Secrets of the Rockstar Practice



USING EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY
Author: Brad Dodson

The biggest difference between Rock Star and lounge act is brand. Both have an abundance of talent and even good looks, but the Rock Star has that little something extra - some might call it charisma that captivates the audience and sets them apart. Successful audiology practices are a lot like Rock Stars. On the surface all practices might look a lot alike, but the Rock Star practice has a few undefinable qualities that set them apart from the pack.

Rock Star practices know the power of their trusted brand. They have worked tirelessly, in many cases years, to cultivate a personal relationship with all the stakeholders of their community. Rock Star practices intuitively know their reputation is based almost exclusively on their ability to form personal relationships with key members of their community. These key stakeholders include current patients and their families, prospective patients and their families, other area small business owners, and finally, physicians and other members of the medical community.

This short article examines how strong, personal relationships, centered on mutual trust and respect, are nurtured with one of these key community stakeholders – physicians and other members of the medical community – through the use of a turnkey digital email marketing program.

As the market changes in these uncertain times, so must a practice’s marketing strategy. Market pressures and changing dynamics demand new strategies. Rock Star practices know that a modern marketing strategy includes the use of a variety of tactics, including digital media. They make it look easy, but Rock Stars work hard to engage the medical community through a variety of digital media.

Over the past several years, research, much of it published in high quality peer-reviewed journals, has demonstrated that hearing loss of adult onset is far from a benign condition. The dominant theme of this research is this: hearing loss in adults is associated with poor, long-term health outcomes. Dozens of studies, many of them published since 2012, indicate there is a linkage between age-related hearing loss and the following conditions, cognitive decline, depression, social isolation, greater risk of falling, higher mortality, greater rates of hospitalization, more accidental injury and poorer adherence to treatment recommendations. These are findings that must be urgently and responsibly shared with the entire medical community. By incorporating branded email communications into your marketing mix, you will be able to craft reports, customized with your practice name and logo, that highlight these important scientific findings and get them onto the radar of primary care physicians and other medical professionals who come into contact with older adults, who are the most in need of hearing this message.

The purpose of email communications is to package this peer reviewed research into an easy-to-digest format that can be quickly shared with physicians via e-mail. Unlike similar run-of-the-mill marketing tactics that have a click rate in the low single digits, digital marketing companies, often have higher-than-average click rates. Figure 1 below is an example of a better-than-average click-to-open rate for an email marketing campaign customized for an audiology practice using the co-morbid scientific link between several chronic conditions and hearing loss of adult onset. This higher-than-average click rate underscores the pertinence of the message that untreated hearing loss is not a benign condition.
Figure 1. Click to Open Rates for a Variety of Medical Subspecialties. Minimum number of emails received per subspecialty was 108. Maximum number of emails send to any one subspecialty was 3415
Medical Specialty Click to Open Rate %
Cardiology 12%
Endocrinology (Diabetes Care) 15%
Family Practice 10%
Oncology 11%
Occupational & Preventive Medicine 31%
Physical Medicine & Pain Management 12%
Internal Medicine 10%
Gynecology 6%
Psychiatry 10%


Further, data suggests that a customized digital email marketing campaign that targets physicians achieves a deeper level of engagement relative to other forms of digital media, as a substantially high percentage of physicians read, rather than glance or skim the summarized articles. A recent physician marketing campaign for a large practice in the Pacific Northeast, using a customized digital emails to primary care physicians, yielded a “read-rate” of about 70%. Most marketing experts would agree this is an astounding “read-rate” for any digital marketing effort.

In addition to a high number of click-to-open rates, a significant advantage of a customized digital email marketing campaign that targets physicians is that your message can be tailored to any medical subspecialty, further building your reputation as a respected member of the medical community. For example, given the exceptionally high (31%) click to open rate percentage among occupational and preventive medicine physicians, Rock Stars would know to tailor their message for this subspecialty to include the importance of periodic hearing screenings and the use of hearing protection for work-age adults. In addition, the practice would want these subspecialties to know that the Rock Star can provide hearing protection services for their patients.

In this day and age when people yearn to work with trusted members of their community, the use of a customized digital email marketing campaign, that targets physicians, amplifies your brand and delivers a fact-based message built on shared scientific findings in a responsible manner.

Real Rock Stars are accountable to their fans. Rock Star Audiologists are accountable to the public they serve. One approach to being accountable to the public and raising awareness of the co-morbid nature of age-related hearing loss to other chronic medical conditions, is the responsible use of a customized digital email marketing campaign that targets physicians.    
Brad Dodson is the Vice President of Sales for Clear Digital Media. He has an extensive background in the practice of marketing and holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce in Marketing Management from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He can be reached at brad.dodson@cleardigitalmedia.net.