How Do You Untrain Physician Marketing Today? (Try Bloodletting)

By Posted in - Uncategorized on June 9th, 2015 0 Comments

Physicians and dental providers have been sold a formula that doesn’t work. And they act like it’s working. I’m talking about the snake oil they’ve been sold when it comes to marketing and branding themselves and their practice.

Medical practitioners, who were trained in the practice of bloodletting, never questioned if it worked. They were taught it worked so they assumed it worked.

We are facing a similar problem today in how medical practice providers view medicine, marketing, and branding.

For the past twenty years, marketing “experts,” best practice seminars, and practice managers have taught marketing principles that can be labeled flawed or anecdotal. They include:

  • Traditional broadcast media is “dead.” Digital media is where patients are spending their time and attention.
  • Patients want to have ongoing relationships with their medical provider (virtual + live on-demand).
  • Physicians don’t need to brand and market themselves, their perspective, and their practice.
  • Branding and marketing are the same thing.
  • Prospective patients are heavily influenced by medical practices that engage with their patients online.
  • Having a website, attempting to engage on social media with prospective patients, and conducting patient education seminars is a marketing strategy.

Typically, the people believing or selling the marketing principles mentioned above are in charge of the majority of medical practices today – and never before has an entire professional sector been taught an entire set of principles that is mostly anecdotes and lacking in a factual revealing. Are some healthcare providers succeeding by creating a memorable digital platform as a component of their overall marketing plan?  Yes, but typically they understand the marketing tool is not the strategy.

Bob Hoffman, author of The Ad Contrarian and Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New Jersey, is the poke a stick at the bear pundit. He’s okay being the contrarian, being unpopular, and exposing the evidence.

* He reports:

  • Consumer interaction with online advertising is essentially nonexistent. The average click rate of banner ads is 8 in 10,000.
  • Consumer engagement with Facebook posts is 7 in 10,000. With Twitter posts it is 3 in 10,000.
  • 96% of promotional videos is viewed on a television. 4% on line.

Physicians, dental providers, and other healthcare professionals are trained extensively in understanding data. Is it paradoxical for this professional group to be dismissive of the compelling data to demonstrate the fundamental fallacies of these marketing principles?

Traditional marketing professionals and the doctors they’ve led to believe they have found the anecdote for their patient marketing will dismiss those who question their “bloodletting” as ignorant heretics.


*Source Credit: Bob Hoffman, Marketers are From Mars, Consumers are From New Jersey