How to Track the Marketing Efforts of Your Medical Practice

How to Track the Marketing Efforts of Your Medical Practice

You put money and effort into marketing your medical practice, but do you know what works and what’s wasted? Which spending is the most effective in bringing in new patients? Marketing budgets can be tight so it’s imperative to understand the ROI of each campaign and move around resources accordingly.

Tracking Marketing Efforts Is Tricky

Tracking your practice’s marketing campaigns is a critical piece of the puzzle. These days, many surgical practices are running activities both online and offline. As such, tools that measure digital campaigns are not sufficient to evaluate the whole picture.

For example, it can be quite simple to connect a patient who booked their initial appointment online to a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign by using Google Analytics. But if someone found out about your practice through a radio ad, it’s more difficult to track.

online marketing phone, desk

Then again, the same patient who clicked on the PPC ad and booked their appointment online may have initially heard about you from their friends, then searched online for the practice and saw the ad.

Bottom line: tracking marketing activities is complex — even for professionals — and there can often be multiple touch-points and steps in your patient’s journey to your front door.

Straight From the Source

So how do you get real answers? A great answer may come from your patiets. This is why it’s critical to ask your patients how they found your practice. They may have been in the car during a radio ad or seen your PPC ad — and both of those may have kept your practice at the top of their mind — but they’ll tell you what they remember the most.

But how to ask? It has to be done in a way that makes it easy and painless for the patient to give over the information. Here are a few ways to ask the question.

surgical coordinator reviewing surgical data report

Creating a Prompt At Check-in

Set up a prompt for receptionists to ask new walk-ins how they heard about the clinic. This method requires the least work on the patient’s part so it might be a great way to start the initiative. See if patients are happy to give over this info at the beginning of their journey. 

Make sure there is an accurate log of this information. Admin may be excited to report that the new radio ad was well received by five patients, but ten patients saw your digital ad. Make sure you can remove bias when reporting.

Digital Check-in

If your practice uses iPads or other digital check-in devices, you can include, “How did you find us?” as a question on the screen. But don’t forget, you need to make it easy for the patient to respond.

This means you should not make it an open-ended question. Rather, make a list of all the possible channels they may have found you through:

  • Radio ad
  • Online ad
  • Online search
  • Word of mouth
  • A local publication

An “I don’t remember” option may be good to include. If most patients check this box, you might want to make your ads stand out a little better.

Most importantly, make it easy for patients to just tap the checkbox next to the appropriate item. The less work required, the more likely they are to answer the question.

Email Survey

surgeon happy with their Marketing Efforts

Send a follow-up survey via email to patients after their visit and ensure that the, “How did you find our practice?” question is on the list. Again, make it short and easy for the patient to complete.

Online surveys tend to be a less successful way to gauge patient satisfaction and obtain information about how they found you — simply because we are all inundated with surveys from all the different vendors we have touchpoints with. If you can catch the patient’s attention while they are still in your office, this is probably your best bet.

Measure Your Medical Practice’s Marketing Strategies

Once you have answers to these questions and accumulate enough data, you can calculate your Return on Investment (ROI) for each marketing channel. The official business calculation is the net return on marketing investments divided by the cost of that marketing.

One simple way is to assess how much money was spent on each channel, and then compare how many patients the channel brought in. A more elaborate ROI calculation would incorporate how much revenue each channel brought in vs the spend. Here are a few online calculators to help measure marketing efforts.

Use ROI Data to Make Informed Marketing Decisions

surgeon calculating the Marketing Efforts of their Medical Practice

If you see that no one is coming to the practice because of a printed ad you ran in a local publication, it may be worth testing a different ad size, design, or a different publication entirely. If next quarter’s ROI is still low or negative, it might not be worth running the ad again.

On the flip side, if you see large numbers come through because of a radio ad, then increasing the frequency and spending of radio ads should be on the cards. You could even experiment with different times or new radio stations.

Data from patients may also reveal certain trends. For instance, some channels may perform better during certain periods of the year (summer months or the holiday season), while other channels perform well year-round. Once you have a sizeable pool of data, you’ll know where to focus your efforts to provide the best ROI for your practice.

Bottom Line: Data is A Must-have For Surgical Practices

Continue or start to gather and assess your data. Spend some time building surveys and ways to collect data from your patients so you can make better-informed business decisions.

Related Posts