Most medical professionals understand the importance of marketing but don’t have the time or knowledge to execute it effectively. Without a solid understanding of medical marketing, it’s difficult to know where to focus your efforts. Marketing doesn’t have to feel as mysterious as a foreign language or a distant planet; learning to look at the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most will give you a solid blueprint to work from.
Metrics Matter…But Which Ones Matter Most?
There’s a line in George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm that goes, All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. This is a great analogy to remember when planning your marketing efforts. Technology provides us with more data than ever before, and while metrics are important, some are more important than others. Not all metrics correspond to the results you desire, and others — such as click-through rates — are basically window dressing, showing you how well an ad is performing without telling you whether your marketing efforts are actually resulting in more patients.
There are six essential marketing KPIs you should focus on. These have been proven over time to result in increased patients and revenue growth. They are:
- Leads by type. You’ve heard the term quality over quantity, right? This applies to sales leads, too. Total numbers are irrelevant; what matters most is the type of leads you are receiving. Are they coming from phone calls, “contact us” submission forms, content downloads or other sources? Obviously, circling back to Orwell, not all leads are equal. Some are much better at producing new patients. Utilize third-party tracking services to help figure out leads.
- Cost per lead. Cost-per-click is trendy, but what’s more important is understanding the overall number of leads your marketing efforts are producing and figuring out roughly how much each lead is costing you. Some costs, such as those associated with advertising, are easy to measure; others, such as social media leads, require a little digging. But the effort is worthwhile: once you know how much each lead costs, you can develop a benchmark to measure cost-effectiveness across different channels.
- Website visitor to lead conversion rate. Determining the percentage of website traffic that you are able to convert to leads will give you a clear picture of how well your site is doing in motivating visitors to take action. If it’s underperforming, tweaks can be made to improve its effectiveness.
- Lead conversion rate by source. Marketing is comprised of individual channels that have unique conversion rates. Figuring out which channels are most effective will let you know where to focus your time and resources. To calculate this information, you’ll need to implement URL and phone tracking in order to differentiate where visitors are coming from.
- New patient conversion rate. Understanding how many of your leads result in new patients is a particularly useful KPI for medical practices. Low conversion rates can shed light on problem areas like missed calls or lack of follow-up on submission forms.
- Cost per new patient. If you could only track one KPI, this would be the one to focus on. Your cost per new patient shows you how much you should spend on digital marketing efforts. Divide your total spending by the number of new patients to determine this cost.
Once you familiarize yourself with these KPIs and begin using them on a regular basis, you’ll know where to focus your marketing efforts moving forward. Good luck!