“Phenomenal” results for physician marketing and relations is the goal of every physician relations and hospital marketing department. Seeing the potential opportunities, CEOs throughout the country invest valuable resources into building up these programs. However, as it has been found in many organizations, CEOs often become impatient with the progress of the relations and discontinue or severely shrink the size of the program.
The question is, what can liaisons do to justify their existence and produce quicker, more actionable results?There are four innovative ways to speed up the relationship process and increase physician referrals and retention.
Is it possible to get Ninety Percent of the physicians a liaison visits to increase their referrals with one or two visits? Is there a way to Double or Triple referral revenue?
“Got Milk?” In 1993, this two word campaign became an instant hit and a mind-numbing blueprint for me-too marketers across the country. “Got Beauty?” “Got Questions?” “Got This?” Do these copy-cat campaigns motivate you to act or purchase? So, why do so many marketers, including physician marketing, fall into this chasm of mediocrity?
What does it take to be an effective physician marketer?”Making good marketing is like making a good movie – most people know ‘good’ when they see it and assume they can do it.” Brad Plothow
Creating a 4-star physician marketing campaign is available to everyone. It does, however, require more than simply copying what the other hospitals are doing. Lessons can be learned from “Got Milk?”. The one-of-a-kind platform it stood on made it stand out from all other marketing campaigns.
So too, physician relations requires innovation and thinking out of the box. The following four principles can guide physician relations directors and liaisons on how they can take their eorts to the next level.
Make it Real
John Osborne of State of the Heart Cardiology in State of the Heart, Texas, converts doctor’s hearts into patient referrals. An owner of cardiac CT angiography (CTA) technology, John Osborne has been able to get ninety percent of the physicians he solicits to send their cardiac CT referrals to him.
“We have spread the word to our referring, primary-care physicians and providers by bringing them into our oce and showing them the scans and how the technology works,” says John Osborne, MD, P hD
Dr. Osborne is a firm believer in the “test-drive” principle. Like a car dealer, Dr. Osborne will do everything he can to get potential referring physicians to test-drive his machine. He invites them to not only see the high-quality images his CT produces, but experience the machine for themselves. He does this by giving each physician a picture of their own heart.
By putting physicians in the driver’s seat, Dr. Osborne has been able to make it real for them. They can see firsthand how impressive and noninvasive Dr. Osborne’s cardiac CT technology is and the personalized care he provides. As related to Amy Crane, Dr. Osborne says the results have been “Phenomenal” and it has placed him way out in front of his competition.
Dr. Osborne has converted ninety percent of physicians who have had their heart scanned by him into regular referrers. Physician Liaisons and marketers have a wonderful opportunity to think out of the box and Make it Real for the providers they solicit. By putting them in a position to see, feel, and experience for themselves, Liaisons can turn skeptics into believers and hook providers into sending new and consistent patient referrals.
People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing.” Robert B. Cialdini, The Psychology of Persuasion, Influence.
Physician Relations has the ability to oer “free samples”. Of course, not the free samples you immediately think about; but in unsolicited help.
Can physician retention be accomplished through a doctor’s wife?
Yes. For example, Dr. Jones is a favorite Urologist. After years of building a relationship with him, you have been rewarded with a better practice, increased loyalty, and higher admissions. However, over the past few months, Dr. Jones’s wife and kids have spent considerable time visiting family across the country. And pressure has been mounting on Dr. Jones to relocate.