Competitive Analysis

How do you convince patients to choose you for their foot care—and not someone else?

That’s the million-dollar question—sometimes literally so—that all podiatrists have to answer if they want to be recognized as the best and most trusted foot care provider in their area. How you answer it could make the difference between dominating your market and just barely scraping by.

Because competition is fierce. You’re competing for patients not only against the other podiatry clinics around town, but also the giant hospital down the street. You not only have to educate the value of a podiatric specialist to your prospective patients, but also convince them that they’ll get the best care from you specifically.

It’s a tall order, to be sure. But not an impossible one. And if you’re at square one, one of the best ways to start tackling it is with a competitive analysis.

What Is a Competitive Analysis?

In short, the goal of the competitive analysis is to see where you stand with your marketing, do the same for your top competitors, and then use that information to your competitive advantage.

By making a detailed and honest evaluation of your own and your competitors’ marketing efforts—strengths, weaknesses, unique selling points—you can identify the greatest opportunities for growth, as well as the greatest risks to your current standing.

Armed with this information, it’s much easier to see which strategies and campaigns will fill your waiting room the fastest per marketing dollar you spend.

Baseline Tests

There’s a reason it’s called a competitive analysis and not a competitor analysis. While sizing up the competition is an important part of the process, the first and most important step is the self-analysis.

When we perform a competitive analysis, we make a deep dive through every aspect of your existing digital marketing efforts. For example:

Your Website

Does it look great on desktop and mobile? Is it fast, clean, and easy to navigate? Has the on-page SEO been optimized? Are visitors engaging with the content? Is it built to drive conversions—submitted appointment request forms and phone calls to your office?

Your Branding

Do you have a strong and memorable logo and a consistent style with your marketing? Does your branding make the right first impression for the patients you actually want to see?

Your Presence On Local Search

Do all your offices and doctors have accurate, up-to-date, claimed listings on important citation sites like Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, and RateMDs? How are they ranking in search results? Are they gathering positive patient reviews?

Your Performance on Other Digital Platforms—If You’re Using Them at All

Which social media accounts do you use and how are they performing? Are you using your patient database to run optimized, automated e-mail campaigns? Do you have a solid review strategy? What about pay-per-click online advertising?

If this all sounds complicated, that’s because it is. But it’s also a necessary step. Without deep knowledge of where you stand today, you won’t be able to accurately assess how you stack up—and how you can make it to the front of the line.

Sizing Up the Competition

At this point in the process, you’re ready to start looking at your competitors—whether they’re solo practitioners or monolith health conglomerates. You’ll go through the same steps, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses—in absolute terms, and in relation to your own.

This leads, naturally, into a SWOT analysis. If you’re not familiar with the term, SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The first two items on that list look inward—what am I good at and not so good at? The other two look outward, in relation to your competitors—where are they vulnerable, and where am I vulnerable?

Of course, the SWOT analysis isn’t just comparing scorecards, either. You’ll also need to look at unique selling points. What do you uniquely offer that your competitors just can’t match? What do they have over you?

Prescribing Treatment

A completed competitive analysis is, of course, only the beginning. Now that you know where you and your competitors stand, it’s time to start changing the game in your favor!

If you’ve ever thought “How am I ever going to compete with the local healthcare juggernaut?” (and you know you have), the competitive analysis hopefully showed you that not all hope is lost. Even large groups with huge budgets have blind spots. The opportunities are there if you know where (and how) to look!

Now that you have a much clearer picture of the competitive landscape and where your greatest opportunities lie, it’s time to get started on building those marketing campaigns!

For many podiatrists, a new website is their most critical need. For others, it might be developing a review strategy, or building automated recall campaigns using their patient database. The competitive landscape will often dictate what areas need the most attention right away, in order to maximize your results in the shortest period of time.

So are you ready to get smart, get organized, and get strategic with digital marketing plans that will actually fill your waiting room each day—no matter who you’re competing against?

Contact VMD Services today. Our team has years of experience providing comprehensive digital marketing solutions for podiatrists across North America. No one is better equipped or better trained to address the always-evolving marketing needs of today’s foot and ankle specialists.

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