If you haven’t started already, the beginning of the new year is a great time to start evaluating your current marketing technology partnerships. Even if you’re not certain you want to work with someone else, it’s always good to revisit what other marketing solutions are out there and if they can be a better match for your marketing needs. Chances are, you’re already scheduled to attend a few conferences, so it could be in your best interest to spend time reviewing what your specific marketing needs are and interviewing a few of the other marketing solutions out there. To help you with the process, we’ve put together a list of the top five recommended questions you must ask when considering a marketing partner.
1. How does your marketing technology address the top three critical components of my business - my clients, my team and my reminder tools?
This question should be asked at the beginning of each meeting. You have three areas that are of importance for the success of your practice and your marketing technology solution should be addressing each one. How is their marketing platform providing value to your team? Is it helping with efficiency or eliminating daily administrative tasks that may otherwise be a burden? What about clients; do they offer something of REAL value to your clients?
2. What kind of reminder tools do you offer and how are they different from other marketing technology platforms?
Don’t let the sales guys get you with this one by giving you run-around answers. You want to know exactly what they offer - email, text, push notifications, postcards, etc. The answer may lie in accountability reporting. Can you have insight to true cost vs benefit in tracking delivery and channel performance or compliance rates? Can you set and monitor goals for appointments and refills? How do these tools impact your business? You want a partner who will provide you detailed information so you can continue to make smart decisions for your practice.
3. I don’t want my staff working more, how does your technology help my staff with workflow?
The whole reason that you need marketing technology is because your front office staff cannot do it all. They’re wasting time on the phone because people are calling to request records, appointments, refills and more records! What is your partnership going to provide that will help alleviate the chaos at the front desk so your client service manager (CSM) can spend more time building relationships and providing a better client experience? Are medical records able to be sent digitally so your CSM can break up their relationship with the fax machine? Can your clients request appointments 24/7 so they don’t have to make a call over their lunch break and be placed on hold? You need a trusted partner who can provide a solution to the wasted time both your CSM and clients are spending trying to communicate with one another.
Improving communication between your practice and clients should be a primary benefit of working with a marketing technology partner. These days you can communicate several ways; the standard-yet-outdated phone call, the overused and often easily dismissed email and the most recent communication preference of push and text notification. Does the marketing partner you’re speaking with provide any or all of the above? They do, great! But what about delivery information. Do they provide a full review of how well your marketing communication efforts are performing? How can you track what is working and what is not? Be sure to find out.
4. My clients privacy is important to me. What are you doing to protect it?
This should be a no-brainer with any partner you work with but it is something you have to ask. Every answer may be a bit different, but the most reassuring responses will be evidently clear. What kind (medical, financial, contact information, etc.), where and how is client data transmitted and with what type of security? Who has access to client and patient information? How can that information be shared and backed up for protection from loss? The discovery here will be an essential step in finding that trusted technology partner you’re looking for.
5. I’d like to hold you accountable for making sure your marketing technology actually helps my business. Aside from meetings, what else do you provide me so I can hold you accountable? Don’t let this answer fool you, either. Looking at how many emails are sent isn’t providing you enough information to know what really is going on with your marketing material. You need to know more than the number sent - what about open rates and click through rates? How about push notifications or text messages? How many people are responding to your marketing efforts so you can gauge REAL success? You need a dashboard or something easy to read so you can make more knowledgeable decisions.
Remember, when speaking with a potential marketing partner that there’s never a bad question to ask. You want to know exactly what they provide and how you can measure the performance of it given the spend. You want to know how they are going to help you towards your practice goals of increasing non-routine visits and driving more revenue while helping improve patient care.