In your business research you would have been introduced to the concepts of internal and external marketing – but how are they different, how do you do them and which is better?
External marketing is the action of promoting your business and its services. It’s about getting people through the door and reaching as many people as possible who may be interested in employing your services. This type of marketing is most commonly undertaken with TV & radio ads, flyers & brochures, social media and search engine advertising.
Tips to help with your external marketing
- A comprehensive practice management system will give you the ability to collate the ways your clients heard about you. Whether this is a referring doctor, word of mouth, or social media ad, you will be able to see your most and least effective marketing methods – and allocate your marketing budget accordingly.
- Your practice management system should integrate with an Email Marketing platform for effortless distribution of bulk and marketing emails.If you want to communicate to your clients that you’ve moved to a new location or if you’d like to send out discount codes and promotional offers, an integration with Email Marketing software is a simple way to communicate directly with your client base.
- A practice management system should allow for online booking functionality not only on your website, but also in your email signature, and your Facebook page.By providing an accessible, easy process to schedule an appointment you’re encouraging your clients to take advantage of a convenient online booking system, and subtly reminding them to make an appointment each time they see a “Book Online” button.
- Implementing a loyalty program will also allow you to identify your target market and strengthen your word-of-mouth, referrals and personal recommendations.
Internal marketing is a very different concept. Rather than trying to inform people that your business exists, it’s about creating a culture within the team to establish a healthy environment and instill the company’s values in its team members.
Tips to help with your internal marketing
- Identify your practice values. When your values are clearly defined and communicated to your team, then you can use your vision and values as a selling point to your customers.Think about it – what sets you apart from your competitors?
If you’re all offering similar services, you will need to be more than just a skilled allied health provider to establish yourself in a crowded market. You’re not selling just a service, you’re selling a community.
- Creating a strong, supported team culture is the backbone of internal marketing. If your staff feel as though their workplace is supportive and harmonious, with values clearly defined, then you can attract staff members who share your vision and a common goal.When you lead your team with humanity and empathy, you can expect the same treatment from your staff to their colleagues and clients.
- Train your staff to use your practice management system properly! Any good software package for allied health professionals will offer a comprehensive knowledge base of ‘how-to’ articles, and will also offer webinar-based training.This is so all users, new and experienced, have the opportunity to learn your practice management system directly from the team that created the program, or refresh their existing knowledge of your practice management system.
An educated team is an empowered team, so make sure your staff are confident using your practice management system so they can concentrate on treating their clients to the best of their ability.
- Share your provider statistics with your providers. If your practice management system has a comprehensive reporting system, then you will be able to access your provider’s performance including their number of new clients treated, their client visit averages and case visit averages.By sharing these statistics with your providers, you are able to reward excellent work and offer assistance to improve their results, so that your staff feel acknowledged and supported by the management team.
Your practice management software should offer comprehensive tools that can be used for both internal and external marketing. A practice management system’s aim is to give you the tools to run and market your practice efficiently.