Market penetration for chiropractors is a business development approach where a clinic carries out efforts to broaden its client base for its services within a particular local market. Market penetration is both a measurement and a forecast of how successful a chiropractor has been and will be when compared to the existing competition.
When Chiropractic Market Penetration Appropriate?
The short answer is: always.
New chiropractic practices and under-performing practices have a short window of opportunity to be successful. While new chiropractors attempt to enter the marketplace, successfully established chiropractic practices must maintain their positioning.
One of the more effective strategies is actually to not compete, but to rather expand the size of the marketplace by defining what specifically your ideal target patients want and where to find them. They may not be searching for solutions within the context of the chiropractic services.
Traditional businesses will consider if their market share appears to be increasing or decreasing along with sales conversions. If sales are decreasing and market share is decreasing, then significant changes must be applied to the overall marketing strategy. The way to define market share is to research how many people online are searching for keywords relevant to the services your clinic offers and contrast this by the amount of sales for such specific services.
If there are significant searches but your clinic is not converting sales in those specific niches, then a market penetration strategy must be implemented.
Your Chiropractic Clinic’s Market Penetration Planning
Every chiropractic clinic will have the elements that make it unique and the following considerations will generally apply to all clinics:
What are The Big-Picture Demographics of Your Ideal Chiropractic Patients
Who do you want to work with…? Is there a specific age, gender, lifestyle or income. If you can segment your ideal chiropractic patients into categories, do they have overlaps in terms of their interests, values or lifestyles?
What are the Geographic Demographics of Your Target Patients?
Geography is important because your clinic’s brand elements that appeal to one demographic in a geographic area may not appeal to another demographic in a different suburb or part of the city. Every suburb or neighborhood typically has a unique vibe, feel or set of values. These may not crossover and their might even be class issues that come up.
Knowing your clinic’s general area of appeal in a geographic radius will helps to calculate the gross population of potential patients. For example, if your immediate chiropractic market exists within a 5 mile radius where approximately 50,000 people live but only 20% of those people fall within your ideal target patient profile, then your potential local market is only 10,000.
Have Extremely Realistic Expectations as a Chiropractor for your Market Penetration
The flaw that most entrepreneurs make is to overestimate the reception of their business by their target market. It is going to take time and a lot of repeated visibility before your branding takes hold.
Going back to the example above of the chiropractic clinic in an area of 50,000 people with around 10,000 people meeting their target demographic – it might take an average of 15 different visibility impressions before this target market begins to associate chiropractic services with their problem or desired outcomes and consciously connect these to your clinic’s brand.
If you can get a response and convert 1% of your ideal target market, you can build off of this. A higher figure will obviously generate greater revenues and that conversion process is the art and science of marketing, persuasion and salesmanship.
The Challenges Market Penetration in a Saturated Chiropractic Market
Chiropractic market saturation is a significant challenge for most chiropractors. You likely choose a location to establish your clinic for a variety of (probably) personal reasons over pure economic reasons and you’re likely in competition with a number of other clinics. In any niche or local market there is a predictable, measurable point when all potential customers of a specific product/service have been reached by a business. This is a saturated market.
What can be done in this scenario? What we recommend and can help you to do… place your brand in front of people looking for solutions in crossover niches so that you can go deeper into the market. Don’t fight over smaller pieces of an ever-shrinking pie… Make a bigger pie!
Market Penetration vs. Chiropractic Market Development
The difference between chiropractic market development and chiropractic market penetration is that market development creates a new target market. In the market penetration context, the target market has a fixed size. In market development, the size of the market is yet to be determined and the message/offering can be evolved to further expand the potential market.
The Art of Stealing Chiropractic Patients from Other Chiropractors
It isn’t that difficult. You can’t steal what doesn’t belong to someone else. There will always be price-shopping patients with no loyalty and the perspective that all chiropractic services are the same. They’ll drive halfway across town for an internet sale not realizing that they spent the sale difference in gas money; not to mention their time. You don’t want them. You want loyal patients who are raving fans.
Every clinic will have patients that are halfway out the door. You can’t win them all – nor should you try. You just do your best and the rest will sort itself out.
How can you target the chiropractic patients who would leave a competing clinic – for reasons other than price? Here’s what you do:
Enhance Your Chiropractic Clinic’s Appearance and Aesthetic Appeal
Have a comfortable, elegant space that is congruent with your brand and clinic’s primary focus. People like to have a complete experience and the more your clinic matches their expectations of what a clinic should be like, the more likely they will try it if they see it promoted on social media. If your clinic looks/feels zen and their current DC’s clinic is a bit shabby and run down, they might come check you out.
Clearly Define Your Chiropractic Philosophy to Your Target Market
Your branding must unconsciously appeal to the values and desired outcomes of your target market. Encapsulate your beliefs, mission and successes in a way that sticks in the minds of your potential patients. The clearer you are in your communication, the more memorable it becomes to your patients.
Maximize Your Chiropractic Patients’ Overall Experiences
Give your patients a premium treatment that they want to brag about and want to share. Remember classical conditioning? Peak state+environmental constant+anchor? When your patients are feeling good, send them out the door with the post-hypnotic suggestions to bring you their friends and family who need to feel better…
Limit Chiropractic Patients Risk of Dissatisfaction
Maybe create a special guarantee for new patients like a money-back guarantee or a satisfaction guarantee with their treatment so that they can rest assured that they will be satisfied with their treatment.
Market Yourself as a Chiropractic Expert in A Niche Area
You don’t have to be the jack-of-all-trades (stop trying to do your own web design, social media management and SEO also…) Pick a few niches that you really enjoy working on and brand yourself as the expert in solving those problems. People want to be treated by a specialist, not a generalist. If you dominate a couple of chiropractic niches you will get general chiropractic patients along the way.
Sapid Agency Will Help You Penetrate Your Local Market
We know what it takes to make your clinic stand out in local search and how to maximize your online visibility. We can consult you regarding strategies and run campaigns that will bring you to the top of your market. Contact us today and we will analyze your current marketing results, and the potential opportunities we can help you develop.
Michael Emery, founder of Sapid Agency, received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Advertising Management from Portland State University and a Master of Arts from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He has been involved in online marketing since 2006.