There are two important strategies to follow when marketing your healthcare practice — inside-out and outside-in. While there are constant debates about which approach is better, truth is that you need a blend of both to make your practice stand out.
But where should you begin?
Start from the inside-out
Inside-out marketing is about playing to your organization’s strengths. It leverages your internal resources such as staff, processes, environment, and infrastructure in order to deliver your organization’s unique purpose.
For the inside-out approach to work, your organization’s purpose or mission should be clearly defined, easily understood, and realistically achievable.
Here’s a useful tool developed by the renowned author Simon Sinek to help organizations define their mission. He explains how organizations like Apple communicate their mission. They start by talking about the purpose of their existence — their why, and then talk about how they’re working toward that purpose and what products or services are a result of that purpose.
Everyone who is a part of your organization needs to embody your mission, so that every interaction, every decision, every solution is aligned with it.
Why inside-out matters in healthcare
Playing to your strengths puts your practice in a position of authority and authenticity. It makes your “why” more compelling.
Having a team that believes in your organization’s purpose creates a sense of motivation and zeal among your staff.
When your staff feel deeply connected with what they do, they go the extra mile to be better at it. They’re more likely to bring their ideas to the table, experiment with new ways of working, and collaborate on finding solutions.
While the obvious outcome is greater work efficiency, the key outcome is improved patient care. This translates into better satisfaction scores and positive reviews for your practice which ultimately results in increased revenue.
Applying the inside-out strategy
1) Know your “why”: As Simon Sinek explains in his concept of the Golden Circle, 100% of organizations know their “what”, some know their “how”, but only very few know their “why”. An easy way to find out whether you know your why is articulating it.
2) Review your strengths and weaknesses: To deliver a unique care experience for your patients, you need to lead with your strengths. To do that, you need to be honest about what you’re great at, what you can improve, and what’s best to steer clear of.
3) Communicate your mission: If your staff isn’t clear about your mission yet, chances are that it hasn’t been communicated to them well. A few touchpoints for your mission are the “About us” page on your website, staff onboarding presentation, staff ID badge, a poster in your hallway, etc.
4) Hire the right talent: Attitude matters more than skills. Be mindful of the qualities you’re looking for in a new hire because they’re going to be the torchbearers for your mission.
5) Create an empowering work culture: When your staff is respected, listened to, and cared for, they feel motivated to give their best at all times. An empowering work culture fosters productivity, creative solution seeking, and brand advocacy.
Blending with outside-in marketing
The outside-in strategy is driven by factors external to your organization like changing customer needs, customer buying behavior, emerging market trends, and new regulations.
An example of outside-in marketing that we’ve seen at several healthcare practices since the pandemic is remote check-in options for patients. By recognizing and resolving the patient’s safety concerns early on, these practices were seen favorably among care seekers.
Today, as most patient journeys start digitally, some of the basic outside-in elements to consider are:
- Register your practice on Google
- Have a mobile-friendly website
- Ensure quick load web pages
- Provide clear and up-to-date information on your website
There are several elements to outside-in marketing and there’s merit in all of them. We’ll dive deeper into the top outside-in strategies in our upcoming blog.