If you feel your practice has stagnated or your team has lost its mojo and needs a boost, here’s an idea to help. A marketing brainstorming session can spark ideas to help you progress and it’s great for team building. It’s a more informal way to generate new ideas for a specific problem, with a common one being the need for more patients, for example.
The point is for your team to share everything that comes to mind without thinking or judging. It’s the different viewpoints playing off of each other because you’re building off of each other’s ideas and that inspires even more creative ideas.
And, inviting your whole team to participate in marketing brainstorming can help them feel like valuable team members you value, and they are more likely to embrace the changes these ideas bring about when they were part of creating them.
Another tip is to get out of the office for this exercise. If you get out of the office and into a different environment, that can inspire creativity and get you out of the same thought patterns. And there are no distractions.
Rules for a Marketing Brainstorming Session
Set rules using the ideas below so the team understands the parameters. For example:
- All team members are expected to attend and participate
- No side conversations
- Go for quantity of ideas– not quality
- No judging the ideas that are presented – just keep them coming
- Sitting in a circle is optimal
- Set time limits so there is little room for filtering before sharing
This helps the flow of ideas that you can prioritize for the ideas to move forward with now or in the future.
Start with Current Stats
Let the team know where things stand now in terms of your practice stats such as:
- # Patients in Database
- Average Age, gender, zip code stats
- Where did they come from? Referral Source stats
- Top revenue-producing procedures stats
That’s your starting point. Now ask good, directed questions to get the creative juices flowing. Examples include:
- Who is attracted to our practice now? Age, income, gender, procedure, zip code?
- Do we see trends such as changes in the type of patients we see and their demands?
- Are we good with that or do we want a different demographic or focus on different procedures?
The Real Brainstorming Begins Here
You want to focus on questions instead of answers. Ask more open-ended questions and leave room and space for thoughts to bubble up. Either record the session or have someone take notes.
Better yet, use big wall post-it notes so you can display the ideas for all to see. You can either ask the question to the entire group and have everyone yell out their ideas or have them write whatever comes to mind for a few minutes.
When the timer goes off, each person chooses their two best ideas for the group whiteboard. And, collect the original papers as well in case someone had a good idea/solution they didn’t share.
To make it more fun and get better participation, offer a gift such as a $100 bill for the best idea of the day.
When you ask a good question, you get better answers so use these thought-provoking questions and then brainstorm possible solutions:
What could we do to attract a different demographic of patients? Ideas:
- Lead with education vs. discounts
- Office makeover to attract higher-end patients
- More relational vs. transactional interaction with patients
What else can we do to attract more cosmetic patients? Ideas:
- Develop alliances with our own service providers we go to for our hair, nails, gym, etc.
- Hold small events with specific themes, i.e., “Get your body back after having kids”
- Try a new marketing channel such as TikTok
What else can we do to create a better patient experience, so patients stay loyal to us and return? Ideas:
- Phones: Add on-hold messaging that cross-promotes our various services
- Office: Spring cleaning and a new coat of paint with new furniture
- Initial Consult with Staff: Staff makes a pre-consult call to bond early with the patient
- Initial Consult with Doctor: Adds closing statement like: “Sara, you are the perfect candidate for this procedure”
- During/After MI treatment: Make it as pain-free as possible
- During/After Surgical Procedure: Accelerate the healing process
What else can we do to encourage word-of-mouth referrals? Ideas:
- Follow-Up: Send thank you cards with referral cards for their friends
- Display in-house signage expressing how much you appreciate referrals
- Implement a Buddy Botox special price when they bring a friend
I think you’ll be surprised at how many great ideas your team has sat idle in their minds. This marketing brainstorming is the outlet they need to help you grow your practice without hiring expensive ad agencies. Try it!