How to Market to Doctors: 7 Tips For Healthcare Consultants

How to Market to Doctors: 7 Tips For Healthcare Consultants

Doctors are one of the most challenging demographics to reach. Here’s how healthcare consultants can market to them.

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According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there are more than 600,000 practicing physicians in the United States. Functioning as both care providers and entrepreneurs, each of them plays a role in directing the nation’s $3.65 trillion annual spending on healthcare. But doctors aren’t alone. To succeed at their jobs and in the marketplace, doctors enlist the help of skilled legal, accounting, bankers, compliance and IT consultants in a $50 billion and growing market.

How do you ensure they pick you?

Learning how to market to doctors successfully is one of the biggest challenges consultants face in their businesses. Doctors aren’t just sought out by competing firms—they’re also heavily targeted by luxury brands. The 2020 Medscape Physician Compensation Report revealed that on average, primary care physicians earn $243,000, while specialists’ salaries are closer to $346,000. Since physicians are among the top 1 percent of earners in the United States, many brands and businesses are trying to compete for their funds through targeted campaigns.

How to Market to Doctors: Understand Who They Are

With more than half a million doctors in the marketplace, it can be difficult to make broad generalizations about their backgrounds or values. However, we can glean a number of traits based on the demands of their profession.

  • Highly educated. Including undergraduate, medical school, and their residencies, it takes an average of 10 to 14 years to become a fully licensed, practicing physician
  • Constantly learning. Education doesn’t stop when they graduate med school. Scientific developments and drug approvals are constantly updating accepted patient care protocols, and doctors are expected to follow the latest guidelines. 
  • Decisive. Every day, doctors assess information and make decisions that will determine if their patients live or die. 
  • Organized. To effectively do their jobs, doctors must ingest an incredible amount of information and apply it in actionable ways for the good of their patients. 

Given these insights, one way to learn how to market to doctors is to understand how you can add value to their lives. You can do this in a number of ways, such as providing knowledge they need to succeed and clarifying how your expertise can help them more than any of your competitors. Fortunately, you can use a number of tried and true strategies to stand out from the crowd and connect with the doctors who most need your services.

7 Tips on How to Market to Doctors

Creating an effective marketing strategy is more complicated than coming up with great branding or sending out compelling emails—it’s about creating a process that unites your brand and service offerings into something that meets your customer’s needs. Here are seven tips to create a winning marketing strategy that attracts doctors.

1. Define Your Niche

Even the biggest companies in the world don’t try to serve anything and everyone. To a large degree, every successful company focuses on a niche audience. For instance, health lawyers can practice in a narrow niche by focusing their practice only in healthcare legal issues faced by private insurance companies or in a broad manner by providing general healthcare regulatory advice to small to mid-sized practices.

2. Understand What Your Niche Needs

Once you’ve defined your niche, explore what this audience needs. Then, craft all your messaging and strategies around proving you’re the best consultant for them. The needs of a doctor contracted by a large health maintenance organization may be different from those of a solo practitioner working in a suburban area.

Understand the nuances of the niche you’re working with to figure out how you can help them better than anyone else.

3. Know What You Offer

There’s much more to the work you do than the list of services on your website. It’s important to consider how you work as well. For example, some law firms streamline routine services so they can process a large number of clients without any hassle. This approach is ideal for clients who don’t need a lot of hand holding. But for some attorneys, working this way can feel like being on an assembly line, so they prefer to take a more in-depth, customized approach with each client. However you operate, you should promote the advantages of your method in your marketing messaging.

4. Be Easy to Find

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the foundation of almost every digital marketing strategy. It’s the process of creating valuable online content that ranks high in organic, non-promoted searches. Most of the top performing online content is created by businesses leveraging the internet to sell their services. That’s why much of the work of any digital marketing campaign goes into improving SEO. Learn how to do this here.

5. Meet the Staff

Even solo practitioners don’t work alone. Every doctor has at least one receptionist or office manager in charge of maintaining their schedule, as well as nurses and billing specialists. Getting to know these team members can play a role in whether or not a doctor hires you. Consider emailing these employees directly, or take a note from the pharmaceutical rep playbook and bring lunch to the office as a way to introduce yourself.

This type of networking has been a challenge during COVID-19, but it’s still possible to engage from afar. Consider having lunch delivered to a potential client’s office with a note introducing yourself, or schedule a Zoom meeting over a meal paid for by your firm.

6. Network at Conventions and Industry Events

One of the best ways to meet doctors is still at healthcare trade shows and conventions. In a virtual-first world, making in-person connections can be a breath of fresh air and make a bigger impact than any of your online marketing efforts.

Take advantage of these opportunities to connect deeply with potential customers and learn about what they need. Get their contact information so you can follow up with them later, and stay in touch with them through your newsletter or on social media.

A growing trend during the pandemic is for consultants to record individualized video greetings, complete with the target lead’s name and company. Many marketers and salespeople are finding success with this kind of outreach on LinkedIn.

7. Become an Educator

Doctors don’t stop learning once they graduate and begin practicing. When it comes to how to market to doctors, one of the best ways is to provide valuable educational content. As a consultant, you won’t necessarily help them care for their patients. However, as business owners, many need insight from accountants about how to manage accounts and avoid unnecessary taxes, advice from compliance and IT specialists about how to set up telemedicine appointments, and strategy input from negotiation specialists about how to get better reimbursement rates from insurance providers.

Let your expertise shine in valuable content on social media, newsletters, blog posts, videos, and even online webinars. Your leads will appreciate it and remember how helpful you’ve been when they need to hire someone with your skillset.

How to Market to Doctors: Let the Right Doctors Come to You

Despite the efforts any kind of marketing requires, your ROI is never assured. A better and more cost-effective strategy is to let doctors come to you.

Perla is a first-of-its-kind quality lead generating platform that matches healthcare businesses to the consultants they need. Healthcare provider users such as physicians are fully vetted as members of trusted trade associations or organizations. On the consultant side, the on-demand service allows healthcare industry advisors like you to create detailed profiles about your expertise for free, without a monthly subscription fee.

From there, users can search for experts offering the services in the niches they need. Advisors only pay for profile views and contact requests from users actively looking to hire experts like them. Advisors control their budget for leads similar to pay-per-click advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Ultimately, leads are better qualified than those from any outbound marketing campaign—and at a fraction of the cost.

Become a Perla Advisor today to take the pressure off your digital marketing strategy.

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