Business Development Marketing for Drug Addiction Treatment Centers
Addiction treatment centers must become as good at business development marketing and lead generation as they are at drug and alcohol addiction treatment. As of March 2012 the competitive landscape has attracted outside investors into the addiction treatment space so much so that gaining qualified leads that have insurance money or cash money is becoming more and more difficult. Business development marketing for treatment centers is mostly some sort of referral marketing. We can get referrals from several different sources but for this brief article let’s just focus on three of them:
1) On ground business development marketers
2) Business development and direct marketing to the trade (other treatment centers)
3) E-mail Business Development Marketing to treatment center alumni and prospects
All three of these business development efforts can be highly successful. The key to all of them is setting up a “system” for each and then tracking each. In a perfect world all three systems will be producing results and admissions for you. The best way to track the different treatment referral or business development systems is to track each inquiry and rank it either 1-10 or good call, admission, has insurance etc. By doing this you will be able get insights on what is working best for you.
On Ground Business Development Marketers
These can be folks who are either independent contractors or employees of your treatment center. You will find that they range in skill and in results. A lot of times treatment centers will take an internal employee and “put them on the road” so to speak. This can be extremely effective if they have already worked for the center and are motivated and outgoing. The good ones are really hard to hang on to because once they become successful it seems that everyone knows about them.
These on ground marketers have relationships with the clergy, hospitals, psychologists, psychiatrists and to other treatment centers. Typically when they refer a client it is already an admission. This is the difference between business development and marketing. The challenge here is managing people as well as the expenses.
Business Development and Direct Marketing to the Trade or other Treatment Centers
If you are already reading this you are probably familiar with the treatment center industry. You already know it is small and tight knit. As time goes on and we change companies we get to know a lot of people. Knowing a lot of people in this space there is a level of trust over time and if someone moves to a treatment center for women and used to work for a center for adolescents chances are there is still a relationship in place where the adolescent center can begin referring women to this “new treatment center” for women.
Over time these relationships can become very fruitful. At the same time there are a lot of networking events in the addiction treatment space and trade shows. These events are great opportunities to forge new and lasting partnerships as well as cement old ones. I think the key to keeping these relationships in tact is to develop a direct marketing system where they are contacted at least once per month by the business development person and possibly an automated e-mail and or personalized postcard program.
E-mail Business Development Marketing to Treatment Center Alumni and Prospects
E-mail marketing is probably the least utilized business development asset available. There are two groups that need to be targeted on a regular basis:
1) Past Customers – Treatment Center Alumni
2) Prospects – People who have visited your site and not bought
The reason why e-mail is so powerful is because you can set it and forget it. It is truly a “system” that if used correctly will pay dividends. Most small business marketing coaches will tell you that developing a list and segmenting that list are one of the two most powerful things any business can do to help grow your business. The other is to do PR really well because it will give you the biggest reach for the least amount of money.
Past addiction treatment clients (alumni) can become referral machines because they used to travel in circles where they probably still know a lot of people who are using. Prospects are another great resource because you have already made a conscious effort to attract them to your business chances are if they don’t need you today they will need you in the future. So a timely e-mail on a monthly basis might be just the reminder for the next call to turn into an admission.
If you have other business development ways that have worked for you please share them with us or feel free to call Jim Peake if you have any questions @ 781-990-8844.