When the issue of target marketing arises comes up in health care, it is important to address the ethical or moral component that is an obvious concern of many practitioners. Does deciding upon a target market imply denying care to those who need it? Some who take more literally the motto, "No patient in need being refused care," may think it does. Specification of a target market, by itself, does not imply denying care. In reality, physicians have taken an oath to treat those who need their services. The issue of specifying a target market speaks more to ensuring the efficient use of resources by a practice or a program to meet that need, whatever it may be. Having a succinct marketing strategy forces the orthopedic group to decide on exactly whom it is trying to reach in terms of patients and referral sources, and to uncover their needs. That's a good thing, actually. First of all, having a "targeted marketing" mentality just makes good business sense. It results in an office filled with the types of patients and cases the partners have pre-determined are desirable from the standpoint of clinical challenge, revenue potential or both. It also means physicians on staff are making the best use of their time and expertise. The right needs
In essence, targeted marketing makes orthopedic practices be selective about who they attract, but it also enables them to truly help those who need their particular services most. Another benefit: This approach helps groups better target their promotional and marketing efforts right at the patients and referral sources they want to treat, which is essential. Because what undoubtedly turns off many physicians to this concept of medical practice marketing is what is seen in most metro markets today in terms of health care advertising by hospitals: large catchy advertisements on billboards by the highways or on transit boards on the sides of buses. From a marketing strategy perspective, the question that must be asked about...
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