing with each other, and reach out to them for cross-promotional opportunities.
Effective Cross-Promotional Strategies
Create Patient Referral Funnels
You can leverage your existing patient or customer base by referring them to a medical practitioner in a related field in exchange for patient referrals back to you. The only potential risk is that you refer a few patients to a related specialist and they do not refer back to you. In this case, you would simply find another practitioner in the same field until you were happy with the relationship and felt that it was a well-balanced one. Once you do find a healthy back-and-forth referral relationship, the patient funnels you establish will be very cost-effective. Imagine the amount of effort you’d have to put forth to find that patient if he wasn’t referred to you; Google Ads, flyers, billboards, and other forms of advertising can cost a fortune and diminish your margins.
Yes, I agree, it is a bit insensitive to start breaking down patient care into mathematical cost-benefit analysis, but if you’re running your own practice or helping a medical practitioner run theirs, it must be done for business longevity reasons. Please ensure that the medical practices you are cross-promoting with are skilled, competent, and have satisfied patients (discussed further below). Engaging in cross-promotion with a practitioner who has a bad reputation will hurt the integrity of your own medical practice. Important: As a medical professional, it is illegal to receive financial compensation or “kick-backs” from other physicians for referring patients. Please educate yourself on Anti-kickback and Stark Compliance laws.
Cross-promote Each Other Online
Already have brand recognition and an online following in your local community? If so, then great! Find a related, non-competing healthcare provider and cross-promote each other’s offerings online. Chances are, many people who follow the social media accounts of your cross-promotional partners are local patients. Therefore, your ads will be more credible to viewers because potential patients will be noticing them on pages they already follow and from a doctor or facility they already trust. You can also offer discounts or gift certificates when appropriate. You can even consider shouting out your new cross-promotional partner when sending out mass emails especially if you have accrued a large mailing list over the years – just try not to come across as too spammy.
Aside from advertising each other’s services, both parties can greatly benefit from working together in certain situations. An example would be a physical therapy office with extra office space which can be used to staff a chiropractor on Tuesdays and Thursdays for example, so that his or her patients can receive those services while getting their therapy. It’s a win-win for everyone involved because the hosting office will receive ‘rent’ compensation for the chiropractic services and the chiropractor will be introduced to many new patients which hopefully result in a full schedule while working at that location. The influx of new patients to the visiting provider will also benefit the hosting medical practice or facility since these new patients may prefer to follow up at that location for other medical services as well.
Physical therapists hosting chiropractors, certified hand therapists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists is a great idea. Just like orthopedic surgeons hosting physical therapists in their practice is also a wise idea for both patients and providers. The patients benefit because they can conveniently schedule a larger array of medical services on the same day at one location and there will be better communication between the variety of specialists regarding their healthcare.
Co-Promote an Event
This is a highly effective way to create brand awareness for medical offices in the same region. Hosting events at nearby college campuses, YMCAs, and other local centers is an excellent way to attract new patients. For instance, a physical therapist, chiropractor, and massage therapist can partner up for a health event where they speak about how to stay in shape during the winter time. Another great idea would be to host events at a corporate setting. Corporations are happy to host medical practitioners who give advice to their employees on how to stay healthy while simultaneously promoting their medical offerings. The reason corporations respond favorably to these events is because if their workers are more informed on how to stay healthy, their medical costs decrease and worker productivity increases. The medical professionals benefit because the workers at local corporations are typically insured and have the discretionary budget to take advantage of their medical services.
How to check if the medical practitioner you are partnering with has a good reputation…
Type in the name of the medical professional into the crowd-sourced review forums listed below and carefully go through all the reviews. Ideally, you want the doctor to have at least 3.6 out of 5 stars on these platforms. If you see terrible reviews, please do not associate yourself with them.
What language is best to use when approaching potential cross-promotional partners?
PromoAmbitions has many years of experience establishing referral funnels and cross-promotional relationships. If you’d like our assistance, please fill out the contact us form and we’ll be happy to assist you with how to approach potential partners in your area. Every region and medical field is unique, and we’ll gladly custom-tailor the right cross-promotional pitch to fit your desired business goals.