Understanding Marketing Terms Used in Health Care Marketing

Whether you are attempting to do your own marketing, or you have hired a professional to work with you, the terminology will most likely be new to you.  The more you understand the terms used, the better you will be able to devise your own strategies.Unique “Selling”/Servicing Proposition
This is a term used since the 1940s to describe a concept in which a marketing campaign promised a specific thing. It refers to the uniqueness of a product or service that the competition cannot or does not offer.  The promise is so strong that it can draw customers away from other brands to that one. Successful medical marketing campaigns are built on unique “selling” propositions -or as applied to healthcare- unique servicing propositions that distinguish them from their competitors.  Look at your medical practice and determine what things make you different from your competitors.  For example, if you offer state-of-the art technology, not offered by your competitors, consider building your unique servicing proposition around that factor. Your unique servicing proposition should be the number one reason that a patient should choose you over any other heathcare provider.Return On Investment (ROI)
The success of your activities should be based on several factors, one of which should be your return on investment. When measuring your return on investment, look at the amount of money one of your marketing vehicles generated versus the amount you invested in it. If you do not breakeven based on your ROI, then you should reconsider whether or not to reinvest in that specific activity.Target Market
Your target market is simply your prospective patients. It’s the segment o the population that you want to attract to your medical practice. Knowledge of your target market is essential to developing effective strategies. Being aware of who you are targeting for your practice will help you spend advertising dollars wisely and most fruitfully. Your target market is made of several factors including the location of people that live in a certain area, the age, gender, and income of those people, and they type of service those people may want or need. Ignoring this important aspect of developing a health care marketing plan will negatively affect the outcome of your strategies.Pay-Per-Click
In today’s society, the Internet cannot be ignored as an integral part of your medical practice’s marketing strategies. The pay-per-click model is one example of Internet advertising.  This term refers to companies putting ads on websites but only paying if their ad is clicked on.  This model can work for your practice provided you manage your online campaign wisely. Customer Relationship Management
This is a marketing tool that refers to the management of patients in such a way as to track information about them and their interactions with the company. Collected data is used to attract new patients and to keep tight bonds with existing ones. This information can be analyzed and used to plan targeted marketing activities as you move towards achieving your goals.Qualified Lead
Once you’ve established your target market, qualified leads are people who are part of that market and have expressed an interest in your service.    After setting your goals-including determining your target market-the methods you use to carry out your strategy will more than likely bring you qualified leads. These may come through interested word-of-mouth referrals, from advertising efforts, or the Internet.  However they come, you need to have a plan in place with how to deal with these leads so that they don’t slip through your fingers.Whether you employ all, some, or none of the terms identified here, being aware of their definitions and uses is essential. By understanding what these terms mean and how they affect your marketing efforts, you can make informed decisions about the strategies you implement in your practice.