Importance of Identifying Your Ideal Patients in Your Physical Therapy Marketing Plan

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Increasing business at your practice starts with a strong marketing plan

If you own a private physical therapy practice, getting more business is likely a primary goal that dictates many—if not most—of the decisions you make. To this end, you probably also understand how crucial it is to market your practice in order to reach both current and prospective patients, but how to market and what you need to get there may seem a bit more daunting. That’s why we’d like to offer some physical therapy marketing ideas to assist you with this process.

Marketing is essentially the process of getting someone who is in need of physical therapy to know, like, and trust you.  When you achieve these goals, there’s a high likelihood that people that know, like, and trust you will contact you.

The services that you offer, what separates you from your competitors, and presenting this information in such a way to show patients why they should choose to visit you instead of another practice are all important.

In today’s business world, with a seemingly endless number of marketing tactics—like e-newsletters, paid ads, a wide variety of social media platforms—it’s difficult to decide what combination of tactics will work best and be worth your time.

But as with much else in business, it pays to start with a plan.

Identify your ‘ideal patients’ and group them into segments to better define who you want to market to


Before beginning any sort of marketing, spend some time to create a clear marketing plan. Doing so will guide your future efforts and allow you to determine what approaches you’d like to take, and the amount of resources needed to make them happen. A critical first step in formulating a marketing plan is to identify your ideal patient, which is an individual whose problems you are most adept at solving. Ask yourself these questions to help identify your ideal patient types:

  • What are the demographics of these individuals?
  • What types of diagnoses do these individuals have that would lead them to seek out physical therapy (e.g. immobility, chronic pain, sports-related injury, pelvic problems, vestibular conditions)?
  • What are the perceptions of these people with respect to using PT services (are they open to direct access or do they need a referral)?
  • What types of media do these patients consume (e.g. Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube)?

Niche Down to More Specific Segments for Better Clarity and Physical Therapy Marketing Effectiveness

Once you successfully answer these questions, build a marketing campaign that attempts to reach these ideal patients directly, as those are the individuals most likely to come to you for care. Marketing plans are often more effective when you further segment your ideal targets into smaller groups or segments. Here are a few examples to consider when further segmenting your ideal patients into target markets:

  • Past vs. current patients
  • Patients referred by physicians vs. self-referred patients
  • What types of insurance/payment do these patient types usually have available to pay for PT services?
  • Individuals that are most likely to benefit from your services

Again, try to understand what it will take to get past patients (warm leads) with a need for your services to come back versus what prospective patients (cold leads that have never used you before) are looking for and would make them select you over competitors.

Why ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect’

A common problem that many private practices owners run into in their physical therapy marketing strategy is spending too much time trying to ensure that a marketing plan is perfect. This can lead to delays in launching the plan, which in turn, could mean less potential business for your practice. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you get something off the ground and “done” first, rather than getting too hung up on perfecting it. Marketing plans are meant to be tweaked and improved upon as you go, so work on erecting a strong base at the outset, and then building on it from there.

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