Marketing Department of One for Your Medical Practice? Been There, Done That!

Hi there medical marketers (aka business office manager, or person that wears all the hats)!  Whether your medical practice has a dedicated marketing professional or not, chances are you are drowning in a sea of work. I have been there! As a department of one working in a small, rural hospital and responsible for it all – website, social media (multiple channels), traditional marketing, digital marketing, events, public relations – I have been there. It can be overwhelming and certainly not enough hours in the day to do it all. And, you shouldn’t have to do it all!

Knowing When to Seek Expertise 

Given your experience in the medical field, you cannot be expected to know it all and be a specialist in all things marketing. Especially given the ever-changing world of digital marketing. Many hospitals and medical clinics/practices outsource their marketing/advertising to one agency or have an internal person handling it because it is a huge undertaking. I know because I utilized several firms to help me with video production and the delivery of that video (social media ads, pre-roll advertising, etc) as I didn’t have that skill set.

It’s important to take an inventory of what you can do, what you are knowledgeable about in the field of marketing and advertising and when to raise the white flag to ask for help. Trust me, I don’t like doing it either, but in order to be successful, we have to employ the help of experts. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all.

Overcoming Hesitation

So, you decided you need help but dread the thought of reaching out to advertising agencies? I get it! We don’t always have the best reputation. If you have been burned in the past, it’s understandable that you are hesitant to reach out. You may have gotten invoices that included so much technical jargon that you just paid it and didn’t really know what you were paying for! Or, you knew you didn’t need all the services provided, but the agency’s pitch was so good that you went for the whole enchilada of services and your eyes popped out of your head when you got the invoice. BEEN THERE!

7 Things I Have Learned

Take it from me, I have been on both sides of this scenario and learned A LOT through this experience. Here’s what I know:

  1. Time is precious; don’t waste mine. If I am open to meeting with you, do your research! Get to know my practice and bring me solid ideas and recommendations.
  2. Don’t pitch me services I don’t need. I wasn’t born yesterday. I can tell when you are pitching services that are going to put more money in your pocket and not do diddly for my medical practice.
  3. Come prepared and show me what is working and what is not. If I am putting all my eggs/advertising dollars in one basket, let me know and tell me why it is not working. Show me data to back it up and don’t just come at me with your theories. 
  4. Be honest. The last thing I need is someone to take up my time and not be truthful. If what I am doing in terms of social media and SEO is working, don’t tell me it’s not and try to sell me those services. Tell me where I am missing opportunities to connect with patients. Tell me where I can grow my practice and how I can see that the tactics are working.
  5. Keep the conversation going. Don’t just sell me, get the ads/services started and then radio silence. Keep me in the loop on how things are performing and what you are doing to tweak the campaigns. If you are a ‘set it and forget it’ style agency, then you are not for me. I want to know your not only being tactical with the creatives, the channels those are delivered on and the targeting, but that you are also monitoring to see how it is performing.
  6. Treat me like a human being. Be respectful and don’t talk over my head. Use REAL words and not lingo and ad jargon to impress me. Be real. Be transparent.
  7. Be in it for the long game. I don’t have time to meet with multiple reps or interview multiple agencies. I need a relationship that is not one-sided. I need to know that you care about my practice. That you will dream along with me on growth strategies and be in it to win it in the long term. I am done with one-off campaigns. I want to know I can trust you and that you have my best interests at heart. 

I could go on and on, but goodness knows you don’t have time for that. If you are nodding in agreement as you read this, then it might be time to reach out. I can tell you if our firm is a fit or not and I’ll be honest with you. I won’t waste your time.

Simplifying the Marketing Maze

This marketing deal is complicated. It seems like every day there is a new shiny digital platform or new social media channel that is going to deliver results. It’s hard to keep up and you shouldn’t have to. That’s why I worked with agencies in the past. I can’t be an expert in all areas of marketing and that’s ok. I know when I need help and working with one agency saves time and money vs. me trying to learn it all!

If ThriveFuel Marketing can help, let me know. You can book an appointment with me or engage with me on LinkedIn and if anything, know you have a safe place to vent! I’d love to help you as I’ve been in your shoes. Ready and willing when you are!

Emily Weatherly, Chief Business Development Officer
Connect with me on LinkedIn