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Episode 1:
To Market or Not to Market

On this edition of Just Checking In, industry experts Dr. David Stern and Alan Ayers discuss the risks that some companies take by implementing no marketing strategy at all.

Just Checking In - Episode 1 - 040716

Alan Ayers: Looking for marketing ideas to draw more feet throughout the doors of your urgent care center? That’s today on Just Checking In.

David Stern: Hello and welcome to Just Checking In, a video blog discussion of anything and everything urgent care. I’m David Stern and this is my colleague Alan Ayers. Now and then we will be checking in with you discussing all sorts of items related to urgent care, from marketing, to billing, to start up, and we will be talking about anything you’re interested in as well. Send in your questions and we’ll be happy to discuss them here on Just Checking In. So Alan, you have something up for us here this morning.

Alan Ayers: Yes, definitely. So in some of my recent travels, I’ve come across some interesting examples that illustrate the power of marketing. The first one here is outside of Washington, D.C., is the Five Guys Burgers and Fries headquarters. They now have about 1,000 locations, but what is interesting about this company is they do absolutely no marketing and no advertising. They built a culture around providing outstanding customer experience, they focused on their product, and their marketing strategy is really to build loyalty and word of mouth among their loyal, who they call, not customers, but fans. So the question is, do you think urgent care could pursue the same strategy of having no marketing or advertising?

David Stern: That’s interesting Alan because there is a Five Guys here in town and I’ve never heard anything about it. I have seen the sign but never heard anything about it. I think there is something pretty unique about urgent care compared to fast food and restaurants. That is, when a restaurant opens in town, there is usually a lot of buzz about a restaurant. Certain restaurants open in town, there’s a lot of buzz, everyone says, “hey, let’s all go there tonight.” But when an urgent care opens in town, there may be a little bit of buzz, but people don’t say, “Hey, let’s go to the urgent care tonight.” You can’t go to the urgent care tonight, so you are stuck with a situation where you have to wait until you have the need for it. So you need to get top-of-mind awareness. I would say, based on our statistics, and in our software our customers frequently ask, “How did you hear about us?” Word of mouth and from a friend is a good sign you are creating good customer service, but I am not sure that is enough to drive urgent care. In fact, our experience, and you know our data shows, that high visibility on a very busy street together, not one or the other, but both, is critical for the growth of an urgent care. I think if you are going to depend on word of mouth and great customer service, you’re probably going to be making a mistake if you are using that as your main marketing source. What do you think?

Alan Ayers: I would agree and really you kind of made the point too; unlike burgers and fries, which a family might go out for once or twice a week. You might only need urgent care once or twice a year. So if you are going to depend on loyalty and word of mouth, it would just take entirely too long to build a customer base for urgent care that way.

David Stern: Good point, good point. Well, that’s all we have for today, is that right Alan? This is great!

Alan Ayers: Yes, thank you very much.

David Stern: For more information, visit our website,, subscribe to our YouTube channel and you can also find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. As always, this Dave Stern, Alan Ayers, we’re checking out, see you next time.

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