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What type of digital marketing automation works best?
Like most answers in life, there is no single correct answer.
For starters, let’s look at your business model.
Are you B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Customer)?
While all practices have the potential to benefit from digital marketing automation, the strategy behind automation and messaging is very different depending on your business model. The goals may be very similar – improve conversions and revenue – but the pathway there may be very different.
Do you have a B2B business model?
Are you targeting other doctors or hospitals or private practices?
For example, a medical device startup would like to target hospitals and private practices to use their new equipment; or a specialty doctor who would like to get more referrals from a primary care physician.
The services or products being delivered often require a much larger commitment, so the sales cycle is much longer. There is a longer period of nurturing that takes place to build the know, like, and trust factors with your potential patient or client. And there can be multiple people involved in the decision making process.
Thus, whitepapers and case-studies that have more detailed and in-depth information are a great way to nurture your relationship and this can all be automated.
Do you have a B2C business model?
Do you go directly to the consumer?
The focus on B2C sales cycles is on delivering immediate value as the sales cycle moves at a much faster pace. The prospective patient still needs to go through the sales process (keep reading below) to become a current patient, but that process can be sped up greatly.
For example, a Dermatologist Darren uses his website to provide tutorials on how to use and the benefits of using many of the products that he carries. This provides instant value as a prospective patient can learn more information about her condition and products that can help her condition; and it builds Darren’s authority and know, like, and trust factors with the prospective patient.
Now that you know your business model, let’s turn our attention to the sales cycle. A sales cycle is the journey or process a person is taken through to become a new patient or customer. And digital marketing automation is a great way to engage and shepherd a prospective patient through this journey.
There are four early stages that most be understood and perfected:
Awareness is when a prospective patient first becomes aware that you; your brand; and the services and products you provide exist. And just as you wouldn’t ask a person you just met to marry you; have 2.4 kids; a dog; and a house with a white picketed fence … this is not the time to ask for a sale.
Ways to create awareness include:
Social Media Marketing
This is the beginning of the relationship and where digital marketing automation can really help your business. The engagement part of the journey is where you provide value; build your authority; and develop the know, like, and trust factors.
Engagement can be in the form of entertainment and / or information.
For example, Dermatologist Darren engages with prospective patients by offering skin care tutorials that are both entertaining and informative.
Ways to engage include:
Content Marketing (like the Blog you are reading)
Social Media Marketing
After engaging with your content it is imperative to have a Call-To-Action. An instruction telling your prospective patient the action they need to take next.
For example, an Opt-In where a prospective patient downloads a piece of content in exchange for an email address. Once you have an email address, then you can continue the conversation and build your relationship.
Ways for getting a prospective patient to subscribe include:
This is where you raise the relationship and increase the level of commitment. Often referred to as Tripwires or Entry Point Offers, the prospective patient needs to invest time and / or money. At this stage of the Value Ladder, this is about acquiring the customer and shifting the relationship, not profitability (yet).
Way to convert a potential patient:
Digital marketing automation is very helpful in the prospecting and lead generation phase of a business or practice. First, it is important to identify your business model, B2B or B2C, before determining a strategy that works best for you. Then, it is important to understand the early stages of marketing and how digital marketing automation can help prospect and nurture prospective patients while you are busy doing other things.
We will continue to delve deeper into digital marketing automation in the next blog, but if you would like to have a FREE digital marketing strategy session, click this button below.