Chances are, when you graduated from your healthcare education institution, you didn’t have a strong background in marketing. If you had to define internal marketing for healthcare practices could you do it? For most providers, the answer is no, yet internal marketing is critical to the success of a practice. If you’re among the majority in this case, take a deep breath. I’m going to give you an easy definition you can use when developing your marketing strategy.
Simply stated, internal marketing for healthcare practices is any activity or event done within the walls of your office to promote your practice. The most effective marketing strategies utilize a combination of internal and external marketing for practice success. (We’ll address external marketing in a subsequent blog, so stay tuned!)
What are some examples of internal marketing for healthcare practices? Effective and attractive business cards and brochures you give to patients…patient newsletters…happy employees…a movie and discussion night …a healthcare talk or series of healthcare talks…a community corner…patient testimonials…and so on. (Yes, it is possible for an item or activity to be used for internal and external marketing. Don’t get caught up in the labeling!)
When establishing your marketing calendar for the upcoming year, a good rule of thumb is to schedule one internal marketing event or activity each month. You may be tempted to schedule more than one, but be careful you don’t overwhelm or exhaust yourself. You can always add more activities and events to your calendar later if you find you have the energy and resources.
Once the events are scheduled, plan them carefully with an attention to detail. Modify your plans as needed, and debrief after the event is over. Discuss what went well, what could have gone better, and what to change for next time. I recommend having a system to organize all of your event information and materials. A 3-ring binder or a digital folder structure both work well. This way, the next time you host the same (or similar) event, you don’t have to start from scratch!
I’d love to hear from you! What types of events and activities does your practice do for internal marketing? Share your most creative and successful ideas in the comments section below!
For more information on building community connections, I encourage you to read my new book Community Connections! Relationship Marketing for Healthcare Professionals. If you want more valuable information about how to Connect with YOUR Community, you can find FREE healthcare practice marketing content, PowerPoint Presentation Jumpstart Kits, workbooks, blog articles, and my FREE “Practice Marketing Planner” Now!