Marketing your integrative healthcare practice poses some interesting challenges you don’t always see in other industries. Here are five things we’ve learned from working with clients in the integrative healthcare space—specifically, the five things that could be jamming up your marketing campaigns.
Fix these, and watch your marketing efforts take off.
1. It Doesn’t Put the Customer First
Just as the ancient Roman orator Cicero once noted in his treatise On Friendship, we as people tend to “put the cart before the horse.” Integrative healthcare practices sometimes fall into this same trap.
You can offer the finest holistic healing products and services on the planet, but if you don’t know who it’s FOR, then you’re going to be—as someone who probably wasn’t Cicero, but we’ll throw him another bone here anyway— “up a creek without a paddle.”
This is the first of the five reasons why your marketing might not be working for a reason. Because it’s the first thing you have to figure out. You have to figure out who your ideal customer is (also called a Buyer Persona), and then the messaging needs to be tailored directly to that imaginary (or composite, really) person.
2. No Clear Messaging
A lot of integrative practices fall into a sort of introversion trap. They’re so focused on the product/service itself that the marketing that comes out of it reflects equal levels of naval-gazing.
You can see evidence of this just by looking at a randomly-chosen webpage for any integrative practice and then taking a look at the basic messaging on their homepage.
You’ll see a lot of vague descriptions. You’ll see industry jargon.
What you’ll rarely see is a clear, concise message that resonates with their prospects. Which makes sense, of course, based on the previous reason: If you don’t know your Buyer Persona intimately, you won’t know what language she’s speaking.
3. The Wrong Channels
Another reason we start with the Buyer Persona is because if you know WHO your ideal customer is, you’ll also then know WHERE they are.
Gone are the days when you could just scatter-shot some ads across Facebook and expect any real results. Marketers have ruined that for you. Not that you shouldn’t do Facebook ads… that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that you need to focus on where your Buyer Persona is hanging out, and target them with sniper-level precision. For some companies, Facebook is going to be a good play.
For others? Not so much.
It all depends on where your Buyer Persona is chilling.
4. Not There for the Whole Journey
The thing about the integrative healthcare world that separates it from other types of businesses is that the marketing doesn’t stop once the prospect has bought something or signed up for a service. Instead, you’re on the hook to keep that customer by offering a killer on-boarding process and information, great continuing education, and a steady stream of helpful support going forward.
And all of that is marketing. If your marketing campaigns end at the point of sale, you’re going to struggle to keep that customer engaged with what they already have, let alone get them to buy something else from you in the future.
5. Things Have Changed
The hard truth about marketing is that what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Marketing is about adaptation and evolution.
See the Facebook ad example from above. Total ROI from those ads leveled off a few years ago and are now actually heading south. Which just means that something new will take its place.
And if you know your Buyer Persona, you’ll know where they’re going to be when it happens.