Traditional advertising is particularly well suited to getting the word out about a wide variety of ancillary services, such as cosmetic and facial surgery, audiology services, allergy care and sleep therapies, said Reiboldt.
Explore this issue:September 2010
Otolaryngologists who devote the majority of their practice to cosmetic procedures can’t rely on patients referred from primary care physicians, so they will likely want to rely more heavily on overt advertising in broadcast or print media than traditional otolaryngologists would, Reiboldt said. “I still believe that traditional print advertising is worthwhile, particularly focusing on niche marketing to particular demographics, perhaps targeting your ad to a limited service region of a national lifestyle magazine,” he said. Direct mail brochures sent to targeted zip codes are also worth considering, he added.
Delivering an educational talk about sinusitis, for example, or ENT problems that affect the aging population at a church, community center or hospital, is another way to promote your practice, said Duane J. Taylor, MD, medical director of the Washington, D.C.- area Le Visage ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC. “Hospitals want to fulfill their community affairs mission, and they might even do all the marketing for the event at no charge,” Dr. Taylor said.
Some companies offer flat-screen TV platforms from which to offer customized, attractive messaging and visuals, such as educational presentations on allergies, hearing aids and snoring therapies, Glazer said. “You should, in every way you can, when you have a patient base that’s walking through your practice, indicate what other services you provide that these patients may not know about,” for the sinus patient whose mother has hearing issues, for instance, or the wife whose husband snores, Glazer said.
Otolaryngologists who find themselves listed on a “Top Docs” or “Best Doctors” list can certainly put that information on websites and post it in reception areas and exam rooms. Dr. Taylor was contacted by The Washingtonian Magazine, which surveys local physicians about what doctors they would send members of their families to in each of 39 medical specialties. He made the magazine’s “Top Doctors 2010” list and posted a banner and press release about it on his website.
It probably doesn’t matter which “Best of” list you’re on, because most patients don’t know the differences between them, said Jerry Mark, president of Philadelphia area-based LeadNation.com, an online marketing consulting firm for physicians. “But if you’re on such a list, you don’t keep it a secret. It couldn’t hurt buying a $200 plaque that announces it, for your patients to see,” Mark said.
A patient-friendly website has become a critical marketing tool for any physician practice. “Whatever we did in the past, we need to change in the new digital world and make investments in technologies,” Glazer said.