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Archive for the ‘Online Urgent Care Marketing’ Category

Oklahoma Urgent Care Association Says Help Is Needed Now

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The Urgent Care Association of Oklahoma is urging Urgent Care practitioners and those involved in the Urgent Care industry to act now to help the victims of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma.

“The Urgent Care industry is known for providing Urgent Care on a day-to-day basis. Now, when thousands of people are in urgent need, that same caring philosophy should be a driving force for the Urgent Care industry to provide help for the tornado victims,” said Sam Yates, founder of the Urgent Care Association of Oklahoma. The Urgent Care Association of Oklahoma, the only Urgent Care Association of its kind in Oklahoma has posted links on its website directing where help may be sent. You may visit the Urgent Care Association of Oklahoma at www.ucaook.org.

“The devastating tornadoes are also another example of why Urgent Care centers should be a critical component of mass casualty or significant disaster response,” added Yates. “Urgent Care owners and managers should take the lead to meet with disaster officials, health departments, and other similar organizations to see if there is a role they may play when a disaster such as the Oklahoma tornado strikes. Even if the plan is to rapidly publicize that Urgent Care centers are open to treat non-life threatening injuries, that plan should be in place. It would help to relieve the significant burden hospitals and other care providers face after a significant event where natural or man-made,” concluded Yates.

The Urgent Care Association of Oklahoma is one of 50 business-to-business Urgent Care Associations located throughout the United States. To become a member of a state Urgent Care Association or to inquire about Preferred Vendor opportunities for single or multiple states, contact Sam Yates at (772) 528-5185 or by e mail at sam@yatespro.com.

Press Release: EDUCATION AND THE INTERNET ARE CHANGING THE WAY URGENT CARE CENTERS OPERATE

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URGENT CARE MARKETING GROUP SAYS EDUCATION AND THE INTERNET ARE CHANGING THE WAY URGENT CARE CENTERS OPERATE

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/01/prweb4965214.htm

STUART, Florida/January 14, 2011 — The nation’s urgent care center owners and operators are now turning to the internet and educating the public and businesses about urgent care as key components of their marketing plans for 2011. “These are the must have basics for every urgent care center owner/operator,” said Sam Yates, founder of the Urgent Care Marketing Group.  “Increasingly, the general public and businesses are turning to the internet to search for their care providers and to learn more about urgent care medicine. An urgent care provider without a website or without collateral materials such as brochures and rack cards is losing patients every day,” added Yates.

According to current internet data, the United States has more than 239 million internet users or approximately 73% of the nation’s population. Internet use has increased 151% in the last decade.  “The internet and various search engines are quickly replacing more traditional information sources such as telephone directories for people looking for an urgent care center,” noted Yates. “Five years ago, if you asked a room full of urgent care owners if they had a website, only a handful would raise their hand. Today, especially with the advent of smart-phone technology, you must have a web presence and you must support and promote that presence with collateral materials, news media exposure, and place your practice in search engines and on the minds of potential customers,” added Yates.

The Urgent Care Marketing Group also advises urgent care center owners and operators to be creative in educating the public about their practices and urgent care medicine.  “Right now, there is a lot of public confusion about what is happening in the health care industry in general.  Providers who take the lead in helping to educate the public about urgent care generally are seeing more patients,” said Yates.

Yates points to “creative awareness” as one way of educating the public about urgent care medicine. “Every day, hundreds, if not thousands of people, nationwide are involved in minor traffic accidents and choose to not seek an evaluation from a qualified medical doctor because they do not want to experience a long wait in an emergency room.” The Urgent Care Marketing Group recommended that clients offer ‘crash checkups’ at their clinics as an alternative to the emergency room. “Now, as more people become aware of crash checkups they are seeking evaluations at urgent care centers that may pinpoint medical problems that would otherwise have gone undetected.  Creative awareness is creating a win-win scenario. Crash victims are getting care they may not have gotten and our urgent care clinics are seeing more patients,” Yates added.

For more information about how the Urgent Care Marketing Group may assist your urgent care practice in maintaining and growing your market share, visit www.UrgentCareMarketing.com.

The Urgent Care Marketing Group is a single source of marketing, public relations, internet, social media, video, and design services operating online through the website www.UrgentCareMarketing.com.  Founded as a consortium of leading marketing, public relations, internet, graphic design, and video production experts to the Urgent Care Industry, the site is a one-stop-shop for urgent care providers.

The group of Urgent Care Marketing professionals provides web design, brochures, marketing videos, direct mail, advertising, public relations, and a full range of marketing activities from direct mail to providing brochures and other urgent care collateral materials.

To learn more about the services created specifically for the Urgent Care Industry, visit www.UrgentCareMarketing.com.  You may also call (772) 463-8152 or toll free 800-805-3942.  Please send written inquiries to Urgent Care Marketing, 506 South Federal Highway, Stuart, Florida, 34994.

Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers

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Worth the read! Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers on wisebread.com The title suggests the obvious: a cost comparison between Emergency Room and Urgent Care visits. But this article goes on to explain the not so obvious including, the average wait time comparison, doctor availability, list of medical signs and symptoms to look for when deciding to go to the ER vs your local Urgent Care Clinic.

A well researched and written article AND a great marketing tool for Urgent Care and Walk-In clinics to reference to.

    10. DEVELOP AN INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

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    #10 Marketing Strategy for Urgent Care Clinics: DEVELOP AN INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

    Urgent Care Website Design & Internet Marketing

    Urgent Care Website Design and Internet Marketing

    The Internet has quickly risen to become consumers’ first source of health care information. An urgent care center should have a professionally created website that fully describes its location and capabilities. The website should be listed in online insurance and
    provider directories as well as in major Internet search engines. Once a web presence is established, traffic to the website and the center are driven by social media—including blogs, reviews and networking sites—that raise awareness among highly targeted
    consumer groups.

    Urgent Care Marketing Tip #9: ENGAGE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

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    Urgent Care Public Relations

    Urgent Care Public Relations Firm

    Public relations (PR) provides exposure for an urgent care center by creating stories that are of interest to local media outlets. PR tactics include activities such as writing press releases about the center’s services and topics of health care interest, making providers available to reporters as a subject matter expert, writing letters to the editor, and participating in community organizations.

    The point of PR is to raise awareness of the urgent care center as an innovative health care delivery channel and awareness of the urgent care doctor as an expert on medical affairs. When relationships are established with local reporters, they will likely interview the urgent care operator whenever a relevant story brews.

    Not only is PR free of the expense of paid advertising but there is increased credibility to “objective” coverage by third‐party media outlets. Sample topics of media interest include immunizations for seasonal and H1N1 flu, school and sports physicals, emergency
    room overcrowding, and health care accessibility and affordability.

    Urgent Care Marketing has a professional Public Relations Staff to handle all of your marketing needs with years of experience in the Urgent Care industry.

    Marketing Tip #8: EVALUATE AND PURCHASE PAID ADVERTISING

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    While word‐of‐mouth is essential in building a positive reputation, it also takes time.

    For a growing urgent care needing to reach break‐even volumes, the most effective way to let prospective patients know about the center is through paid advertising. Newspaper, radio, billboards, Yellow Pages, and direct mail targeted to the consumer segments most likely to use the center should communicate how the center meets consumers’ needs for convenient and affordable care.

    Unlike restaurants, banks, and retail stores with daily utilization, urgent care medical needs arise on a fairly infrequent basis. A patient may be aware of an urgent care center and fully intend to use it but several months may pass until the patient has an actual
    medical need. Thus, key to success in urgent care advertising is recall—that the patient remembers the urgent care center when a need arises.

    In order for advertising to spur recall, consumers must be exposed to it on a frequent basis. Advertising during peak seasons and spreading the advertising budget across multiple media should maximize the number of times target consumers are exposed to the urgent care message when they have a need.

    Urgent Care Marketing Group

    Urgent Care Marketing Group

    Urgent Care Marketing has the personal and services that specialize in Urgent Care paid advertising and marketing material. Our Urgent Care Public Relations team can devise a marketing plan that best fits your Urgent Care business creating that ever important patient recall. Visit: Urgent Care Marketing for additional information.

    #6 Marketing Tip for Urgent Care: BUILD YOUR BRAND

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    Urgent Care Marketing presents Urgent Care Marketing Tip #6: Build Your Brand.

    A “brand” is the unique set of benefits a business delivers to a customer while “brand elements”—functional and emotional—are what differentiate a business in the minds of consumers.

    Ultimately, branding answers the question “why would someone use my center versus other options?”

    For urgent care, “functional elements” are what a center does—such as suturing cuts and setting fractures—and the quality, price, and consistency by which it does them. All too often urgent care centers focus their branding on the functional elements. When educating consumers who are unfamiliar with urgent care—competing with the emergency room—functional elements such as short wait times and low co‐pays effectively define the urgent care brand. But when marketing to “enlightened” consumers and competing with other urgent care centers, walk‐in service and on‐site x‐ray are not brand differentiators—the focus must shift to the emotional elements.

    Emotional elements” go to consumer perceptions and differentiate an urgent care according to the patient experience. When consumers do not have sufficient medical training to differentiate the quality of physician services, they make quality judgments
    based on what they can see and feel. A shoddy facility, long wait times, and an abrupt medical assistant will result in an evaluation that the doctor is of “poor quality,” regardless of the true quality of clinical services provided. But if the staff is friendly and warm,
    the waiting room comfortable and well attired, and wait times regularly communicated—the patient will be more likely to return and recommend the facility to others.

    If you’ve been reading our blog and working on the Urgent Care Marketing Tips 1-5, you should have a jump start on building your Urgent Care Brand.
    If you’ve missed the 1st 5 steps, you can visit: Urgent Care Marketing Tips

    Once a brand is established it’s time to work on brand recognition and brand awareness.

    A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. Logos, fonts, and images are excellent examples of brand recognition. One does not have to see the Company’s name  but can merely identify the company right away because a the logo, font or images used.

    Urgent Care brand awareness refers to patient’s ability to recall and recognize the Urgent Care brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It helps the consumers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs to and what products and services are offered under the brand name.

    Branding and creating a brand recognition and brand awareness is important to each and every business. And as Urgent Care Facilities are popping up everywhere
    all over the United States, the competition becomes greater and greater with each day.
    These days, branding and brand marketing not only becomes crucial for Urgent Care Walk-In Clinics but simply put, it’s a necessity.

    #5 Marketing Tip for Urgent Care Facilities: DEFINE YOUR CORE CAPABILITIES.

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    Urgent Care Marketing’s #5 Marketing Tip for Urgent Care Facilities:

    DEFINE YOUR CORE CAPABILITIES.

    Creating “competitive advantage” entails meeting consumer needs better than competitors. A successful urgent care center will be differentiated from other health care options on factors that are important to consumers like:

    • Location
    • Operating Hours
    • Wait Times
    • Scope of Services
    • Appearance of Facility
    • Signage Visibility
    • Participation in Health Plans
    • Friendliness of Staff
    • Affiliations/Referral Relationships
    • Self pay Pricing
    • Accreditation/Certification
    • Experience of Providers

    A competitive advantage chart provides a diagnostic tool that identifies strengths and weaknesses relative to competitors on each factor. Strengths make up a center’s value proposition while weaknesses become the focus of improvement.

    Urgent Care Marketing Competitive Advantage Chart

    Urgent Care Competitive Advantage Chart

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    #2 Marketing Activity For Urgent Care Centers: DEVELOP A STRATEGY TO MEET PATIENT NEEDS.

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    Health care needs vary by individual, meaning your urgent care center will likely not appeal to everyone. Some consumers have a strong brand affinity for the local hospital because it’s where they’ve always gone for care. For others, a shortage of Medicaid
    providers leads to no options but the emergency room. Consumers with high deductibles or co‐pays tend to be more cost conscientious when selecting providers than those with first‐dollar coverage. And in every city, there are physical and psychological
    boundaries such as rivers, freeways, and political lines that consumers do not feel comfortable crossing.

    The center marketing strategy targets the patients most likely to utilize urgent care and builds the service offering around the needs of those patients by:

    • Identifying which consumer segments the urgent care is going to target;
    • Defining the value urgent care provides to those segments;
    • Differentiating the urgent care from competitors (on factors important to each segment); and
    • Creating a program to communicate the benefits and unique advantages of the center to each segment.

    The target market for urgent care is typically working families with employer‐provided health insurance, with active lives resulting in episodic injury and illness, and who place a premium on time and convenience. Urgent care consumers also tend to be “enlightened” as to alternatives for medical care, understand the cost differential versus emergency rooms, and see the quality of the patient experience and the quality of the care as one in the same.

    #1 of 10 Activities for Marketing Your Urgent Care Center

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    #1 of 10 Activities for Marketing Your Urgent Care Center

    As promised, Urgent Care Marketing is bringing you the 1st of 10 Activities for Marketing Your Urgent Care Center authored by Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, Content Advisor, Urgent Care Association of America, Vice President of Strategy and Execution, Concentra Urgent Care

    #1 UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS ARE AND WHAT THEY WANT.
    A business succeeds when it meets a consumer need better than alternatives. Marketing for urgent care starts by identifying a target group of patients and understanding their unmet medical needs. Urgent care patients are generally busy adults who need a place to
    go when a family medical need arises that requires immediate, but not emergency, medical attention. Typical consumer needs met by urgent care include:

    • Availability during evenings and weekends (when primary care physician offices are closed).
    • Convenience of non‐scheduled walk‐in service (to accommodate on‐the‐go lifestyles).
    • Accessibility to home, school, or work (resulting in a short drive time to the center).
    • Affordability (lower out‐of‐pocket cost than emergency rooms).

    Patient needs may further include short wait times, confidence that a physician is board certified, a warm and inviting clinical environment, and a friendly and empathetic staff.
    The best way to understand the needs of prospective patients is to ask—market research involves surveying, interviewing, or conducting focus groups to gain insights as to how patients utilize health care services, challenges they currently experience, and improvements they would like to see.

    If your Urgent Care Facility needs help with market research including surveying, interviewing or conducting focus groups, contact Urgent Care Marketing. Our experts can help guide your marketing research project in the right direction. 772-463-8152