Ten out of 10 doctors agree: Marketing a practice is essential to its success. In a 2011 survey of physicians conducted by The Roberts Group, 100 percent of respondents (26 total) answered yes to the following three questions:

  1. Today, in your opinion, is there a place in your practice for marketing?
  2. Do you find marketing your practice is a valuable activity or strategy?
  3. Do you feel comfortable with a hospital marketing your specialty, not necessarily you and your practice?

It is no secret that effectively marketing any business will increase its brand recognition, customer base and profitability; effectively marketing a medical practice will produce the same results. Physicians understand this, and their responses to other survey questions reveal a familiarity and comfort with the benefits a marketing group or affiliation with a larger healthcare organization can provide – especially in a crowded, competitive healthcare marketplace. According to their responses, physicians understand and appreciate the way marketing “helps draw patients,” “helps get business,” “get(s) the word out about the practice,” and “let(s) patients know what is available, our strengths.” It shouldn’t be surprising that physicians feel this way, since these benefits would be true for any business.

What this means for healthcare organizations and marketers is that physicians want to be involved in marketing their practices. They want to be partners in their marketing campaigns. Because they know the value of marketing, they are comfortable with being marketed in multiple ways: as a physician, as a practice or as a specialty provider. Further, their responses show they are comfortable with being marketed in different media in order to reach different populations: television, radio, print, outdoor – even so-called “emerging media,” such as a hospital’s website and social networks.

Or why not try a meet-and-greet at the practice with the physicians? Multiple respondents mentioned this as a possible marketing strategy that a hospital or marketing team could try.

In other words, we should treat physicians just as we would any other client, and their practices as any other business. We should avoid preconceived notions about what they will or will not accept in a marketing campaign, and we should not put any limits on our creativity in delivering the best campaign possible. To effectively market a practice, we should do our best to educate, entertain and engage the consumer, which in turn enhances the business’ bottom line. If we work as hard for them as they work for their patients, 10 out 10 doctors will thank us.

They want to be marketed. They get it. Do we?