Management Monday: Modern Day Branding

0602For those of us who learned about branding and marketing in the pre-digital age, the modern world can seem a scary place.

In the past, potential new patients would have behaved in a very predictable way. They would have heard about a practice through word of mouth, or through advertising or direct marketing. They would then have found out more, perhaps by visiting or phoning the practice, and would have talked through their needs and expectations with a member of staff. Once that personal relationship had been established, it was easy enough to convert them to a ‘sale’ – ie to sign them up as a patient – and draw them away from other practices they might have been considering.

However, these days, things are very different. Although traditional advertising and word of mouth may still play a large part in a patient’s choice of practice, there are numerous other ways their decision will be influenced. They may visit a practice’s website or look at its social media, perhaps find reviews of its services online – and it doesn’t stop there.

Even before they become a patient, people may choose to share their views of your work with others, either in person or online. From the way you answer the phone to the state of your reception area, nothing is off limits when it comes to people airing their opinions.

While one or two negative comments made on Twitter can be ignored if they are in a sea of positive opinions, as soon as the frequency begins to increase you are at risk of losing potential new patients to rival practices with a better online profile.

Unfortunately, once negative material is posted, there is little you can do about it. People are entitled to share their views and arguing with them will only make things worse.

This means it’s more important than ever to get things right from start to finish. Only by impressing every person you come into contact with – whether that’s in person, over the phone or online – can you be confident that your brand is being promoted in exactly the way you want.

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