Marketing is a powerful tool. I have a feeling many new and hopeful nurse practitioner entrepreneurs don’t believe me when I say that marketing should be the number one function of your business. What does this mean? It means it is THE most important part of your business. Yes, yes, yes… Patient care is the most important part of your clinical PRACTICE, but marketing is the most important part of your BUSINESS.
I want to illustrate an example of just how important marketing actually is with a new development that has happened in my personal entrepreneur “story.”
So, I have a new kid on the block in my city when it comes to medical cannabis evaluations. I was going to the grocery store and in the corner of my eye I saw a cannabis leaf on a billboard. I thought to myself “oh, another dispensary is advertising” but by god, it was an advertisement for another medical cannabis clinic. Damn it! I now have another competitor…
I immediately had my fiancé pull her phone out and search for this new competitor. Well, it looks like they have been around for 6 months. Interesting… I have never heard of them and I am deeply ingrained in the medical cannabis community in my area. Also, I haven’t slowed down, if anything I have gotten busier.
When we pulled into the grocery store parking lot, I grabbed her phone, which was met with an “excuse me?,” and I looked at this competitors website. I laughed, what garbage… It was not user friendly and frankly, it looked like dog feces.
I thought to myself “this medical cannabis clinic has been around for 6 months and I have never heard of it.” I frequent multiple dispensaries and see hundreds of medical cannabis patients a month and seeing that billboard was the only reason I knew about this place now… Do you know why I never heard of them before this? Because they are BAD at marketing.
Their website does not come up during Google searches for “medical cannabis evaluations” “medical cannabis clinic” “medical cannabis doctor” etc… Do you know why? Their website is poorly designed and not optimized correctly.
From my knowledge, they have not gone around to all the dispensaries in town handing out cards and building relationships with the staff either. This is free effective marketing. I do this frequently.
The only marketing that I could find they were doing was this ONE billboard in town. Will they get patients this way? Sure, but they are doing their business a great disservice because they are only utilizing one marketing avenue. This is a very rookie mistake when it comes to starting a business and way too many folks fall into this trap.
Do you know what the kicker is to all of this? This place charges SIGNIFICANTLY less than I charge. They have undercut me by almost 60%, it is actually kind of scary how cheap they are charging… I don’t see how they are making money… But have I noticed a decrease in my volume? NO! Like I said, I actually have been busier than ever. Do you know why?
Come on… take a guess… you know the answer.
Because I am better at marketing than they are!
I rank number one on Google searches. I have discount cards in multiple dispensaries. I hold promotional events. I have been established in the community for years now. These things are offsetting the cheaper prices from the competition. How? It comes down to human nature.
People do not like change and people are generally lazy.
I have seen thousands of patients and they will come back to me for their yearly renewals. Why would they not? They are comfortable with my practice and know that I am fast and convenient. Because I am so convenient, they will also refer their friends and family to me.
In addition, and most importantly out of all the factors, is that people search for “medical cannabis evaluations” in Google and I pop up first. They see that my prices are reasonable ($100 for a new patient evaluation) and are sold immediately from my website. They have no desire to shop around, remember, most people are lazy. So, they schedule the appointment and show up at my door. If they did a little more research, could they find this other cheaper competitor? I am sure they could, but they don’t want to work for a deal, THEY WANT THE DEAL TO BE PUT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE!
Let me say that one more time, THEY WANT THE DEAL TO BE PUT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE!
This is what a successful marketing campaign will do for you. It will put your brand, your practice, your services, and your sale in front of potential patients faces. You can charge more than the competition because people will find you easier. That is the power of having an effective marketing campaign.
So, if you are just getting started or already have a practice, you need to ensure you are doing at least 3 things:
- Optimizing your website so you rank number 1 on Google searches.
- Ensure your Google business listing is up to date and functioning correctly.
- Have at least 3 marketing avenues running at all times (social media ads, Google ads, billboards, radio ads, etc.)
If you do these things, you will be found MUCH easier than your competition, and in return, can charge more than your competition. Again, people are lazy and many don’t want to shop around, they will take the first offer presented to them! This is done through MARKETING!