January 8, 2024

Hello everyone, welcome to our informative workshop series focused on marketing for radiology, with particular emphasis on Interventional Radiology (IR). Drawing on insights from our recent workshop featuring marketing manager John Campbell and radiology marketing specialist, Otilia Comsa, let’s delve into some common missteps inhibiting IR practices' patient growth and how to address them.

Campbell has 18 years of experience in marketing, seven of which have been in the healthcare IT space, particularly software-as-a-service solutions for radiology practices. Comsa, on the other hand, is well-known for assisting radiology practices and diagnostic imaging centers with patient-driving marketing. Together, they shared their experience and advice for successful marketing in this niche healthcare segment.

The Importance of Radiology Marketing

The success of radiology marketing, according to Comsa, relies on the effective implementation of three key marketing levels: being present on all channels where patients are, being trustworthy, and having a convenient conversion-oriented appointment booking and referral process. Potential patients and referring physicians must not only know who you are, but they must also find you on the channels where they spend time, trust you, and find it easy to make appointments or referrals through your system.

Notably, Comsa highlights the uniqueness of radiology marketing, as the Radiology space requires a very strong understanding of the ecosystem. And, from her experience, she recognizes a clear need for specialized marketing resources tailored for radiology, differentiating it from generic marketing.

Key Marketing Objectives and Challenges for IR Practices

Most IR practice owners aim to attract potential patients seeking treatment options that IR procedures can provide, such as genicular artery embolizations, prostate embolizations, uterine fibroid embolizations, and vascular treatments. Maintaining a patient-centric approach, they also want to ensure positive patient experiences that lead to strong online reputations.

Moreover, nurturing relationships with referring physicians and streamlining the referral process is paramount. Recently, Comsa noted, Recruiting was listed as one of the main factors inhibiting practice growth, which means marketing also needs to position the clinic as an employer of choice.

Other growth objectives for IR practices should include tracking marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as the number of referrals, calls, and appointments made; forms filled out on the website; brand awareness increases; and keyword ranking improvements. This helps to gauge their efforts and modify their approach when needed.

Radiology Marketing Today vs. The Past

Gone are the days when patients would just follow prescribed treatments from referring physicians without doing their own research. Nowadays, with 'Dr. Google' at their fingertips, most patients conduct their own research about their treatment options, and even the facilities, before deciding. Therefore, online trust-building is vital, especially considering healthcare is the second-most reviewed industry online.

Top Marketing Missteps and Their Solutions

1. Neglecting Online Reputation

Ignoring online reputation management can hurt trust-building with potential patients and referring physicians. Positive online reviews can help immensely in building this trust.

2. Non-Optimized Websites

It's crucial to have mobile-optimized websites with numerous conversion points. Comsa emphasizes, The website should be user-friendly, making it easy for potential patients to call the office from anywhere on the site.

3. Underutilizing Content Marketing

Engaging and informational content can improve visitor engagement on the website and increase their knowledge about your services.

4. Not Targeting Patients Directly

Given that most patients are researching online, you should make sure your practice is easily found and provides information that speaks directly to the patients' needs and symptoms.

5. Not Measuring and Tracking Marketing KPIs

Failing to keep track of how you're increasing brand awareness, conversions, and returns on your marketing budget could mean you're missing out on opportunities to optimize and improve your strategies.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, keeping pace with changes is essential, and this rings true for the niche segment of Interventional Radiology as well. A thorough understanding of marketing, with tailored strategies for this particular segment, can lead to sustainable practice growth, increased patient base, and improved online reputation.