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Even Docs Need Marketing

Attracting B2B referrals in the medical industry


Much business is derived from relationships in the form of physician referrals, and this includes the health-care space.

In an industry fierce with competition – brand, message and customer (or patient) experience, must stand out. It’s no different than any capacity-driven business with seats to fill or appointments to block.

Although marketing for medical services is more common than it once was, it’s still uncomfortable for many providers to “sell” their services and their name. It’s important to invest in marketing because it works. By utilizing a wide and deep approach to, and leading with an educational message, that can differentiate your medical business.

Here are nine proven tips you can use in your B2B efforts to be “top of mind” so when a need for your services arise, the only name that pops up is yours.

  1. RELATIONSHIPS – Build a strong inner circle of close referral relationships. Protect, respect and nurture those relationships. Be present, be responsive and be highly communicative.
  2. MARKET MULTIDIMENSIONAL An occasional knock on the door or quick phone call to check-in no longer cuts it. Ensure your service line information (your content) appears across many media formats so there are multiple touchpoints for your business contacts to see and interact with your brand. Here are some specifics:
    • Knowing the business solutions and keywords your customers are searching for will help create a robust ad word campaign
    • When businesses run into issues or problems that need to be fixed, they do exactly what everyone else does, they look to Google for a solution: 71 percent of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search.
    • Reviews and testimonials:
    • Nearly 96 percent of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. 

3. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: When your expertise is highlighted in published works, public presentations, awards and innovation, people can’t help but do business with you. Success begets success and establishing yourself and your team as thought leaders in your specialty creates an intangible quality of your brand that can’t be found elsewhere.

  1. VALUE: When people put value in your business, the price is secondary. For American Vein & Vascular Institute, the value to referral partners comes as an extension of their own office, accreditation, history of excellence, use of cutting-edge tools and therapies and acceptance of insurance, delivers value.
  1. BRANDING: Your brand is the perception of who you are, including your reputation and the product you represent. A great brand can often evoke an emotional reaction from loyal customers. Being consistent with your brand (using the same look, feel, colors, font, messaging, value statement, etc.) across all channels is paramount to building creditability.
  2. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION AND STAND OUT: Unless you own the patent on your product, you likely have marketplace competition. It’s a good thing! Competition raises the bar and creates excellence.
  3. HIRE A DEDICATED LIASON: This person represents your mission, vision and can do wonders for B2B business development. Our dedicated liaison keeps our brand and providers front of mind by routinely checking in, dropping off information, and updating the staff on developments and new technologies.
  4. ANALYZE: By tracking, compiling and analyzing data, you are best able to measure your effectiveness and penetration into your industry– and whether your marketing dollars are working.
  5. TEACH:  Last – giving back to your industry through teaching is always a surefire way to build your brand, message, establish yourself as a thought leader and help others achieve excellence. Teaching opportunities include trade shows, business networking events, college and community college courses.
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Erin Gibbs
Erin Reilly Gibbs is CEO, founder and owner of American Vein & Vascular Institute Practice Management . The company oversees American Vein & Vascular Institute — a network of vein and vascular clinics owned and founded by her husband, Dr. Gordon Gibbs.  The companies have more than 50 employees, operating in Pueblo, Parker, Canon City, Vail Valley, Littleton and Colorado Springs in Colorado and in Arlington, Texas. The management headquarters are located in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. Recently, Erin’s team was selected for ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 100 Women-Owned Companies and the entire organization was a 2014 winner for Colorado Companies to Watch. She can be reached at eringibbs@americanvein.com or 719.242.8650.

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