Know Your Customers: Marketing Your Physical Therapy Clinic Successfully

You’ve developed your physical therapy clinic’s unique value proposition, you’ve allocated some money toward marketing your physical therapy clinic, and now you’re utilizing some administrative time to organize a marketing campaign.

So, what do your customers want to hear?  What’s the message that’s going to get them to come in droves to your clinic?  How do you know you’re sending the right message? How do you know that you’re marketing to the right person?

Before worrying about your messaging, start with the most important task: learn everything you can about your customer- learn who they are and what makes them tick.

How much do you know about your typical customer?  Do you know where they live? How much money they make in a year? What sources they use to learn about their health?  How they decide which physical therapist to go to?

You may be thinking to yourself, “But, why does this matter? Who cares how much money they make in a year or how many kids they have. I just want them to come to my clinic.” This is a legitimate concern, and I’ll offer an analogy to try to explain why knowing your customer is absolutely essential:  Imagine you are out buying gifts for your significant other, your mom, and your kids. Would you buy them all the same gift?

Unless your four-year old son is itching for a day at the spa, or your mother has an affinity for Transformer action figures, your answer is probably a resounding no. It’s far more likely that while you are shopping, you can easily picture the person you’re shopping for in your head, and make an educated and targeted guess as to whether the gift you’re about to buy is going to score you brownie points or be a dud.

The same concept applies to marketing:  the more you understand about your customers’ wants, needs, and habits, the more effectively you can create a highly-specific message that will resonate with them.  You can accomplish this by creating highly detailed representations of your ideal patients by developing customer personas.

It’s important to keep in mind that, while each persona should represent a specific segment of your customer base, it needs to be highly specific.  You are creating a single person that represents a segment, meaning you want to be as specific as you can be.  Most businesses name each persona (Business Focused Sally or Will the Weekend Warrior) and even attach a picture that they feel best represents them.

You can build your personas from scratch, or download our FREE CUSTOMER PERSONA TEMPLATE.  Each Customer Persona should include:

  • Demographic Information: Their age, sex, marital status, annual household income.
  • Their Typical Day: Where do they work? How much do they work?  What do they do for fun?  What music do they listen to?
  • Their pain points:  Your business should be solving a very specific problem that this individual has.  In your customer’s case, it’s likely that their pain point is literally pain. Where is it?  Is it chronic or acute?  What is their issue stopping them from doing?  How are you going to solve their issue?
  • Informational Sources:  Is it social media, Google, magazines, WebMD, their MD, co-workers, friends? If you know where they’re going to learn about health-related issues, you know where you should spend your time trying to reach them.  Simple as that.
  • Their values, goals: Is their pain stopping them from running in a half marathon, or keeping them from being able to reach their top shelf?  This is a very important distinction to make, as the messaging to these two individuals should be different.
  • Their view of Physical Therapy:  Are they avid exercisers that will be fully adherent throughout care, or are they trying to squeeze PT into a hectic work schedule and even more hectic home life? For example:

physical therapy marketing

In the end, try to have a maximum of five personas.  As you are completing your personas, try to avoid assumptions.  Instead, it’s ok to leave a section blank.  The good news is, the very people that you are describing are rehabbing at your clinic right now.  If you don’t know something, go find it out from them!  Once you’ve created your personas, then you can build a targeted marketing campaign specific to your ideal customers.  You should be referencing your personas whenever you do any marketing work. So, when you’re deciding whether to do a direct mail campaign, or automating an online marketing campaign, you can think, “What would Saleswoman Sally think?”

So, get started building your customer personas!  Feel free to download our free template to get started

Ryan Klepps

Physical Therapist, COO & Co-Founder of Strive Labs, Inc.

Somerville, MA