Every medical practice needs digital marketing to grow and get new patients. The digital world is constantly evolving. New marketing channels come up so often, and you need to be on top of it all.
All this can be a very daunting task and many times you may be wondering where do I begin or how do I start with all this.
A framework will help you organize your marketing strategy and simplify digital marketing for your practice. In this guide, we will discuss one such framework that has proven to be very effective. We call it the “5WH” Framework and you’ll see why.
The 5WH Framework
This marketing framework is a simple framework that poses 6 questions – Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How.
Take time to drill down on each question and come up with answers for each of them. The answers will help you to implement long-term marketing strategies and short-term tactics for your practice growth.
The 3 circles in the center are your Core Marketing Strategy and the three circles on the outside are your Marketing Tactics.
Let’s dive into the strategy circles and discuss what they are.
Framing Your Core Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies are defined for a longer period (2-5 years). When deciding your marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Who, What, and Why.
1. Who are your target patients?
This is the most important question since all your strategies need to be targeted towards the people you want to cater to. Are you targeting a specific locality, age group, or gender? Define your patient.
Let’s say you are practicing in Mumbai and you are trying to run ads.
If you target the whole of Mumbai, you’re just not going to get that traction because there are too many people that you’re reaching out to. And there are so many doctors as well, making it a tough competition.
You need to identify who your patients are and you need to segment your patients because if you say that everyone in Mumbai is my patient, then you’re marketing to everyone, and so you’re marketing to no one specifically. It’s just too much of a scale.
2. What products and services are you providing?
Look at the services that you’re providing, the market demand that is there in your area and how do you match it up.
Generally, you would be providing a broad range of services but you should also think about narrowing it down and try to figure out what you do the best, what is your specialty. Because that is going to make you stand out, plus you will enjoy doing what you do best and in general that creates a win-win for everyone.
3. “Why” refers to your marketing objectives.
You need to set goals and objectives for the next 1 year, 2 years, 5 years. If you’re just starting out or if you are very well established and you want to start multiple clinics or you’re already a big one, then you want to look at how you want to sustain and grow beyond that. Thus, answering your Why gives a clear direction to your marketing strategy.
So those were the three important strategic questions that you need to answer while framing the overall long-term marketing strategy for your practice.
Now, let’s talk about the tactics.
Framing Your Marketing Tactics
Marketing tactics are defined for a short period (3 months, 6 months, or 12 months). When deciding your marketing tactics, you need to ask yourself the following questions: When, Where, and How.
1. When should you market your products or services?
When refers to the patient journey through Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, and Post-action. You need to tune your marketing strategy to reach your patients at the right place in their journey and at the right time.
Your marketing message should depend on what stage of the journey you are trying to target for that patient – are you making them aware, are they interested in you, are they showing a desire to get some service from you, have they already taken an action in terms of booking a consultation with you, etc. Read more about the Patient Journey.
2. Where should you market your products or services?
People are present on platforms such as Facebook & Instagram. YouTube is the second largest search engine next only to Google.
“You need to be where your patients are.
Every screen. Everywhere. Every time.”
It is important to leverage all these multiple channels in your marketing plan to reach potential patients.
3. How should you market your products or services?
How refers to what is your marketing message to the patients that you want to attract. The marketing message should change based on the stage of the patient journey and depending on the channel that you use for marketing. Thus the answer to this question changes as per the “When” and “Where”.
Marketing tactics need to be changed as per the market conditions. Therefore, you need to revise these answers from time to time.
The 5WH Framework is a proven strategy to simplify digital marketing for your practice, and if you try to think about these questions in their context and answer them for your practice, you will have a very solid marketing strategy.
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