Physical Therapy Marketing Strategy Part 2: Divide all potential patients into segments to reach people with a specific message

A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it for many problems that need solutions, and this applies to your private practice’s marketing plan, too. While it may be easier to craft a single message and distribute it in a single way, you’ll fail to reach many potential patients and other individuals when you use this type of strategy. Instead, try to guide your physical therapy marketing strategies with segmentation.

Break It Down – Physical Therapy Marketing Segments

Marketing segmentation is the process of dividing your market of all the individuals you’d like to reach into unique groups – or segments—based on a variety of characteristics. The intended goal is that each segment created by this process can have a specific message that targets their needs and matches their needs with the specific benefits they’ll receive when they take you up on an offer.

In effect, segmentation will allow you to more easily personalize the content you’re distributing by individually targeting these specific groups rather than using a general, all-encompassing concept. Segmenting your market reduces the risk of an ineffective or unsuccessful marketing campaign, and research has shown that businesses that utilize this strategy typically turn better profits than those that don’t.

For example, you might offer a free myofascial treatment to a segment of people that have neck problems at work. You could offer a free balance screening to seniors as well.  You are simply creating an offer that would be most appealing to each of those segments.

Assumption: these should be your ideal target patients. I just wrote about ideal patients and physical therapy marketing segments last month because it was top-of-mind for me then as well.

Segment in ways that are most applicable to your private physical therapy practice

There are countless ways to segment your market, but some of the most common ones include doing so by age, diagnosis, or geographic location. If you’re not sure what will work best for your practice, a great first step is to study your patient population. Look into statistics from patients’ medical records to garner an idea of the average age of your patients, what regions most of them are coming from (this is a great way to know where to send direct mail), what types of conditions are most common, and what diagnoses are the easiest to get paid for. This can serve as a single segment, or if some characteristics appear in a bimodal or trimodal—or more—distribution—several segments can be created and targeted with your marketing content.

Other possible segments to consider targeting include:

  • Individuals in need of a specific service: do some research in your area to see if there are any physical therapy services you offer (e.g., vestibular rehab, pelvic floor rehab, pediatric rehab) that are difficult to find locally; if so, be sure to highlight these services (on your website, blog posts, social platforms, and to your referral sources) and be sure to clearly state if you have specialists of any sort on your staff
  • Potential patients vs. existing patients: individuals in need of physical therapy that hear about your practice will be looking for a different message than your current patients; cater your marketing content accordingly
  • Patients vs. doctors vs. case managers: keep in mind that patients are not your only audience, and adapt some of your messages to those that are making decisions on what practice to choose for patients
  • Individuals most likely to benefit from your equipment or modalities: if your practice features any unique equipment or treatments (e.g., aquatic therapy, high-intensity laser treatment, Biodex system), promote them in your marketing messages by explaining what conditions you are most capable of treating

Use the Media that a Majority of Your Segment Commonly Uses as Well

So many companies are selling tactics like Facebook advertising or postcards. One thing you want to make sure you do is to use the media that your market segment uses. So, continuing with our example above, it might not be the best idea to run Instagram ads for balance screenings to seniors that could really use your help. Why? It’s because people over 70, for the most part, aren’t on Instagram (at least a majority of them). You’d be better off mailing them something several times. Additionally, for people with neck pain at work, you might want to use Facebook ads to reach them since people in the workforce in your area are more likely to be on Facebook. So, just keep in mind the segment, the offer, and the media that you will be using when putting together your marketing campaign.

A good reference for this is available here.  The concept of Market (the segment you are targeting), Message (the offer), and the Media you are using (Facebook or direct mail in our examples) comes from Dan Kennedy.

Need Help – Get in Touch with Us

If you’re still not sure how best to segment your audience, we can help by providing some additional physical therapy marketing ideas and show you what we think will work best for your practice. Contact us to learn more.

Extra Training from YouTube

Here’s a good video that describes segmentation, targeting, and positioning if you’d like to learn more.

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