For most medical practices, a competitive analysis is sometimes placed on the back burner. It’s often a nice-to-have idea, but with all of the pressing needs of running a practice on a daily basis, it’s also often an afterthought.
A good competitive analysis is a scouting report of the actual market your practice must navigate to achieve business success. While analyzing the competition should be an essential component of your strategy, most medical practices don't conduct this type of analysis systematically. However, a thorough competitive analysis is indispensable.
Here are some steps and insights we’ve found to be useful when working with practices in evaluating their competitive landscape:
· Create a list of your practice’s competitors. Seems basic, but not only should you consider your primary competitors, you should also look outside of your primary market. Who do you compete with indirectly? Are there niche treatment providers who could attract your patients or are practices within or outside your primary market gaining a competitive advantage through broad telemedicine programs?
· Develop a list of your competitors’ strengths and weakness. Be objective when developing this list. It does you no good to become defensive in this step. Ask yourself, what makes them great, what is their social media buzz, how does their website look and are they positioning themselves better than you?
· Analyze your competitions’ value proposition, services and targeted consumers. What, if anything, are your patients, referring physicians and staff telling you about your competition? Listen to them. What are they offering, what makes them unique, how have they changed and how does your quality and reputation stack up against them?
· Evaluate your competitions’ advertising. How are they marketing themselves? You can utilize so many secondary sources to review their social media activity, their reputation management scores, their general advertising, and website initiatives. Capture a complete picture of what they are doing over time so you can observe their competitive intent to capture share from your practice.
· Finally, determine what target patient demographic you are looking for. Is there room to grow? What are the market trends, and behavioral and psychographic characteristics of consumers in your market? Do you have a unique value proposition to meet their needs?
A competitive analysis will give you an edge. It will provide you with a sense of where you stand, what you need to work on, and profile your advantages which you can then highlight in your market. It also provides a foundation to motivate your team to outperform your competition with measurable KPI’s to build new patient volume and to view your practice as a business with assets that can be enhanced to increase the value of your practice.
Compiling a competitive analysis is an interesting and necessary business development function, but it can also be extremely challenging. At MBK Marketing Solutions we have a unique and proven process to help medical practices navigate this essential analysis. Let us help you navigate the journey and find success.
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