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 rooms which can be used to staff a chiropractor on Tuesdays and Thursdays for example, so that his or her patients can receive those services. It’s a win-win for everyone involved because the hosting doctor will receive ‘rent’ compensation for the chiropractic services and the chiropractor will be introduced to many new patients and will likely have a full schedule because of the select hours he or she works there. The influx of new patients does not only benefit the practitioner who is visiting a practice, but since the visiting practitioner may book his or her existing patients at the hosting location, the hosting practitioner will as a result be exposed to many new patients 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 offices is also a wise idea. The patients benefit because there are more medical treatment offerings at the practice and they can conveniently schedule both treatments without having to travel to a different location.
Co-Promote an Event
This is a highly effective way to create brand awareness for both medical offices in the area. Hosting events in nearby college campuses or YMCAs for example 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 workers on how to stay healthy while at the same 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 expenses will likely be lower and worker productivity will be higher. The medical professionals benefit because the workers at local corporations typically have health insurance and a budget for seeing these practitioners and taking advantage of what they have to offer.
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 the reviews. Ideally, you want the doctor to be 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 you should approach potential partners in your area. Every region and every medical field is unique, and we’ll gladly custom-tailor the right cross-promotional pitch to fit your desired business goals.