Case Study: Developing a National Audience for a Urologist

December 3, 2011
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Dr. shep

Dr. shep

Recently, Dr. Schrepferman, a urologist at client Allied Urology in Louisville, came  to us, asking Vest Advertising to help him break out on his own, on the national stage.  He didn’t have a big budget. But, he wanted Vest to help him attract patients from all over the country for vasectomy reversal surgeries, as he is a nationally recognized leader in microsurgery with a near perfect success rate.  It was obvious to us immediately that he could not afford a traditional media approach.  So we outfitted him with some digital tools that revolutionized his practice for a very low investment.  Here’s what we did.

 1)  Rebranded him as “Dr. Shep.” With a name that’s nearly impossible to spell or pronounce, everyone called him Dr. Shep anyway. We used this to help make his name more memorable, and his image more accessible.

2)  Offered accessible pricing. Dr. Shep researched the pricing for vasectomy reversals with other physicians, pricing his competitively to the market.  So in addition to knowing that they were much more likely to have success with Dr. Shep, patients know that they aren’t overpaying for that expertise, either. This was especially important to the men who had one or many botched attempts at vasectomy reversals in the past.

3)  Set up a concierge service. When you have people coming in from out of town for outpatient surgery, they need to know they can rest and be taken care of before they are back out on the road again.  Dr. Shep’s office uses his practice administrator to be a concierge for these patients.  She helps them make travel arrangements, and has agreements with local hotels who give their patients great rates and special service.  We promote these services on their website.

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4)  Created a warm and authoritative website. Dr. Shep’s website is really the hub of his efforts.  We wanted to create an emphasis on the end result of the surgery, so we have featured lots of family stories and testimonials that describe the patients’ experiences in their words, complete with pictures of their new babies.  We also have a heavy emphasis on frequently asked questions, videos of the surgery in progress through a microscope, and podcasts of Dr. Shep answering common patient questions.  By the time a prospective patient leaves the website, they understand how the surgery works, why Dr. Shep is the best, and what they can expect if they have it done.

5)  Offered Free Skype Consultations. Obviously, you can’t do a patient exam on Skype.  However, Skype has become a key way that Dr. Shep can overcome objections for people who are wondering whether they really want to make the big trip for that initial appointment.  Every Saturday morning, he sets aside time so he can offer free, scheduled appointments with potential patients and their wives/significant others.  He talks the the couple about what to expect, reviews their medical records, and determines whether they would be a good candidate to move forward.  It helps the patients develop a rapport with Dr. Shep and his staff as well, allowing his outstanding bedside manner to shine.

6)  Search oriented online advertising. Dr. Shep may be talking to a national audience, but his target was in fact, quite narrow–just people who are actively searching for a surgeon to do vasectomy reversals.  So we purchased Google Advertising for the term “vasectomy reversal” and similar terms, setting a budget of a few hundred dollars monthly.  In addition, Dr. Shep purchased advertising on a national forum discussing vasectomy reversals and was one of its featured physicians.

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The results of this effort were tangible and immediate.  Within two weeks of the first Google Ad appearing, his surgical calendar was booked.  Once potential patients got into the inquiry chain, they had a very high rate of conversions.  Google, certainly, was the hook.  But the effort succeeded so well because Dr. Shep’s team delivers on their brand promise.  They are warm, responsive and authoritative, and transparent.

While we can’t disclose the exact dollar amount of the surgeries he has done since the campaign started, his surgical calendar remains fully booked, as are his Saturday Skype sessions.  This campaign is simple, targeted, and effective, even if it doesn’t include every social platform.  It’s something most highly skilled specialists could execute.  If you’re interested in knowing more, just message us!