July 25, 2017

KNOW YOUR TRIBE, BE A SERVANT 

This week in the studio, we’re exploring the importance of defining a target audience. Before I joined CHAR co, I worked for eight years as a Marketing Director at a large, regional orthopedic practice. I share this experience with you to illustrate the importance of defining a profitable, specific target audience and then serving them well.

If you ever had an orthopedic injury, you know that it can be unexpected. Technically ANYONE could need orthopedic services. You could twist your ankle playing flag football or your daughter could fall off the monkey bars and break her arm. However, those examples were not the most profitable or even the target audience for a business plan.  

At this practice, we identified athletes ages 15 - 45 to be the target audience that we could best serve. Obviously anyone with an emergency injury or needing a total joint replacement was still a very important patient but the core focus of the marketing was based on sports medicine.

We served this audience in two main ways:

  1. Through understanding the athlete’s deep desire to continue to play, appointments were scheduled same day or within 24 hours.
  2. By being the only local orthopedic practice to offer 100% of services at a single location. For example, an injured athlete could have an office visit, MRI, physical therapy and even surgery all “under one roof”. Doing this allowed the medical teams to expedite the process, maximize profits, and most importantly synchronize communication between techs, therapists, and surgeons.

Because this Practice was able to see patients sooner AND manage the athlete's entire spectrum of care, patients had a quicker start on their path to recovery and ultimately back on the field.

As you think about your target audience, consider the following:

  • Think small and specific - you will get the most from this audience, others will inspire to be a part of it - or in the case of this example, accidentally be part of it.
  • Who is my customer? Develop a customer profile:  name, age, what he/she likes to do, where he/she likes to shop, what he/she does with his/her friends and family, does he/she own a pet, where does he/she live, etc.
  • Can this audience afford your product?
 

Remember that as marketers we have an incredible opportunity to establish the culture. Using the Practice as a final example, by focusing on a key audience, they crafted a culture focused on service and access. Patients - and their families - valued the convenience and quality of care and happily shared referrals with their communities.


words by heather - chief operating officer

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