Highlighting the “4 Rs” of Marketing

September 24, 2015

A successful marketing strategy requires breaking from tradition to create new ideas and approaches when dealing with patients, vendors, and team members.

For more than 50 years, little has changed about the textbook definition of the “4 Ps” of marketing – product, price, placement, and promotions – yet dramatic changes have taken place in the business world.

Today’s leaders require a more contemporary marketing approach, built upon and beyond the traditional “4 Ps.”  This new approach will lead to a sustainable competitive advantage and long-term business success.  Think of it in terms of the “4 Rs” – relationship, retention, results, and rewards.  Relationships lead to retention; retention improves business results; and superior business results generate superior rewards for the doctor, team members, and patients.

1.     Relationships always drive business results.  Buying decisions, and more importantly, repeat buying decisions, are made based on individual and brand relationships.  When a bond is forged between the patient and the office team, it creates a powerful marketing tool for repeat business, referrals, and up selling.

If you are not investing in relationship-building strategies and programs with your team members and patients, chances are your competitors are.  After all, relationships are the primary asset of any enterprise.

2.     Retention of valuable patients and team members is the hallmark of most successful practices.  Retention is the most critical driver of profit expansion.  The cost of replacing lost patients and team members is astronomical.

The popularity and success of loyalty programs is evidence of the importance of retention.  Consider the 80/20 rule:

80 percent of a company’s business is sold by 20 percent of their salespeople, managed by 20 percent of their employees and purchased by 20 percent of their customers.

You can’t afford not to create special offers, promotions, and packages to ensure ongoing service and patronage of these key groups.

3.     Results are all that matter.  In real estate it is location, location, location.  In business it is results, results, results.  Was a sale created?  Was the customer retained?  Did the product or service exceed expectations?  Determining those marketing results is no easy task.  Yet, if marketing programs are not measured, then they are not being effectively managed and stand a good chance of being cancelled.

4.     Rewards and recognition are like oxygen.  Rewards and recognition leave a lasting imprint with people.  It is good business sense to reward loyal team members and patients who contribute to future growth.  Rewards based on results are cost-effective and self-funding, creating a win-win relationship and improved retention.

We have a marketplace, economic environment and political climate unlike any we have seen before.  Tomorrow’s success will require a different approach than yesterday.  The “4 Rs” of marketing can be your key differentiators today.