August 2013

'Food Pyramid’ of Medical Internet Marketing

Food PyramidBy Dorothy Mowbray

Have you ever noticed, when you walk into some restaurants, the first thing you see is a huge display of the most delectable, mouth-watering, and visually appealing desserts they have on their menu?
Do you think this is by accident?

Lavish, over the top cheesecake, triple-layered red velvet cake, chocolate delicacies calling out to you, saying, “C’mon… it’s a special night. Forget about that diet!”

Even worse, after they take your name and number of guests, they give you a buzzer and tell you to have a seat—directly in front of these desserts. Internally, Instant Gratification You argues, “Why don’t I just have dessert? What could it hurt? They all look so good!”
But then Responsible You pipes up, “Seriously? Don’t even think about it. Dessert won’t get you through the day.” Because Responsible You knows that the healthy thing to do is to eat your foundational meal before you dig into dessert, if dessert is really something you need at all!

In the world of internet marketing, Social Media is like that enticing dessert. Everyone is talking about it, enticing you to try it, but do you have your marketing meal in the right order? The first level ‘meat and potatoes’** of any solid internet marketing strategy is a successful website converting visitors into new patients. If that staple is missing, your marketing meal is missing its main course!

Once you have a solid website base, you can then drive more visitors to your website through the second level of the internet marketing pyramid--organic search, pay-per-click ad campaigns and other traditional marketing efforts. After you are consistently driving visitors to your site, the next level of the pyramid is comprised of a solid email marketing campaign to your existing customer base to entice them to come back more often for other services or come back more often. Once all these elements are developed and functioning well, then you’re ready to top it off with some social media, if that is even appropriate for your type of practice! I had a urologist ask me once if he needed a Facebook page. No, I don’t think you’ll get many guys wanting the world to know that they might have prostate cancer!

While all these internet marketing options are available on our menu, you need to do things in the proper marketing order. Why? Because all your marketing efforts lead your prospect to your website. And if your website isn’t converting visitors into new patients, then you are wasting your marketing money.

If your marketing plan is anemic, maybe it’s time to evaluate your website – the meat and potatoes! Are you happy with its conversion rate? Are you ‘getting found’ for what you do and not just for “who you are”. Maybe it’s time for a digital checkup!

**Yes, we understand that vegetables are also part of a balanced diet, but we’re talking colloquialisms here…
Dorothy Mowbray is a MOROF member who is a marketing representative for ROAR! Internet Marketing  and has been working in the Florida media industry for over a decade.