E- Rehab - October/November 2019

THE PRIVATE PRACTICE RESOURCE

October/November 2019

HOLIDAY MARKETING THAT SPREADS CHEER And Gets Results!

For decades, companies have used seasonal associations to give their marketing a little extra resonance. Black Friday, back-to-school shopping, and the apparently unstoppable pumpkin spice phenomenon are all manifestations of this trend. It’s not hard to see why advertisers would be eager to create a link between a holiday and their product or service in people’s minds. Everyone dreams of being in the situation that turkey producers are in on Thanksgiving, when people participate in a 100-plus-year old tradition and buy that bird for dinner. Of course, physical therapy practices don’t have customers in the traditional sense; they have patients. As with all aspects of marketing your practice, you can’t translate tactics from other professions or industries without making some adjustments for your specific market. That being said, you absolutely can leverage the holidays to create a powerful promotional message. Our cover piece this month is about holiday marketing, and there are a few crucial details I’d like to point out. First, good holiday marketing isn’t about simply slapping some wreaths and snowflakes on your regular marketing and calling it a day. Real holiday marketing understands what people are going through during the most wonderful time of the year, what their needs are, and how you can help accommodate them. Let’s take an obvious one as an example. During the holiday season, people are busier than ever. Scheduling time for a physical therapy appointment may not be the first thing on their minds. Similarly, your practice may have limited hours during the holiday season. A failure to communicate can leave both sides with a headache. Craft a simple email message to the effect of, “We know you’re busy right now, but don’t forget to treat yourself to relief this holiday season,” along with

any altered hours and a call to action to schedule. This can demonstrate that you care while encouraging the patient to come in for treatment. Second, a crucial point to mention is that most deductibles reset on Jan. 1. With the deadline approaching, patients have a small window to get treatment without having to pay out of pocket. While that’s probably obvious to you, it may not be to your patients. Relaying this message, then, is mutually beneficial in addition to being timely. That’s a recipe for great marketing. Finally, it’s probably worth touching on the inclusivity point, since it seems like a hot-button issue for so many. The idea that there is a “war on Christmas” is completely overblown. Rather than being worried about some imagined backlash, the reason to make your holiday messaging inclusive is because you don’t want anyone to feel like you’re not speaking to them. Marketing is about welcoming people, not pushing them away. With the right amount of care and consideration, holiday marketing can provide a small boost for your practice. Spread some cheer, share some knowledge, and give people a reason to visit and refer no matter how hectic the holidays get.

–Dr. David J. Straight

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