There are several actions that need to be taken both for general marketing for your spine practice (such as creating a practice brochure) as well as specific marketing initiatives for different customer groups.

General marketing

A. Create and implement a Strategic Marketing Plan
This plan will be the "bible" of your marketing efforts. It is vital that you put everything in writing and make people accountable. Without it being in writing, it holds no merit. The Plan should entail EVERY aspect of marketing and should be monitored regularly throughout the year and updated annually. Also if there are any questions about what marketing is and what is does for the practice, a written plan will serve as proof to show that marketing works - if done correctly.

B. Create a Physicians Marketing Committee
This is an internal committee of physician(s) within the practice created to assist the Marketing Representative with marketing related issues and give insight into the direction of the practice.

C. Create print media
You will need some print media to communicate with your patients and others in the community, including an image brochure that tells people about your practice, the physician(s) and your services. This will allow you to mail information to new patients, distribute information regarding your practice at health fairs, to payors, etc.

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D. Create and market your practice website
Patients are becoming more and more computer savvy. When looking for new physicians, patients want to research them to make sure they are credible - and this research is easiest to do online. Plus, patients want to research their injuries, conditions, diagnostic tests and treatment options. By giving them a resource of your website, you look credible to patients, referring physicians and the general public. Also, a website is a great way to tell potential physician recruits about your practice and its services.

The key here is not just to have a website, but to make sure patients can find it. When a patient searches in a search engine for a doctor in a city or state, literally thousands of website listings show up. And research consistently demonstrates that most people only look at the top 10 to 20 search engine results. So if you want your spine practice website to be found, the plan must include how to get your website into the top search engine listings.

E. Develop a Practice Newsletter
Newsletters are a great way to reach patients, referring physicians, and payors about the happenings of your practice and new and innovative procedures. They are great for a positive public image and are a wonderful educational tool.

F. Create and monitor a budget
In general, practices should expect to spend at least 1% of their total gross revenue on marketing. After the first year of your marketing effort, you should have a good understanding of what it will take. If you are going to commit to the marketing effort, you have to be willing to spend money, but spend your money wisely.

Marketing to Payors

Targeting payors is very important in your marketing efforts. Payors include but are not limited to:

  • Insurance provider
  • Third Party Administrators (TPA)
  • Self-insurers Employers
  • Attorneys
  • Workers' compensation (case managers, adjusters, rehab nurses)

Ways in which you can market to payors may include a combination of the following:

  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Presentations
  • Sponsorships & booth participation
  • Health fairs & presentations
  • Practice newsletter
  • Courses & In-services
  • Site Visit
  • Announcements

Marketing to Referring Physicians

  • Referring physician offices
  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Distribute holiday recognition gifts
  • Announcements
  • Practice newsletter
  • Grand Rounds, Presentations and In-services

Marketing to General Public

  • Health fairs & Community Expos
  • Presentations for community events
  • News releases and announcements
  • Practice Newsletter
  • Practice website and online marketing

Tracking and Planning

You will need to create a system to measure and monitor the impact of your practice marketing efforts. The information you collect is only as good as what you do with it. For example, tracking surveys and referring physician and payor referral trend analysis is vital. This information will let you know who you should visit or support and why. It is also important to track and implement ideas from your Satisfaction Surveys

Referring Physicians

  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Referral Trend Analysis


  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Payor mix

General Public

  • Satisfaction Surveys
  • Overall patient mix of the practice
  • An Action Plan Timeline should be developed when planning marketing events. This will allow you to look at the events of the year at a glance. It is a way to quickly find and review what you need to do and when it needs to be accomplished.

Doctors are starting to realize that that the medical industry was changing and marketing their practice isn't a "bad thing". The key is to be tactful in the marketing approach and undertake marketing initiatives in a thoughtful, carefully planned manner.