[Behind The Scenes Episode] Online Review Trends, Strategic Planning and Multiple Vendors, Oh My!Each week on Facebook Live, we offer a special peek “behind the scenes” before beginning our weekly strategic meeting. Listen in and be a part of the discussion in this special episode of the DrMarketingTips Podcast.

Tune in to hear a compilation of 5 of our most popular pre-meeting discussion topics including:

  • Why it’s essential to have a strategic plan sooner rather than later
  • New ways you can differentiate your practice from a competitor
  • Online review trends and how you can use software to find problem employees in your office
  • The right way and the wrong way to work with multiple marketing agencies and vendors
  • The value of getting all your physicians on the same page (and how to do it)

P.S. Check out our “behind the scenes” Facebook Live video every Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST on our Facebook page.

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Free Healthcare Awareness 2024 Calendar

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Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

Transcript Notes

Speaker 1: Dr. Marketing Tips, paging Dr. Marketing Tips. Dr. Marketing Tips, you’re needed in the marketing department.

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes, and sharing successes. Let’s get started.

Corey: Yeah, so we have a lot of clients that are right now focused on their strategic planning for this next year. In fact, yesterday I sat down with one of our clients, and we went through not only a roadmap of what to do for this next year, but also how to better position him and brand him within the community, because where he’s at, there’s a lot of other similar specialties coming in, so what he wants to do is make sure that he’s positioned as sort of the the luxury choice, but also still welcoming. So it’s kind of a fine line there on how to make him appeal to the right type of patient, and then what we can do to get there.

Corey: So that’s website, that’s social media, that’s any sort of collateral he’s handing out. It’s also even where he’s choosing to advertise. So that’s something to consider as well, not only what the ad says but where this ad is going and who ultimately is going to be looking at it. So if you’re in a small like clipper community type magazine, you know, and if you’re trying to reach a higher type of a higher household annual income, is that the right place to be? Yes or no? Can we reallocate some of these dollars?

Jennifer: I know the doctor that you’re talking about, and he’s in a very competitive space.

Corey: Yes, he is.

Jennifer: He’s an ophthalmologist, and he also has a medical spa associated with his practice. So, like a lot of up optometrists or ophthalmic… ophthalmic practices, I have a really tough time with that. God, I can never say it. But with a lot of them, they’re looking for those ancillaries, and so he started the med spa to offset the up ophthalmology side of the practice while he was getting that off the ground directly out of medical school.

Jennifer: Strategically speaking, the landscape has changed so much for him that it’s literally once a year we’re having to revisit, not so much how to build his ophthalmology practice, but more how to build his med spa practice. So you had that meeting with him?

Corey: Correct.

Jennifer: How many times a year do you meet with that physician?

Corey: Oh, at least twice a year.

Jennifer: Okay.

Corey: Yeah.

Jennifer: And is it always kind of the same thing when you’re there?

Corey: You know, it varies, but yeah, I would say at least one time per year we kind of have this discussion of “Well how can I get a higher return on my injectables, and what can we do? We know it’s a competitive space, we know that people are moving in, and how can we sort of maximize, not only the patients that we already have, but kind of reach new patients without breaking the bank??

Jennifer: Yeah, and I will say, along that space we’re having those conversations with other ophthalmology group practices. Optomic, too, where we’re talking about what kind of training can we put into place for employees where we can train them on the next lens up and how somebody that may not be accustomed to selling, how do you teach them some very sellable scales, whether it’s an iTech or somebody in there selling the lens, or even upselling on the med spa side. I think, strategically speaking, there’s a lot of things to be done.

Corey: Yeah, because a lot of times they’re coordinators, so they’re not salespeople, and they may look at a potential patient and say, “Well, they can’t afford this upgraded cataract lens. I’m not even gonna mention it to them.” But oftentimes, if you can just increase those conversion numbers, then you can really add a lot to the bottom line, and ultimately the patient will be happier with the choice that they make because they have the upgraded lens so they can see close, they can see far, they’re going to love you that much more for it.

Jennifer: Yeah, and within that realm of that kind of strategy, we’re having a lot of conversations about patient readiness and getting patients ready for those types of visits, especially when it’s a high-dollar visit.

Corey: Yeah.

Jennifer: We’re down here getting ready to visit with a client tomorrow. We’re going to have lunch with the client, and then we’ve been asked to come present to the partner physicians kind of a status quo of where we are from a marketing standpoint. We do this usually once a year with most of our clients on the larger practices where we will be asked to come talk to the doctors. Here’s where we are today, here’s where you want to be tomorrow, and we know it’s not even August yet, but we need to start thinking about the steps that we’re going to put into place third, fourth quarter so that, come January 2020 we’re here ready to hit the ground running.

Jennifer: It’s so valuable when you go meet with your vendors and you have conversations and you take an hour or so. I mean as much as none of us have time to find an extra hour or two to go talk to people, we had pretty extensive conversation about using online reviews to truly boost local search and to really get a leg up on it from a marketing perspective. They were able to share with us, “This is the vendor that we use for online online reputation management for monitoring reviews, responding to reviews, and sending out text alerts and email alerts asking for reviews.” The one thing that I really took from them is how they’ve been able to use reviews with small practices and seeing like a complete 360 degree change in a matter of weeks where somebody is showing up on page three, and then getting them to show up on page one.

Jennifer: I think kind of having that discussion of how they use those case studies to sell their product really kind of reinforced that what we’re doing is the right way to go about it. And then really some of those new kind of things that they were rolling out, like being able to contribute to the conversation. For one thing, we’re able to offer these sentiment analysis with some of our clients, so basically get a top level view of what’s trending on your online reviews. If you have 5,000 reviews and 20% of them are related to the front desk, it might say, “We might need to do some training or something for the front desk.” So I think it was nice to be able to contribute to that conversation so that the end product is more of something that we’re looking for and that our clients are looking for. What did you think, Danielle?

Danielle: Yeah, I mean we use this vendor every day, so we kind of have the going with the motions of what we use it, so taking that time today to kind of see the new offerings that they have and how we can apply it, and then they can get our perspective, because we’re with the physicians and office managers every day to kind of give them that perspective as well. So it’s like a mutual relationship where we can both benefit and learn from each other’s experiences to make the product even better for our clients. And then speaking of the sentiment analysis, I did kind of a manual one a couple weeks ago for one of our clients to kind of really deep dive and read every single one of their negative reviews to kind of get really the core of what the pain points were, so it’s interesting to see how the vendor is working on it to kind of get more granular with their sentiment analysis so they can kind of see the things that people are talking about the practices online.

Speaker 5: So, Jen, one thing that we did with the sentiment analysis, when Corey and I were down visiting this client, we had to do this big presentation to all of the doctors, and we were trying to get them on board with some of the training that we’re now offering, especially like the Patient Experience customer service training. So what we did is, we took a look at their competitors and their digital footprint online, and we ran it through our software so we could see how the competitors and the doctor reviews stood up apples to apples to the physicians that we work with. Then we went in and we looked at all of the several thousand reviews that the practice has, and we broke it down by alright, these negative reviews are about the front desk, these negatives are about doctors, these negatives are about billing. And then of that, we saw that 55% of the negative reviews were somehow related to the physician.

Speaker 5: Then we could dive into that a little bit more, and Danielle had it set up on a chart that said, it’s three physicians out of 12 that are impacting 55% of the negative reviews. And then the next one was front desk, and it was something related to, “I was on hold too long, the wait time was too long.” Things of that nature. So I think just visiting them with your vendors on a regular basis adds so much value, and sometimes you forget that you’ve got vendors out there and they’re experts in their areas.

Josh: Yeah. I think that was one of my takeaways and they said it, they’re like “We are a software provider, but you guys actually know what’s happening within the practices, so we can only do so much. That’s why that relationship is sort of mutually beneficial. Because we work on… We kind of straddle the line, you know. We’re outside consultants, but we are in the practices and involved with the consulting and the strategy enough or the strategic direction where we can say, “Well it makes sense to leverage the technology in you know, X, Y and Z ways, where the vendor would have never even thought of that because they just, they build it, and then they sort of release it to the wild. It’s up to us or whoever to sort of figure out what ways to best use that.

Josh: One of the things that we do to leverage their technology with the online review management is provide education to some of the staff folks and to the practices so we can identify where there’s some areas that are lacking and then provide education to help beef those up. They thought that was a great idea, because they don’t have anybody doing that. They never thought of that because all they do is look at a computer and build the technology. So I thought that was really interesting. And then another takeaway that I had was, from like a local search perspective, they’re rolling out essentially in a nutshell, a full like listing management sort of program. And you think about it on a pie chart between let’s call it like reviews, website, search engine optimization, organic content ads, all these other things, we can cover X amount of pieces. The reviews is another piece. So as we complete this whole puzzle, the practice benefits as a result. It was interesting just to hear that feedback that what we’re doing is the right thing to be doing.

Jennifer: Absolutely. So what’s one of the big things you’re working on this week?

Josh: We have a practice that we work with. They’re getting ready to do this giant seminar. They do two of these a year, and it’s a way to engage the athletic training and occupational therapy community around them. Each seminar, there’s about 600 or 700 people. Some of these are referral partners, some are potential referral partners, but either way they have typically some sort of relationship. Attendees get CEs for going to this event. That’s coming up in two weeks, so we’re in basically crunch time to get everything-

Jennifer: Week and a half.

Josh: Yeah, week and a half. So we’re in crunch time to get everything together. That’s emails, posters, day-of activities, there’s going to be a foundation that’s there that we have to have a whole bunch of coordination for. So that’s been my last couple of days is coordinating all of that. And you know…

Corey: Hey guys, Corey here, cohost of the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, and I wanted to interrupt this episode just for a minute to tell you about Insight Training Solutions. Insight Training Solutions is an ongoing employee engagement and training platform for your medical practice, meaning employees can log on and take these medical practice specific trainings whenever and wherever they are. Each training is meant to increase employee engagement, improve practice reputation, and develop some patient service mindsets. If we’re being honest, something that we all know some of the employees may lack, not calling anybody out by name, but one of the cool things about Insight Training Solutions is, they’re always developing new content, and they just released 10 Steps to a Phenomenal Patient Experience where you’ll learn how to create a phenomenal patient experience, strengthen job security, and discover customer service secrets for your entire team.

Corey: This course is in addition to the other ones they already have, which include Communication Across Generations and How to Understand Today’s Multi-generational Workforce and How to Develop Overall Patient Experience. This is another course, The New Approach to Customer Service. We’ve also got Eight Ways to Wow Patients. You can sign up for a free trial to see what everything is about at insighttrainingsolutions.io. That’s insighttrainingsolutions.io, or just Google Insight Training Solutions. You’ll be glad you did.

Jennifer: Let’s get started with Corey. You’ve been in meetings all day today. What’s been going on?

Corey: Yeah, so I had a meeting with one of our clients. It is kind of a unique relationship. He works with us, and he also works with another agency that handles a portion of his digital strategy, specifically the website, some of the email communications, a couple other things here and there, some social. We were talking about how best to sort of work together and be collaborative. The reason I wanted to bring that up was, I think it’s okay to absolutely work with other agencies, especially if you find that some have particular areas of strengths compared to other ones. So if you want to sort of divvy up your marketing pie, if you will. But the thing to remember is that ultimately the success sort of falls back on that client in that case, because sort of how I explained it to him was that he’s getting a new website through this other agency and it’s like, it’s a new car, it is new paint job, new engine, new transmission, but there’s nobody driving it.

Corey: So they’re going to deliver this thing, which is great. It looks good, it’s going to do what we want it to do, as long as someone’s paying attention and behind the wheel. As we started to talk about those things and unpack it, we realized that some of the email campaigns and things that they do, if they haven’t been updated… I mean, the content’s updated, but the look and the way that they do it and the lists and everything, it hasn’t been updated in years. Again, there’s just nobody with sort of their finger on the pulse. There’s no one driving. They’re just sort of checking off the boxes and saying “We are supposed to deliver X, Y and Z to this client who’s on the other side of the country from us.” So that’s what’s happening, whereas we are local, so the discussion we were having was, “How can we best leverage their talents and their tools to work with our stuff, knowing what we want to accomplish and then we can actually like put a driver behind the wheel and this thing and then go.”

Jennifer: I don’t think it’s that unheard of to have multiple agencies or crossover when it comes to accountability and responsibilities.

Corey: No.

Jennifer: I mean, we’ve got a doctor that has a book coming out this year that we’re working on a project for that, and we work hand in hand with his PR firm. There is totally some crossover. We have a large ophthalmology group who has another company that they use for little things related to videos, and some of that’s crossover. So I think from a practice standpoint… So Danielle, Corey and I kind of knew that we saw the writing on the wall with this new website that was coming onboard. We thought this might be a good opportunity to nip some of those concerns that we have in the buds because we’ve been working with them for a couple of years.

Corey: Couple years, yeah.

Jennifer: So that’s why Corey went to that meeting. I just think that the most important takeaway there is that you have to, if you’re going to have multiple agencies, you need to make sure that they’re all on the same page and that they know what the expectations are and that there’s somebody in charge. So somebody needs to be driving the car. And that you need to lay out those expectations and you want them to work together to make you stronger. Don’t keep them isolated. You know, they’re all part of the family.

Danielle: Yeah.

Corey: Right. It’s got to be collaborative, and you also have to, I think it’s important to either you, as a practice, or someone within your organization or even at one of the agencies if you really trust them, to sort of set benchmarks and measureables of everything. So that way, if there’s one agency that’s doing email and one’s doing websites or whatever, you know that I have this list and it says we’re supposed to see 5% growth over emails. If you’re just sending them out and no one’s paying attention, well then we have this piece of accountability that we can fall back on. It’s in writing, this is what you’re supposed to deliver. That way you as a client wind up with the best possible marketing.

Jennifer: Absolutely. What were you going to say, Danielle?

Danielle: I was going to say, I think for this client in particular, for a while we didn’t really fully understand what the other agency was doing, so it’s like, “Well I think we’re supposed to be doing this, and I think Aetna’s doing that so we don’t need to worry about that.” And so for awhile there was like that back and forth of like, “I think they’re handling that so we don’t have to worry about it.” And then it’s like, “Oh crap, nobody was handling that.”

Corey: Great point.

Danielle: And so we’ve tried within the last few months to set a standing call with this other agency so it can be on the same sand page, like “What are you working on this quarter? What are your goals this quarter? What are we working on?”

Jennifer: Yes. We’re all part of the same team.

Danielle: Yeah. The ultimate goal-

Jennifer: Working in the same direction.

Danielle: -is to allow the client to be successful, not to be, you know, tit for tat pissing match. It’s fine to be successful.

Jennifer: I think that’s great.

Danielle: We want the client to be successful.

Corey: Yeah, absolutely. I mean there’s enough business, obviously, for thousands of agencies, so let’s work together and remember that we’re supposed to be helping the client.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jennifer: Absolutely. What did you learn this week, Danielle?

Danielle: Switching gears, last night when I was scrolling through LinkedIn, I saw this headline that said that resumes are starting to look like Instagram posts.

Jennifer: I saw this.

Danielle: Or Instagram profiles. And so this is kind of becoming popular with Gen Z, so even younger than the Millennials, I know Millennials get a bad rep.

Jennifer: They’re turning 40 this year, so they’re not that young anymore.

Danielle: Exactly, thank you. So it’s Gen Z, you know, early 20s that are entering the workforce that are putting photos and graphics, and this thing even mentioned that a few had bit mojis on their resumes.

Jennifer: I love it. Because a lot of these marketing programs that get put into place for your marketing folks too, they don’t happen overnight. It’s not something that you want to wait until November 15th to do, because it takes a huge ramp up to get ready for January 1. So I think it’s important to start those conversations now, so we’re down here for this client about three hours, two and a half hours, from our home base in Central Florida. Down here tomorrow night, we’ll be in front of about 12-15 doctors and kind of hearing from them and us sharing best practices with them, and then from there we’ll jump off and have that conversation about strategy. Part of what we’re going to present to them tomorrow night is to bring in a third party to come in and do a deep dive with the physicians and with the partners on really doing a strategic planning session with their main team of physicians, and then also coming in and doing some of our asks with why, start with why sessions, with their management team so that we can really get a baseline for 2020 moving forward.

Corey: Yeah, and I’m sure it’s this way in a lot of practices where… I know it is for the folks that we work with, there’s some of the younger physicians and they want to go in one direction. Some of the older guys want to go in another direction. There’s always somebody that just doesn’t care, that thinks marketing is stupid, just it doesn’t matter what direction we go, it’s a waste of money. So like what you were talking about with the planning session, I think that’s a great way to go about it because it really does take all of these different conversations.

Corey: You have to talk about it four, five, six, seven times to get everyone on the same page and kind of get the ship sort of steered in the right direction, because there are so many ways to spend money and there are so many ways that you can see a return or not see a return, so it makes sense to have this sort of strategic discussion to again, make sure everyone’s on the same page and that we’re all agreed. Everyone has heard the plan, even when they say that they didn’t. Everyone’s heard the plan. We’re on board with the plan. We know what the spend is, and we know what the expectations are. That way we can all be held accountable and everyone ultimately will be happier once the plan is executed.

Jennifer: Yeah. I feel like I’m having more and more of these conversations every single day.

Corey: It does seem that way.

Jennifer: You know, I had one, a practice administrator called me yesterday. They’re going into the medical marijuana area. They’re going to be prescribing for medical marijuana, so we’re talking about how do we get the doctor listed on the front page of Google, how do we update the website to get it ready, and what’s the strategy for that moving forward? I’m having a lot of those conversations as medical marijuana comes into play. Even what we’re doing right now, we’re going to spend…

Jennifer: We spent today, we’re going to spend probably about four or five hours tomorrow, and then we’ll do a followup on Friday where we wrap in all the different elements of what we do on a regular basis and what we need to do between now and the end of the year to make sure we’re on target for our plan, and then getting the framework laid out for our December planning session where we bring everybody to the same page and get us all in the same room and really dive into what we’re going to do, not only for our company but also for our clients, because there’s so many more tools and different things that are going on, different dynamics that are changing the marketplace. How are we going to tackle that in 2020? So I think this is a good time to talk about strategic planning.

Corey: Yeah. And like you said, in December we kind of bring everyone on our team onboard. The reason that we do that is because we found that when everyone knows what the plan is and they feel like they’re a part of it, and at least they’re a part of that discussion so they can hear it, they’re a little bit more invested in what’s actually happening.

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Corey: So they’re not just saying, “Oh, well, you know, my task list is a mile long.” They actually know sort of why these things are happening and if there’s a new policy put into place or a shift in something that happens day to day, they can go back to that or they can ask the question and go, “Oh, does that relate to what we talked about?” And the answer is yeah.

Jennifer: That’s right.

Corey: And then we can dialogue from there. I think that’s been really beneficial.

Jennifer: Absolutely. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you need to pop over to insightmg.com/plan to find out about our strategic planning and what we might be able to do for your practice, and also go over there and grab a copy of our 2020 strategic planning template that you can take, print off, and go through a strategic planning session for you and for your practice.

Jennifer: Well you just said it was 2019. I can’t believe next week’s going to be 2020.

Corey: It feels like it.

Danielle: It’s four months, in four months.

Jennifer: Yep. Pretty much. So I think that, you know what it was telling us is that times are moving very fast. We’re absorbing information very quickly and you constantly, especially the two examples that you guys gave, really have to start thinking outside the box when it comes to social media, especially as the data police and the privacy police are going to start clamping down, which means the algorithms are going to change. Organic’s going to get more and more valuable and harder and harder to get, and everybody strategically is going to be changing in 2020. So I think it’s good to start thinking now about what the plan is going to be in 2020.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the DrMarketingTips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out drmarketingtips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links, and goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.

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