Creating a Marketing Strategy for an Urgent Care
With over 9,000 urgent care clinics (UCCs) operating in the US and more than 300 opening every year, having a comprehensive marketing strategy is essential for the success of most UCCs. While there are many recommendations on how to effectively build a marketing plan for an urgent care facility, below are just a few suggestions that can help guide the overall strategy:
- What is the best way to reach your customer? Times have changed and patients are no longer using the Yellow Pages to find their healthcare provider. It is important to understand where your target market is searching for their information. Nearly 20% of all Google searches are health-related and almost 80% of Internet users seek medical information online. If you do not have a website or your patients cannot find you online, this should be one of your first priorities.
- Who is your target customer? Seventy-five percent of Urgent Care customers are women ages 28 to 42 and their children. Is this the market you are trying to reach? How are you doing so? Consider offering sports physicals and promote your urgent care’s ability to do complete physical exams and immunizations. Offer affordable school physicals throughout the summer and let parents know they can come early to beat the rush.
- How can you utilize your current patient base to continue to grow your business? Ask for referrals. Often word of mouth is the best way to increase your patient volume. Place a sign in the waiting room as a reminder that says you greatly appreciate patient referrals. Keep in touch with current patients through email and consider sending out a monthly newsletter or blog to provide them with new information about the practice and healthcare information.
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Do you have any unique service offerings? Is your clinic open later or on the weekends when others are not? Do you have special technology or equipment? Do you offer occupational medicine? Are your wait times typically less than your competitors? Make sure potential customers know what is special or unique about your clinic and why they should schedule an appointment.
- What is your online marketing strategy? Do you offer online appointment scheduling? Providing patients with the ability to schedule appointments online is convenient, decreases the influx of phone calls and reduces “no-shows”. Do you have an online web presence? Having a website that is organized, educational and easy to navigate can provide many benefits. Not only does a website serve as a resource to help make your patients aware of your clinic and services; it also helps to increase your marketability to new patients.
- Education- Keep your patients informed by sharing preventative healthcare information via email, blog, social media or a newsletter. Include monthly educational content such as preventative care information and tips on living healthy. This shows you’re invested in your patient’s health, and it provides another avenue for communication.
By incorporating these key factors into your overall marketing strategy, you will gain a better understanding of your target market which will allow you to reach your audience and gain new business.