Thanks for joining us for another episode of All Things Business for Physicians. Today’s featured guest is Chris Davis, a former engineer and now director of education at the software company Active Campaign, which specializes in marketing automation. Listen to Chris talk about:
- How marketing automation improves the physician/patient relationship and saves you time and money (check out HIPs Patient Acquisition & Retention Framework™)
- What exactly is marketing automation and how to implement it in your business
- How to personalize (and intelligently use) marketing automation
- What “new school” marketing offers which “old school” marketing can’t
- What is Active Campaign’s “CRM” and how it can benefit your practice
- Chris’s best advice to doctors and practice managers who are struggling to implement high-quality marketing strategies
Check out our highlights from the episode:
- Chris rightly points out that when a patient comes to any given clinic or office, he’s not going to be dealing with only the physician—and this is where automation of the marketing process can really help. “The biggest thing marketing automation helps is keeping everyone [in your company] in sync with that patient’s experience.” By making relevant data more easily accessible to the need-to-know members of your team, you can streamline patient interactions and present your entire staff in a more professional and cohesive light (the crux of Active Campaign’s so-called “CRM”).
- He also points to the potential issues presented by the WebMD corners of the internet—in that your patients’ well-intentioned (if not anxiety-driven) search for answers may conflict with your own clinical guidance and patient education. And insofar as websites like WebMD are employing marketing strategies themselves (e.g., collecting and then selling email addresses to other local doctors), doing whatever you can to vet your own accessibility and authority can optimize patient outcomes.
- Regarding criticisms that making marketing automatic can take away the personal touch patients love: “Anybody at any time can become a lazy marketer.” How does Chris define “lazy” in this case? “Not putting the extra five minutes in to personalize what you’re doing,” which he says can make the difference between a good and a great interaction with your company. His key example: Use the patient’s information you collect in your communication (e.g. birth date, last appointment visit, etc.) instead of asking for it again and again.
- His simplified answer for how automating your marketing saves time? Effectively, you’re helping people avoid the “repetitive but necessary.” It’s also worth mentioning that using high-quality marketing software like Active Campaign can even save you money by giving you access to technology which can perform important functions for you without having to hire extra staffers to do it.
- Chris says: “If you’ve been operating your business for at least three to five years and you’ve got no marketing automation in place, you’re at the perfect place for it.” Why? Because you’re probably pretty in tune with the processes of your company already, and as such can more readily identify where you should automate (that is, pain points in your daily operations).
- While traditional marketing channels (like radio and newspaper ads) can and do have their merit in today’s world, Chris notes that digital marketing offers at least one valuable benefit which “old school” marketing just can’t provide: tracking. Through automation, you can learn everything from what pages on your website your patients visit to which emails they open (and which ones they disregard). “You get so much more visibility into the actions of people” and can delineate between what’s working and what’s not in your business—even if that information can be a tough pill to swallow.
- “You’re using technology to make humans feel human.” Chris offers this insightful advice and recommends physicians reflect on what types of experiences make them feel like valued customers and then do what they can to emulate those same elements to their own business.
Resources from the show: