Health Care Service Providers – including Doctors, Dentists, Hospitals, Clinics, and Urgent Care Centers – can face some major challenges when it comes to marketing their services, which we hope to illustrate using an example of a neighborhood Urgent Care Center.
It's 10:00 pm and Fred Smith needs a doctor, but office hours aren't for another 10 hours. Meanwhile, Doctor's X and Y run an Urgent Care Center 5 blocks from Fred. They are open until midnight, will take his insurance and have few people in the waiting room. However, since Doctor's X & Y only use word of mouth to attract patients, Fred had no idea their Urgent Care exists and drives to the local ER instead.
To grow their practice, Doctors X and Y realize that to treat more patients, they must start treating their practice like any other business. That means:
- That like any other business, their Urgent Care Center (actually all health care centers) must advertise to succeed.
- But, unlike other businesses that can run an ad and get instantaneous results, health care providers may go for weeks or months before their services are needed. Their success will depend on finding the right type of advertising that will keep them front and center until patients need them.
Or, as Doctor X asks, "Is there a way to advertise within our neighborhood so whatever we do (print, mail, etc.) our efforts will continue to reward us with prospective patients’ weeks, months or even years after seeing our ad?"