I recently wrote an article about why an elevator speech was important to a D.C.'s marketing strategy. The point of the piece was to demonstrate the need to articulate the purpose of your practice in the time it takes to ride an elevator.
by Braxton Pulley, D.C. in Branding on Thursday, September 15, 2016
Why is this important?
First, people have a short attention span and you need to be clear and concise about your messaging. Second, and most important, it means you have identified your brand – or what it is that sets you apart from your competitors. To that end, the elevator speech is the foundation of how you present yourself to your patients and potential patients.
But, the elevator speech is only one part of your brand building. It is how you implement it in the rest of your marketing strategies that determines whether your brand is successful or lost in the noise of your competitors.
Take, for example, our tagline “Healthy by Choice.” This is a critical part of our elevator speech because it not only identifies that we are in the healthcare field, but it demonstrates that we are here to not only help find out what is wrong, but we ready to be a partner in the solution. It may be that we might need to refer out of the practice, but it implies we have those relationships to do this in a meaningful way.
So to make this work, all messaging must be embraced by the staff. This means training about how we ask questions that earn trust as well as help us create a successful treatment plan. The process begins immediately once the patient is in the door, and continues with suggesting, “let’s get a diagnosis so we can figure out what’s going on.”
Ultimately, we aren’t about selling, but educating that the patient is in control – healthy by choice – and will understand why it is important to continue pursuit of the treatment plan.
Outside the office, we have numerous ways of enforcing our brand. If you visit our Facebook page, you’ll find we have links to a variety of articles that reinforce our values and beliefs. They aren’t articles that link back to our website, unless we have something important to say. Rather, they are links to information that reinforces what we talk about as we treat our patients. It also demonstrates that we concerned about whole health and not just what we can treat.
We have also applied our messaging to radio advertising. There we talk about what our practice provides, but we also provided testimonials from patients to support our message. It is one thing for us to say it, but it is completely another to have our patients become our advocates. It creates a level of credibility that we cannot achieve on our own.
This is probably a good time to make the point the more you market your practice and keep on message, the more likely you may be tempted to veer away from your brand.
Don’t do it!
You and your staff might grow tired of hearing the same thing time and again, but I have to constantly remind myself that I eat, breathe and live my practice and our patients don’t. In fact, it always surprises me when someone says they just heard about us the other day on the radio, when we have been on the air for a year. It reinforces that we must remain consistent with our messaging.
In the end I am not saying it was easy to build this brand. In fact, I was reluctant at the beginning because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t alienate any of my current clients, but the reality is that the messaging was something I truly believed in. And, that is the important takeaway, you have to feel right about your brand. If it is not heartfelt, it comes across as hollow and forced, and that is ineffective. So find a way to clearly talk about your practice and start building your brand. You’ll be glad you did.