Marketing is unlike any other essential business task. It’s one part research, one part networking, two parts trial and error (and data-mining), and three parts creativity. Needless to say, marketing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—and that’s totally okay! But, that doesn’t mean you can abandon your marketing efforts entirely, because that’ll leave you with a big elephant in the waiting room (i.e., you’ll probably struggle to find new patients). That said, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time on your clinic’s marketing—if you outsource, that is. However, while outsourcing may be the perfect solution to one clinic’s marketing woes, it may be a disaster for the next. Read on to decide where you land on that sliding scale.

Stalled Out: 5 Reasons Your Patients Are not Progressing (and What to Do About Them) - Regular BannerStalled Out: 5 Reasons Your Patients Are not Progressing (and What to Do About Them) - Small Banner

Pros

Outsourcing can save you money.

Labor costs are typically the largest business expense in any company. According to this article, those expenses “can account for as much as 70% of total business costs,” as they “include employee wages, benefits, payroll or other related taxes.” Yikes; that’s a lot of dough. So, if you don’t have the budget to hire an in-house marketer or two, outsourcing could be the way to go.

Keep in mind that if you want to keep a marketing agency on tap for all your promotional needs, you’ll have to dole out a monthly retainer fee, which can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000. But, if you’re looking for some temporary marketing help (say, with designing a website or promoting a new therapeutic service), you’ll only have to pay one bout of project-related expenses.

It allows you to expand your marketing efforts—without taking up your (or your staff’s) time.

Marketing requires a very particular set of skills—skills that are acquired over time and can make marketing difficult for those who don’t have the right foundational knowledge. On that note, outsourcing can be a great option if you (and your staff):

  • don’t like marketing,
  • don’t have time to develop a sound marketing strategy, or
  • would like to expand your marketing efforts—but don’t currently have the means to do so.

You’ll have access to marketing experts who can easily create a top-notch game plan.

You may have picked up some marketing know-how while running your business—like winning strategies for attracting direct access patients or perfecting your reviews—but at the end of the day, your expertise lies in your clinical judgement and bedside manner. Marketing agencies, however, employ experts who live and breathe marketing—and it’s safe to say that those marketers (whose job requires them to keep up with industry trends and search algorithm changes) might noodle up a brilliant idea that never would have crossed your mind.

You can pick and choose which tasks you’d like to outsource.

If there are some aspects of your marketing program that you can’t bear to part with, the good news is that you don’t have to! When you hire a marketing agency or freelancer, you don’t have to offload all your marketing to-dos. Rather, you can selectively choose which tasks you don’t want to deal with—whether they be in the realm of social media or PPC—and hand them off to someone else. Plus, if you’re outsourcing a specific task instead of an entire marketing strategy, your costs will likely fall on the lower side.

Cons

Outsourcing can cost a lot of money.

Outsourcing may save you money if you’re considering adding a new hire to your ranks, but if you’re currently handling all of your marketing on your own, then hiring an agency will be a big new expense. As stated above, marketing agencies can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 a month—if not more. It can be tough to budget for a cost like that—especially as reimbursement rates continue to fall each year. Before picking an agency—if that’s the route you choose—take the time to sit down, calculate the revenue each new patient brings to your clinic (on average), and decide what you can—or are willing to—pay for those patients.

You lose control.

Loss of Quality Control

If you’re the type of person who wants your hands in everything that goes on inside your clinic (i.e., you aren’t a big fan of delegation), then outsourcing might not be the best solution for you. When you hand off your marketing to an outside entity, you need to be able to let go of the reins and let the agency create and publish as needed. That’s not to say you won’t have any insight or influence, but you might not be able to see every little thing the agency produces.

Clashes in Culture

When you outsource your marketing to an agency, you also run the risk of igniting culture clashes. For example, if you run a tight ship while your chosen agency is more of a “work at your own pace (within reason)” kind of operation, you could get frustrated when deadlines are pushed or meetings delayed. The opposite situation could create friction, too, which is why it’s important to make sure your cultures mesh (or that y’all are at least on the same page).

Additionally, if the agency isn’t totally on board with—and queued into—your culture, brand, and overall message, they’re more likely to create and publish ill-fitting materials that don’t accurately represent your clinic.

Concerns with Privacy

When you outsource your marketing, you don’t just show the agency your clinic and let the marketers work their magic. You have to hand over sensitive details about your company, including:

  • your marketing goals (which reveal your patient load and makeup),
  • the keys to your website and/or social media accounts (password security, anyone?), and
  • any topics you want your promotional materials to avoid (e.g., clinic problem areas).

And when you’re asked to compile and provide all that strategic firepower, privacy can become a big concern. Now, reputable marketing agencies will handle your data with care—but it doesn’t hurt to do your due diligence and research the company’s data security protocols before you sign a contract.

Some agencies may not be experts outside of their advertised specialty.

The section header says it all: be wary of agencies that claim they can do it all when they clearly have a specialty. Say, for example, that you’re looking for help creating (and refining) a website for your practice. You find a website development agency that looks great—and during your first consultation, the representative casually mentions that the agency can also handle your social media. Buyer beware! If the agency had social media experts, it would pitch its social media services equally—not as an afterthought. If you’re looking for marketing help in several areas, either enlist the services of one well-rounded company that hires marketers of all stripes, or hire multiple specialized agencies.

The Middle

If you’re stuck in the middle and can’t decide whether or not to outsource your marketing, a rehab therapy-specific marketing software may just be the happy medium you’re looking for. With a platform like WebPT Reach, you stay in control of your marketing, but you also have the benefit of marketing automation and patient engagement tools designed to help you acquire, retain, and reactivate your patients. Reach’s automation features can save a lot of time (and money) for clinics who choose to keep their marketing in-house. Check out this page to learn more and schedule a tour.


Have you decided whether or not outsourced marketing is the right move for your practice? Do you have any questions for our marketing team? If you answered “no” or “yes” to those questions, respectively, then leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you!

  • [Quiz] Is Your PT Clinic Marketing to the Right Patients? Image

    articleMar 25, 2019 | 1 min. read

    [Quiz] Is Your PT Clinic Marketing to the Right Patients?

    We’ve been talking about the importance of marketing directly to patients for a while now. After all, patient-consumers are taking an even more active role in their healthcare decisions . But even PT clinics that do market their practices to patients often do so without having a strategy in place. And that’s concerning, because if you’re not thinking strategically about how you’re spending your marketing dollars—not to mention your time—then you’re probably not going to see the …

  • What’s a Value Prop, and Why Does Your PT Clinic Need One? Image

    articleApr 1, 2019 | 6 min. read

    What’s a Value Prop, and Why Does Your PT Clinic Need One?

    We’ve written a gazillion posts about the importance of selling the value of physical therapy—as well as the value of your specific services. After all, so few of the patients who could benefit from receiving physical therapy are actually receiving it. Thus, it’s clear that most of the general public still doesn’t understand what this profession is capable of —namely, helping people restore function, improve wellbeing, and recover from injury without relying on dangerous, costly interventions such …

  • Founder Letter: 6 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Get More Direct Access Patients Today Image

    articleMay 1, 2019 | 13 min. read

    Founder Letter: 6 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Get More Direct Access Patients Today

    Imagine a world where—much like the King of the Seven Kingdoms must gain the approval of his councilors before making any major decisions—patients have to consult their primary care physicians before they can see any other healthcare provider (whether that’s a dentist or a chiropractor). Sounds ridiculous, right? And if every health and wellness professional relied on physician referrals to keep a steady flow of patients, the competition would be pretty steep—and it’d be much harder to …

  • The Biggest Budget Mistake in All of Rehab Therapy Image

    articleJul 3, 2018 | 6 min. read

    The Biggest Budget Mistake in All of Rehab Therapy

    WebPT recently completed its annual state of rehab therapy survey , and we found some really interesting trends: some positive—and some, well, less-than positive. For starters, as WebPT President Heidi Jannenga wrote here , “the data showing the distribution of men and women in leadership roles appears to be evening out, which means more women are stepping up to take on bigger professional challenges.” That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, though, we also found that the majority of …

  • 3 Keys to Creating Content Your Patients Actually Want to Read Image

    articleApr 17, 2019 | 6 min. read

    3 Keys to Creating Content Your Patients Actually Want to Read

    You’ve got a blog , an email newsletter , and an active social media presence . And that’s all great—as long as you’re using those channels to publish original content that your network of patients (current, past, and prospective ones) actually want to consume. Otherwise, you’re putting in an awful lot of work for very little reward. But how do you ensure you’re (1) generating physical therapy blog ideas that actually resonate with your audience, and (2) …

  • Founder Letter: Why You'll Never Get Lucky in PT Marketing Image

    articleMar 6, 2019 | 5 min. read

    Founder Letter: Why You'll Never Get Lucky in PT Marketing

    Physical therapists: Are your marketing tactics delivering to your expectations? And—be honest—are you deploying any real marketing tactics at all for your practice? If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” I get it—and you’re not entirely to blame for this. I believe the standard PT education program fails to emphasize the importance marketing, and it’s led many of us to believe that success in business hinges mainly on luck (and chasing physician referrals). As …

  • 4 Weird Ways Patients Are Finding Your Practice Image

    articleFeb 25, 2019 | 6 min. read

    4 Weird Ways Patients Are Finding Your Practice

    Attracting patients can be a big struggle—one that, especially in smaller clinics, often leaves therapists and practice owners wondering exactly how to get more business. And although we’ve talked a lot about some common strategies you can use to lure in new patients (and retain old ones ), there are some less-visible forces that could be pulling in a small portion of your patient pool. So today, we’re going to step away from more conventional digital marketing …

  • FAQ: Make Google Do It: How to Use the Internet to Win More Patients Image

    articleApr 18, 2019 | 22 min. read

    FAQ: Make Google Do It: How to Use the Internet to Win More Patients

    Earlier this week, Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, and Scott Hebert, PT, DPT, hosted a webinar that dove into the depths of digital marketing in the age of the almighty Internet. Though they covered a lot of ground, they weren’t able to address all the questions that filtered in during the hour-long presentation . So, we took it upon ourselves to compile (and answer!) the most commonly-asked questions of the bunch! Don’t see the answer to your …

  • Common Questions from Our Physical Therapy Patient Retention Webinar Image

    articleMar 28, 2018 | 12 min. read

    Common Questions from Our Physical Therapy Patient Retention Webinar

    Strive Labs co-founders Ryan Klepps and Scott Hebert recently joined WebPT president Heidi Jannenga for an insightful webinar about improving patient retention and reducing early patient drop-out. We know this is a super-relevant topic, especially because the cost of diminishing patient visits represents a $6 billion problem that not many people in the industry are talking about—at least not yet. As a result, we received a slew of great questions that we couldn’t get to live on …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.