3 Must See Effective Physician Referral Marketing Examples
Strip away the technology, Big Data, and social media virtuosity, and every successful health system owes its continuing growth to relationship building: physician referrals are invariably a key driver of patient volume. Today marketers are rethinking physician referral marketing campaigns and incorporating a mix of digital and “person-to-person” strategy to achieve impressive results.
Physicians are not only your healthcare provider’s greatest ally, but they’re also one of your most important sources of consumer insights. Gaining a glimpse of what your referring providers see in their practices—regarding demographic shifts, payer mix, and trends in medical requirements—allows you to optimize your first party data to create better-targeted campaigns.
Developing the kind of deep relationships with healthcare providers that create a high level of meaningful communication means building campaigns which focus on long-term value beyond simple referral exchanges.
That requires marketers to reimagine physician referrals as consumer-vendor interactions. What exceptional value is your health care system offering in return for engagement, even before winning a referral? Is brand messaging to physicians just as clear as that in campaigns targeting consumers? For your health system to stand out in an increasingly competitive market your campaign will have to address the hierarchy of needs which drives physician referral choices—just as consistently as you do those of your consumer audience.
Here are a few examples of successful strategies:
1. Back to Basics: “Door-to-Door” Still Works
A healthcare service near Dallas achieved 90% referral rates based on a strategy which invited other physicians to walk through a simulation of the service’s patient care process in person during a private guided tour.
Like consumers, referring physicians value transparency when considering a health system. It’s their reputation on the line along with yours, so take every opportunity to pull back the curtain on how your brand’s values translate into service standards.
2. Give to Get: Quality Content Builds Referrals
A dental practice in Westchester County, NY created a series of educational content (podcasts, ebooks, and print materials) for area doctors and earned extra $1 million in annual referrals from the participating group.
Recognize your potential referrer’s need to continually improve customer service, and step in as a partner at every opportunity, be it with free educational tools or offers to give privileged access to hospital programming for their patients. Making it easier for your targeted provider to shine is a “friend” thing, and will help build a solid relationship.
3. Storytelling 101: Showcase Innovations to Grow Referrals
A large hospital system in Kansas City successfully grew their referral base by promoting their use of specific time-saving diagnostic technologies as part of an “innovation news” newsletter distributed to other healthcare organizations. Marketers used the “calling card” of new, relevant information on technology to attract potential referrers and turn them into brand ambassadors as they shared news across their social networks.
The Bottom Line
Offer a window into your health system’s ecosystem and illustrate how your strengths—customer service efficiency, modern care facilities and diagnostic assets– can now become an extension of their practice.
While the industry landscape has changed, your mandate to develop meaningful referral relationships within the medical community hasn’t. Let us work with you to find the right strategic partners to grow your brand. Connect with us to book a free consultation to discuss your goals. We’re here to help!