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Tag Archives: Should

My Lunch With Shkreli: What We Should Learn From Pharma’s Latest Monster

Martin Shkreli You already hate Martin Shkreli, the bratty former hedge fund manager who raised the price on a drug to treat infections in AIDS patients by 5,000%. Now it’s time to get to know him. I’m not saying you should get to know Shkreli because you’ll like him in the end. […] Most popular stories

It’s debate night and Donald Trump should come ready to play defense

More from Trail Guide Sept. 15 Trump zeroes in on immigration in national security speech aboard battleship Sept. 14 Scott Walker returns to his fight against labor unions Sept. 13 Donald Trump on Ben Carson: He’s a doctor, not a deal maker Sept. 11 Walker abruptly cancels California GOP speech;… – Los Angeles Times

Should You Use Internet Ads to Promote Your Healthcare Practice?

If you’re just starting to create healthcare marketing strategies for your dental or medical practice, trying to decide where to begin can sometimes be overwhelming. From social media sites to blogging to developing a new design for your website, where do you start?

As doctors and dentists in 2015, you probably already have a website for your practice, and you may also already have social media sites. You can use both to start your healthcare marketing strategy through Internet advertising.

Healthcare advertising on the web can take on a few different forms. Below are the top sites to place ads to increase your online profile and to gain more followers:

1) Creating a Google Ad

Putting an ad on Google is a great place to start because this type of ad will link directly to your website. Google ads use targeted keywords, or “AdWords,” to bring up your website when people search for specific terms you’ve chosen, for example, doctors or dentists who offer cosmetic treatments. Your ad will appear separate from the rest of the search results to bring attention to your practice and drive more traffic to your site.

2) Facebook Advertising

You can advertise on Facebook if you have a Facebook business page for your practice. This is an effective strategy if you’re looking for more “likes” to create a more solid presence on Facebook. An ad on Facebook will target friends of your followers or people who have already liked pages similar to yours. Using a Facebook ad to promote an event or special deal that you have is a great way to engage Facebook users and to make your ad stand out.

3) Tweet Your Ad

Ads on Twitter can only be used if you already have a Twitter account. These ads allow you to promote your tweets to a target Twitter audience to help them find and follow you.

One of the benefits of placing an ad on Twitter is that you don’t pay unless someone engages with your promoted tweet by clicking on it or following you, so you’re not wasting money on an ad that isn’t working.

All of these sites allow you to tailor your target audience for a more effective reach, allow you to set your own budget and also provide you with data so you can monitor the success of your advertisements.

There are a lot of ways that doctors and dentists can implement a healthcare marketing plan – advertising online is just one of them. If you’d like to create an online ad or come up with an effective Internet marketing strategy for your healthcare practice, you can contact one of Practice Builder’s marketing consultants at 800.679.1200 or by email at

Medical, Dental Practice Marketing

Should Health Care Reform Mean Rationing?

A Case Western Reserve University health care policy discussion with Bob Binstock Ph.D., Professor of Aging, Health, and Society; J.B. Silvers Ph.D., Treuhaf…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

6 Questions Every Doctor Should Be Asking Patients

End-of-life care for sick patients is garnering more attention from hospitals and health systems because of its impact on costs. Now leaders need to invest in training physicians to talk to patients about their concerns and wishes. – Physician Leadership News

’60 Minutes’ Just Attacked High Drug Prices. Here’s What You Should Know.

60 Minutes, the most successful news program in American history, just took aim at the extraordinarily high ($ 100,000 per patient per year) prices charged for cancer drugs. The pharmaceutical industry, which only provided canned statements and badly thought-out explanation via the president of its lobbying group, came off looking callous […] Most popular stories

Who Is Patient 2.0 and Why Should You Care?

Today’s typical patient is dramatically different from the typical patient a generation ago. According to Pew Research, nine out of 10 American adults now use the Internet regularly. And that figure is even higher among certain demographics. For example, Internet usage includes 99 percent of those living in households earning $ 75,000 or more. Among people aged 18-29 and people who hold college degrees, Internet usage is now 97 percent. And that’s not all…

Patients have evolved

The Internet and its massive popularity have led to the evolution of your typical healthcare patient. Instead of looking for healthcare practices by scanning the heavy, printed Yellow Pages directory or asking a relative, today’s prospective new patient typically logs on to the Internet and uses a search engine such as Google and various search terms or keywords to find either a branded website, branded social media pages or branded online review sites. How good is your SEO? Good enough to land you on the first or second page of search engine results? Most people never search beyond second- or third-page results.

Today’s patient researches these online media sources before he or she ever makes a decision to contact a practice. This holds true even if the patient is referred to a specific doctor or healthcare practice by another patient or doctor, or if the patient is responding to some branded external marketing message such as a print ad, TV commercial or direct mail.

Patients trust peers, not advertising claims

Say hello to Patient 2.0. Patient 2.0 does not trust traditional advertising. Patient 2.0 only trusts those in his or her own social network and online reviews, which makes Patient 2.0’s decision-making process far more research-driven than that of earlier patients. And it’s not just younger patient prospects making healthcare decisions this way. The fastest-growing population segment on Facebook today is adults aged 50+.

Regardless of age, Patient 2.0’s decision-making process includes recommendations from peers via social media and online physician reviews. The process also includes visiting practice websites, checking branded social media pages and watching YouTube videos. By the time Patient 2.0 either phones your office or sends you an email request, he or she is already prequalified based on his or her own research.

Handling phone calls or emails from prospective patients

This is where the rubber truly meets the road in new patient acquisition; where your staff can either make or break the process – and help you gain or lose a new patient – by how they handle each phone call or email. Ask yourself whether your staff is reinforcing your brand and professional image. Does your staff encourage and engender the same positive feelings that led the prospect to contact you?

Does your practice use on-hold messaging or automated email responses that reinforce your brand? Do you offer helpful educational content that enhances your credibility and promotes your acceptance among prospects? Is all your messaging aimed at filtering in those patients, clients and cases you most want to treat (and filtering out those who would be better-helped elsewhere)?

What seems complicated is really simple

Patient 2.0’s decision-making process may seem more complicated than flipping through the Yellow Pages. Yet, it’s really quite simple because it only involves a few steps. Best of all, it typically results in you getting a higher-class, more informed and better-educated patient you will enjoy treating.

When it comes to adding future brand advocates to your new-patient list, Patient 2.0 is your new best prospect. As your advocate, he or she will sing your praises on healthcare review sites and through social media, thus exposing you to more patients who will used the same decision-making process.

If you would like to know more about Patient 2.0 or their healthcare decision-making process, call Practice Builders at 800.679.1200 or email

If you wish to comment on this electronic newsletter’s content or subject matter, simply email the editor:

Medical, Dental Practice Marketing

New Strategies for Online Veterinary Marketing (MDs and Dentists Should Also Take Note!)

New strategies are attracting veterinary clients and referrals online, and they are less intrusive and less costly to you. If you are like most veterinarians, you want to know how you can take advantage of online social media, mobile web and online reputation management using today’s most cost-effective services…

After years of being exposed to over 5,000 marketing messages every single day of our lives, we have become far less receptive to traditional media and marketing messages. That’s because traditional media such as newspaper ads, TV and radio commercials, direct mail and outbound telemarketing all intrude upon our lives. Today’s consumer is looking for creative ways to stop the intrusions and reduce the noise level.

We use caller ID to block telemarketers. We use spam filters to reduce or eliminate unsolicited email messages. We use TIVO to eliminate TV commercials. We subscribe to commercial-free radio and cable TV. We read fewer newspapers. And our fingers no longer do the walking through the Yellow Pages in most markets.

The latest low-cost, long-term veterinary (and medical and dental) practice-building strategies – search engine optimization (SEO), social media networking and online content such as blogs – have helped many private veterinary and healthcare practices to compete more effectively with large, established businesses. By appearing higher in organic search results, you can attract more interested prospects to your website… and your practice.

Social networks such as Facebook®, YouTube®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, Yelp® and Google+® are part of the hottest trend in online communications today. Social media, which is the umbrella term for these networks, blogs and other means of sharing information with others, has become much more than simply a platform for social interaction. It has evolved at lightspeed into a communication medium for business and professional interaction, as well.

Social Media: The Seismic Shift in Online Communication

Whereas traditional marketing communication is designed to help you find clients and referral sources, online communication is designed to help clients and referral sources find you. Instead of pushing your content to prospects, whether they want it or not, you attract interested prospects to your content. With the right content and a well-conceived social media strategy, your practice can become a magnet for interested, highly qualified A-clients and referral sources. Social media strategies, when combined with SEO and credible content, have three distinct advantages over traditional methods of communicating with your clients (and patients), referrers and prospects:

Qualified Prospects – TV, radio, print and direct mail are designed to reach large numbers of people, without addressing their individual needs and wants. Typically, only a small percentage of the target audience needs or wants your services, but you pay to reach them all. Social media, on the other hand, attracts only those prospects interested in your services or content. Prospects qualify themselves through the processes of search engines and social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Prospects also tend to be of higher quality.

Lower Costs – Content creation, SEO and social media incur little cost except human labor. Someone has to write your blog articles, optimize your website for search engines and provide content for your social media outreach efforts. Once your content is created, there is little cost to maintain it. Results cost less, too. One recent study claimed that it costs 60% less to obtain a qualified lead online than with traditional methods.

Long-Term Benefits – Once your content is created, promoted and optimized, the impact of the initial effort grows over time. Your return on investment – referrals – increases through the trust, credibility and relationships you build online, even though your actual dollar investment dramatically decreases.

Social Media Helps You Shape Your Online Reputation

Today, with the meteoric rise of social media and consumer review sites such as Yelp, it is increasingly important for veterinary, medical and dental practitioners to build and manage their online reputations. That’s because more and more clients (and medical or dental patients) are reviewing their own personal experiences with veterinary practices online, and more client prospects are reading those reviews before they make appointments.

Too many negative reviews can seriously impact your client acquisition and retention efforts. Your goal is to build a positive reputation for yourself and your practice. The big question is how. What steps should you follow?

Set Goals – Keep them simple in the beginning. What are the pet health issues and topics you care most about? How do you want to represent yourself and your practice online? What is your professional brand? Do you want to be an influencer in your community? Do you want to enhance your reputation with colleagues, speak at more conferences or contribute to more journals? Do you want more of certain types of clients or cases?

Start a Blog – Think of a blog as a personal website. Unlike a website, a blog is easy to set up and maintain yourself. You can create original content or you can simply post information you find elsewhere that may be useful for your target audience. Your content may be client-oriented or peer-oriented around your areas of expertise. Posterous and Tumblr are two blog sites that are extremely easy to set up and manage. In 2010, 70% of Internet users were reading blogs and more than 120,000 of those blogs were healthcare-related. Today, the figure is likely to be considerably higher. Done correctly, blogs can provide your practice with an opportunity to share your expertise and knowledge with a much larger audience. Other blogging tips:

• If you have a niche, focus on it. It will help differentiate your practice and attract your target audience.

• Post entries with perspective and insight about your practice. Intersperse these with current news or events related to pet healthcare and your specialty. Blog about general health information, pet health tips, new procedures or anything related to your practice and specialty.

• Post content that mixes professional and personal entries.

• Remember that any harmful or inappropriate actions or messages online can negatively affect your reputation among patients and colleagues.

• Maintain appropriate boundaries for your client-provider relationship. When interacting with clients online, be sure you always respect and enforce client privacy and confidentiality.

It’s important to remember these tips as you get more involved with social media and online reputation management. If you want more information about online veterinary marketing, call Michael Davis, Director of Veterinary Marketing Solutions, at 800.679.1200 ext. 2009 or email

Your feedback is always welcome

If you have questions or comments about this newsletter, please email them to:

Medical, Dental Practice Marketing

The HPV Vaccine, and Why Your Kids Should Get It: Healthcare Triage #4

Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) are the cause of genital warts, and believed to lead to a number of cancers. But there’s a vaccine for HPV that can prevent you …
Video Rating: 4 / 5

5 Things You Should Know About Putin’s Incursion Into Crimea

Since the closing ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics concluded, Vladimir Putin has done his best to make clear that he intends to make things as difficult as possible for Ukraine’s new interim government. First he ordered massive military exercises, involving some 150,000 troops, on Ukraine’s border.  While some observers noted that not enough medical units were included to indicate an invasion, it was clearly a provocative act. Most popular stories