Sunday, May 20, 2007

Marketing your medical practice

This weekend I attended a 2-day seminar in a Manhattan hotel by "Healthcare Success Strategies". It was run by its two founding partners which separated from "Practice Builders" after that company was sold repeatedly.

The seminar had pretty much the exact same content of their 8 CD set from Advanstar, the publisher of Medical Economics. It was so much the same that the layout of the talks was identical, the wording of their talks was exactly identical, and I mean literally identical and even the illustrative examples were exactly identical. They told me that before the meeting, but I was surprised HOW identical it was. I had hoped that the "marketing plan" for my practice would be something substantial, but I am not sure about that yet. The marketing plan is a list of points selected from the numerous things they talk about. The selection itself might have some value, I think it is important what marketing tools to use and what not, but I would probably would have selected the same things on my own if I had made the list. But then, I might not have made that list. Being motivated to actually do it was one of the reasons I went to the seminar.

I had suspected that the CD set ($200) is a way of motivating you to do the seminar ($1000) and the seminar is a way of reeling you in as a client and I was right. My next step is a website for $7000 or a combination of website and brochure for $11,000. Sticker shock! Printing of the brochure, hosting, pay-per-click advertising is all extra of course. Their plan is to start you with at least $2000 a month for the first year. And it goes up from there.

During the CD set they made sure that "a list of ideas is not a marketing plan" and of course "not as effective". During the seminar they make sure you hear that "little details in wording and in graphics may make all the difference", meaning if you want to be really successful, you have to hire them as your marketers.

Overall, their ideas sound very good and feel very real. I have read Neil Baum's book on ethical and effective marketing and it is very similar. The Healthcare Success Strategies guys offer a little bit more. And I believe that they actually have the experience they claim to have and I like their "test, track and adapt" of marketing moves.

I am not sure yet if their claims are correct and if they can be as successful as they say, but I suspect they are right. I am willing to try and see what happens with my practice. I'll keep you updated.

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