Let’s talk for a minute about “nonverbal marketing.” When we hear the word “marketing,” many of us think social media, press releases, events, advertising, etc. However, studies show nonverbal communication carries between 65% and 93% more impact than the actual words spoken.
Take a good look around your office. Do your marketing materials talk about your patient satisfaction rates and your use of cutting-edge technology, but the file cabinets have seen their fair share of plaster dust and the light switches are grungy? Your physical space is part of your overall image. Branding is not just about how you actively market your business, it is about how you passively market, too. If the ears are hearing what the eyes are not seeing, you have a problem.
While O&P does not require surgical instrument sterilization, it still is a medical field. You cannot talk about technology and bionics and expect to be taken seriously if your restrooms are not pristine and your walls need to be painted. Your customers have preconceptions when they come to your office for the first time. They probably do not know what to expect technology-wise, but they are going to expect that as a medical facility, it is going to be clean.
Clean it up
Your marketing assignment is spring cleaning. Get out your buckets, scrub brushes, paint, vacuum cleaners, carpet steamers and dusters. Why not take a day, have everyone pitch in – not on a Saturday – and scrub the whole place top to bottom? Are your windows, internal and external, clean? Do you have any old or broken furniture? Do you see a lot of pediatric patients? Are the toys old and broken or dirty? Do walls need painting? Do carpets need replacing? Do you have plants that help with air quality? Do you have an air purifier? What about hand sanitizer stations? Do you require people to fill out forms on a clipboard? Is the clipboard clean or does it look like a menu in an Applebee’s? Take a good look around and make sure your marketing messages are not falling on deaf ears because your marketing message says “high tech” but your visual message is “kinda dirty.”
Update your space
If you want to piggyback on your spring cleaning efforts, do not forget to go through your inventory and/or your office furnishings and equipment and see what you can give away or donate. Do you have an office vehicle that is ready to go to “Kars 4 Kids?” What about printers or other electronic equipment? It is easy to write a press release or post on your Facebook page about your charitable efforts. Make sure you take pictures that reflect a sincere charitable effort — not a photo of an old, dusty, pin-feed printer that nobody is going to use.
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- Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions and the Vice President of Clinical Education Concepts. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.