Defining the perfect audience for your practice is one of the most important steps you can take before doing any type of marketing.
Let’s face it, your targeted audience is not EVERYONE who lives in a 7-mile radius of your practice. This is a common misconception many doctors make. Making blind assumptions about your prospective patients is dangerous. It’s costly and won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
Every practice is different in the level of services they offer, the expertise of the doctor and team, and, quite frankly, what the doctor loves to do and does well.
Therefore, it is important to identify who, specifically, is a fit for what you offer, or a small list of defined target patients. There are most likely several different targeted groups within each practice. As your practice and skill set evolves, so will your targeted audiences. It is an iterative process.
Here are some steps to outline YOUR target audience(s):
- The easiest way to way to narrow down your focus is to do some research into their demographic (where they live, age, sex, income, etc.) and psychographic (values, opinions, attitudes, interests, lifestyle, etc.) traits. The demographic explains WHO the buyer is. The psychographic explains WHY the buyer buys. You can easily attain demographic information but psychographic information maybe fastest understood by asking questions of your existing patients or perhaps using social media, as an example.
- Create a positioning statement to describe your target patient and how you would like your practice to be perceived in the market. Include information about the patient from Step One as well as what differentiates the services you offer and the benefits of the service. All of your marketing must then align with your positioning statement. In other words, if you are targeting older patients for dentures, getting involved in advertising opportunities with the elementary school is probably not a good way to reach your target audience.
- You need to be able to say NO. This is hard for a lot of people. In order to reach the “right” people, you need to be able to recognize and say no to the wrong people. I’m not saying you turn people away who are ready and willing to buy, but rather, that you are vigilant in where and when you are investing your marketing dollars. It’s OK to say no to opportunities that do not align.