Marketing ideas for health provider clinics or salons

What can providers such as doctors, dentists, message therapists, chiropractors or even hair stylists do to grow business via marketing and other strategies? Here are some tips I’ve picked up serving these industries over the years:

  • Try out a loss leader strategy that keeps customers coming back. My eye doctor gives away very small tubes of eye-glass cleaning liquid, and cleaning cloth, with purchase of glasses, but emphasizes customers to come back for free refills when the cleaner runs out. Keeping customers coming back for cleaning fluid means you can remind them to come back for an eye check. Similarly, some dentist or chiropractic clinics may emphasize giving the customer a redemption or reward on the usually large x-ray fees to keep them coming back for regular appointments.
  • Do you have partner strategies? I’ve known both a chiropractor and hair salon who partnered with massage therapists. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce past/current customers to a free massage while in-house – particularly if you are running behind and customer appointments are running late!
  • You may have other partnerships as well – think about how your vendors (such as products suppliers or massage therapists) can give you a discount by also participating in events with you (whether they are business-to-business or direct to interested customers). Or how you can both benefit from digital content share strategies (such as mentioning each other in social media or blogs or website backlinks or some kind of public relations).
  • It’s a traditional thing for providers such as dentists to sponsor local schools or sports teams – it still works. About 7 years ago Land O’ Frost foods was a sponsor for my child’s soccer team with their name on jerseys. Since this is a lunch meat on the bottom shelf of grocery stores (due to lower price on smaller brand status), it was our first exposure to the brand. We began buying it and it became our favorite ham sandwich. We still buy it today.
  • Think more about rewards for continuing customers. I know a dental clinic that gave away expensive American Express gift cards to any customers who referred someone who came to at least one appointment.
  • Think about other perks to offer customers: I’ve seen dentist firms give customers remote to control everything for their in-room experience during their procedure – TV channels, music selection, room lighting and temperature. Or sunglasses to block the light.
  • I’ve seen dentists and orthodontists with gourmet coffee machines in the lobby for patients. I thought “wouldn’t that stain the teeth?” Apparently the patient value of fresh, gourmet coffee was enough to counterbalance any potential teeth staining.
  • Medical clinics (particularly of more terminal disease treatment) have done scientific research to conclude that more artwork, including back-lit art to simulate the sun and sky, helps for more positive patient experience and outlook. And think about it: If you’re in a dental, chiropractic or other medical clinic that finds you lying on your back, why would you want to stare at an ugly ceiling? 20 – 60 minutes under that is not going to help uplift spirits. So how can you transform your ceiling into a Michelangelo experience?
  • The multi-sensory, experiential brand strategy does work – it’s a big part of why people have favorite restaurants. It’s also why so much is spent on theme parks every year. It’s why people are willing to spend so much to live by the beach or the mountains or lake. Patients spend a lot of time in medical clinics, so why isn’t the total multi-sensory experience more heavily considered? I once saw a news segment on TV about a dental clinic with a Star Trek theme. The owner was a self-proclaimed “Trekkie” and he and his staff would dress in Star Trek outfits and decorate the clinic in a Star Trek Enterprise theme. That’s unforgettable and it’s work to please the total customer experience.
  • Want more strategies? See my post on fundamental ideas for these industries here.

Thanks for reading, Jake Aull, Zen Fires Digital Marketing