The Chiropractic Marketing Hierarchy

In the previous article on marketing, you learned how to calculate the number of scheduled new patients on your reservation books required give you the income you require, first to survive, and second to carry you to an affluence of New Patients In (NPI). You also learned the first steps in formulating your marketing plan. Now, in the second in this series, we show you how to tap into a huge market of local prospective patients and where to find them.

The Activity Formula for Growth

The growth formula that has served true for our clients is this: if you want to expand to reach and/or maintain an office at 200-225 patient visits per week, then your office needs to participate in an average of 2 events per week.  For an office to reach and/or maintain an office at 400-425 patient visits, then you need to average 3 events.  An event is a ‘high-caliber venue that either (1) has a high concentration of very qualified prospective patients, such as a corporate health fair, or (2) has a high-volume of local prospective patients, such as a local 5k running race or community festival. 

So here we have ‘Events’ and the other side of that are ‘Activities’.  If an office is short of an event-level venue in a given week, then to make up for the production of new patient generation that comes from an ‘event’, an office would need to undergo 3 separate bouts of grassroots or guerilla ‘activity’ to make up for that production of just that single event.  For each of those bouts of activity, an office is expending 3-4 hours.  So, you can be part of a 3 hour event, or you can go out and be extremely busy for 9-12 hours…each would yield about the same result, but one takes a multiple time, energy and resources.

Marketing Hierarchy

Here you scale out or prioritize your marketing efforts from the actions that give the most bang for the buck down to the grassroots that produce results but take more energy/effort/time – not comparable to the top categories we will cover here.  As in any battle plan, and it is a battle, for it is like a war in competition for New Patients, the best overall strategy and individual tactics win. It is just being smart about it, and learning the rules of the game. What you put your attention on gets your energy and that energy should not be wasted on trivial pursuits when that same energy can make a bigger and better result.  We at CBA are always reinventing chiropractic marketing.  By reproducing something that works, you can be assured that is CAN work.  By avoid things totally new and untried until you are in a very stable volume, you don’t put your practice growth in jeopardy.

Building YOUR Chiropractic Marketing Hierarchy

Most chiropractors can be found beating the same drum over and over again with regards to their marketing outflow, events and advertisements.  The goal of the marketing hierarchy is not to abandon that (at least not those which are producing!), but instead, to reinforce those successful actions and make way for other top producing sources to rise.

First step in making your hierarchy is to pull out a blank piece of paper and just jot down every source, every avenue that has produced new patients for you for the past year or two.  This is a mind-dump.  Just put it all down, no ordering/sorting them, just jot them all down.  If you have a marketing calendar, then you can reference that.  You can also use your past new patient reservation books as a tickler.

After you have put as many down as you can find, now you will begin the sorting process.  Do this on a separate sheet of paper.

Sorting Out a Hierarchy

  • At the top of a separate sheet of paper you will start listing the venues and sources at the TOP that provide “the most bang for the buck”.

These often include already established health fairs, corporate benefits fairs such as an open enrollment, any form of referral program or referral campaign/contest, local seasonal events where there are a lot of local qualified prospect (such as one where you can have a booth), monthly dinner talks, as well as Teacher Appreciation days.  These are just a few examples. You know what events produce the most qualified new patients which are yielded with less cost, energy, effort (blood, sweat, tears) and staff time.

  • Middle of your sheet: These are slightly less yielding venues compared to the ones above, yet they are reliable and predictable.  Some examples here are corporate Lunch & Learn events, gym/rec center screenings, leads groups, having a booth at the farmer’s market/home show/boat show, etc.
  • Lower third of the hierarchy – grassroots and guerilla marketing: These venues and activities produce the least, take the most energy and time, but nevertheless they do always have a minimum production. We call this “Boots on the ground”.  There are hundreds of things to do for marketing at this level. Some examples could include: distributing your introductory package out in public in the form of a gift certificate, such as to small businesses or business foot traffic/food courts, having a screening at your local health food store, hosting a benefit drive for a local cause, etc.
  • At the very base are the Passive producers: these are your direct mail campaigns, facebook/google ads, all social media campaigns, email drip system, door hangers, newsletters mailed out, killer ads, to mention a few in this category. The venues and actions that you post down here are ones that can be amazing producers…or little, yet consistent producers of leads. These usually take time and/or money up front to establish – however, then they are literally ‘push-button’ campaigns to launch when needed.  For example, the New Patient Machine Facebook campaigns produce volumes of new patients every week, however it takes a solid 2 weeks to set everything up, and then training the staff on the special scheduling techniques and dialogues before it produces the consistent flows.

In all of these ideas for building your practice, the main thing to remember is to leverage your (and/or your team’s) effort and time. By starting each day with the focus on the TOP of the marketing hierarchy – asking questions such as “what companies do I need to follow up with to find out when their next health fair is?”—this focus of top-down will help you acquire the events and activities that are the most fruitful for quickly building your practice.  Don’t get lost in the need to be simply “busy” doing marketing.  The goal of CBA and this hierarchy is to reinforce your marketing to work smarter for you, not harder on you.  When you operate this way, and then later train your marketer to operate like this, you will likely have a ‘too many’ new patients problem (a cool problem to have!).