card suitsIn an ordinary game of five-card poker there are 2,598,960 possible hands with a 52-card deck. Winning is always a gamble; it’s a mix of luck in what you’ve been dealt and how the cards are played.

Healthcare marketing and advertising has many more moving parts than poker; it’s a lot more complex, and usually there’s a lot more at stake for the serious participant. What’s more, the object is to reduce risk and still win a better-than-Vegas pot of gold.

There’s a certain amount of science in successful marketing, but experience is a primary ingredient to knowing how to play to win. Our previous post, titled Trump Wisdom: How Successful Doctors Play a Winning Hand, listed five ways to read and play the marketing cards.

In somewhat random order, here are more ways successful doctors play to win. (What would you add to our list?)

Engagement trumps encounter, (or relationship trumps contact). Some physicians can see dozens of patients each day without truly engaging one patient. Other doctors with exactly the same caseload (and the same time in the office) can inspire a mutual commitment between provider and patient that pays dividends in referrals, recommendations, better patient compliance and improved clinical outcomes.

Inbound trumps outbound. Not surprisingly, individuals who seek out your practice are aware that you may have the answer their needs. While there is a time and a place for outbound marketing efforts (TV, print ads, etc.), the consumer-driven, solution-based inbound marketing (social media, blog, PPC) results are often less expensive and more immediate. In part, that’s why…

Information trumps hype, (and telling trumps selling). There’s a negative connotation when factual and believable information takes on an exaggerated hoopla. Excessive promotional noise raises suspicion and dramatically reduces authority and trust. Creativity and enthusiasm are positive attention-getters, but not at the expense of credibility. Similarly…

Storytelling trumps stats. Factual information, such as clinical reports and statistical data, is often dry, boring and easily ignored. But the art of healthy storytelling can transform same elements of fact into powerful communications and more effective healthcare delivery.

Quality trumps quantity. Successful physicians and medical practices recognize that a carefully focused marketing plan can have a dramatic impact on shaping the mix of patients and types of cases that are seen in the office. Volume is not always superior to case value.

We’d like to hear from you on this, so let us know what you would add to this list. For related reading, see our previous Trump Wisdom post, and the good-sense ideas from Twisdom: Medical Marketing Nuggets from the Twitter Stream.

Lonnie Hirsch

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Stewart Gandolf

Stewart Gandolf

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Healthcare Success Strategies
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is CEO of Healthcare Success, a medical marketing and health care advertising agency. He is also a frequent writer and speaker. Most importantly, he is happily married and a "rock-n-roll daddy" to two wonderful girls.
Stewart Gandolf
Stewart Gandolf


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