Medical Practice Marketing

Written by on March 29, 2013 in Practice tips - No comments

Implement Pricing Programs and Promotions the Right Way!

In the medical field it is usually NEVER profitable to compete on price. So, our first bit of advice is: Don’t compete on price! Price reduction alone is never a good strategy for improving profits. Building a recognizable and reputable brand for your medical practice is always the most effective way to create long-term growth. Offer your patients products and services that provide exceptional value and meet their needs. People will justify the price of something if it meets their needs!

Unfortunately, not competing on price isn’t always an option. If you are in a hyper-competitive market, a slow economy, or trying to develop niche markets, implementing strategic pricing programs may be necessary.

The best way to choose a pricing strategy is to identify the purpose behind it and evaluate whether or not it fits into your medical marketing plan. Depending on your purpose, the following are effective ways to compete on price as a medical professional:

Money Off Next Purchase

A great way to encourage long-term patient loyalty is by offering a dollar amount off of your patient’s next purchase. For example, a dentist can offer $20.00 off a tooth whitening treatment when patients who come in for a routine cleaning schedule a whitening treatment within the next 30 days. This is an effective pricing strategy because it requires that a patient make a repeat visit and purchase. It also supports any medical marketing strategy designed to promote a specific product, protect market share, or maintain a healthy sales volume.

Multiple Products for the Same Price

This is your everyday buy two get one free promotion. This type of pricing strategy is most effective when your two purchased products cover your cost of the free product. Patients like these types of promotions because they feel compelled to “get their money’s worth” and take advantage of a limited offer. Use this type of pricing strategy to launch new products, develop niche markets or reward repeat patients.

Referral Programs

Offer your patients a gift card for new patient referrals. If you are an aesthetic practitioner who offers laser treatments in packages or provides services which require follow-up visits, your current patient base will be eager to refer patients and receive gift cards to use on their return visits. This builds patient loyalty, creates profit in mature markets, and will certainly attract patients.

 Practice Membership Specials

Costco, Sam’s Club, and CVS have built their brands on this pricing strategy. In the medical field, this pricing strategy best operates in the form of a point system similar to accruing frequently flyer miles. Look at a chiropractic practice for example. A chiropractor can offer a free membership which allows patients to earn points for treatments they receive. Once a patient has earned a certain number of points, they can then use those points to redeem specific treatments. Don’t let patients apply points to any and all treatments you offer. Identify which treatments are the lowest cost to you and let patient’s apply points to those treatments.

Special Payment Plan Programs

No physician wants to go into the business of banking, so use this type of pricing strategy with caution. Payment plan programs are most effective when designated for specific types of procedures that are big ticket items. Payment plan programs are simply installment plans that allow patients to pay for a procedure over time upfront. Practices that offer cosmetic procedures will find this pricing strategy most useful. For instance, a cosmetic surgeon may offer a payment plan for liposuction or breast augmentation to be paid in three installments with the third and last payment due on the procedure date. This give people time to organize their resources for big ticket items and can help you attract patients who might otherwise not be able to afford your service.

No matter what pricing strategy you decide to use in your practice, be sure you don’t fall into a price war with your competitors. Price wars can devastate a practice and negatively affect your medical marketing efforts. Use pricing strategies to your advantage when you can, but focus on building a superior brand that will build patient loyalty and improve your profits long-term.

Rx MD Marketing Solutions, a healthcare marketing consulting firm. Learn more at http://rxmdmarketingsolutions.com

by Marlee Ward
Rx MD Marketing Solutions

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