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In an industry where clinics are consolidating at breakneck speed, hospitals are buying up urgent cares daily, and retail on-demand clinics are popping up on every corner, it’s not surprising that urgent care startups can feel lost in a land of giants. How do you compete? And how do you succeed?

Two words: Local marketing.

Today’s consumers take their healthcare personally. And you should, too.

The following are five things you can do to set yourself apart from the big-box healthcare clinics and tip the scales in your favor.

1. Create a localized name and brand. Many patients prefer to patronize a business that’s part of their community, rather than one that has no ties—financial or personal. Choose a name or tagline that conveys your commitment to care provided by local physicians who are neighbors and friends, invested the community, rather than a chain that just wants to turn a profit.

2. Reach out to locals. Don’t just talk the talk; walk the walk. Participate in events, sponsor teams, and support causes that are important to the community so patients and prospects see you and know you’re all in. Get your name—and your face—out there. And the extra added benefit is you will get to know your patients and what’s important to them so you can serve them better.

3. Become a Chamber of Commerce member. As an active member of your local chamber, you will have the inside scoop on what’s happening in your community. Getting involved gives you a chance to network with other professionals in your area, improve the business climate, and help meet the needs of residents and their families.

4. Give back. Show your local stripes by doing things that go beyond business and demonstrate your interest in your town or city. Hold a school supply drive in August and stuff backpacks for area kids, donate boxes of tissues during cold and flu season, claim an area near the clinic to clean up and beautify. And talk about it, in the media, with your patients, or on a T-shirt that promotes your cause.

5. Leverage social media. Promote local sports, arts, and service happenings on your social media pages. Let patients know you’re paying attention to everything local. This is also a good place to provide actionable content that is useful to your patients. Share seasonal information about topics like sunburn prevention, smart ways to keep the bugs from biting, and avoiding wintertime blues. Remind them to get preventative care like flu shots and back-to-school physicals, and make contact easy.

These five tips can all be tied together under the marketing banner and should be blended into your strategic marketing plan. If you’re going to compete in the land of the giants, use the advantage that only comes from offering the personalized service only a local clinic can provide. It’s bigger than you think.

This resource was first published prior to the 2019 merger between DocuTAP and Practice Velocity. The content reflects our legacy brands.

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