Frequently when I talk to upper cervical chiropractors, when it comes to marketing they are just flying by the seat of their pants. I frequently hear things like this:
“I really don’t have a specific marketing budget.”
“I don’t actually have a plan in place to reach my goals when it comes to marketing.”
“If I have a little bit of extra money this month, maybe I will spend it on marketing”
Most upper cervical practices don’t have a marketing director. So marketing of the practice falls to the clinic director. Some doctors are very skilled at chiropractic marketing, but most struggle in this area, especially generating patients from external sources.
Word-of-mouth referrals and internal marketing promotions are excellent ways to maintain the size of your practice. But if you have the goal to increase the size of your practice you must be doing some external marketing.
The 1st step in determining what a proper budget would be for your practice when it comes to marketing is to sit down and create SMART goals-specific, measurable, attainable, results focused and time-dependent goals.
You should have goals for patient visits, new patients and collections, at least.
Next develop a month by month, week by week and day by day chiropractic marketing plan focused on achieving your goals.
Once you layout the marketing activities that you will be participating in both internally and externally, you can then begin to develop a budget.
A good rule of thumb, based on several sources is to spend between 2 and 10% of your gross revenue on marketing activities. So for instance if you collect $30,000 per month you should be spending between $600 and $3,000 per month on marketing, depending on your goals and how aggressively you want to pursue them.
The most successful companies in the world are spending between 7-20% on marketing. Most Fortune 500 companies spend 2% of their annual revenue just on advertising, this is billions of dollars.
So the truth is, if you want to grow your practice you need to spend some money on marketing. What you want to look for is a good return on investment. If your case fee is $2000 and you spend $1500 a month on a new marketing program and that gets you on average 5, well-educated prequalified patients per month, who all start care, then your $1500 investment just created $10,000 in additional revenue for your practice. That would be an excellent return on investment!
The important thing is to understand the steps necessary to achieve your goals. For instance, if you want to see 5 more new patients per month for the rest of the year for a total of 30 new patients and you know that 3 out of every 4 new patients who come into your office start care with you, then you will need to generate 40 new patients from your external marketing over that 6 month period.
Then you just need to track backwards from 40 new patients to determine how many new patients you need to have per month, per week and per day you’re in the office. Then establish a chiropractic marketing plan and budget to attract those new patients.