Because You Met Them Where They Are

By Ben Montgomery*

Physical therapy marketing is about making a memorable, persuasive connection with the audience, regardless of the channel(s) used to amplify your message.

To be more specific, it’s about making the marketing message not about you but about the consumer. It’s about meeting them where they are in their lives, and once a connection is made, nudging them toward physical therapy as the solution to a more fulfilling future.

Focus on the Patient’s End Goal: Yes, in the clinic the end goal is to relieve pain, restore motion, strengthen the body, and so on. But for what? Is it to get back on the basketball court? To keep up with the grandkids? To get up the stairs?

Physical therapy messaging should start with these end goals first as they address real and relatable human values.

Lose the Clinical Speak: Terms like “manual therapy,” “physical modalities,” and “active release,” mean nothing to most consumers. And yet a disproportionately large portion of physical therapy marketing is devoted to such terms, even featuring them in headlines and page headers.

Most health care consumers simply can’t relate to this language, and it certainly won’t elicit a positive response. As the late, great writer Kurt Vonnegut once said about semicolons as a writing tool, “All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

Show, Don’t Tell: Share personal success stories from your clinic. Seek them out from patients who’ve experienced successful outcomes.

But even with success stories, it’s still important to focus on the end goal. Rather than stories about “my pain went away” or “I was up and walking days after surgery,” highlight life after physical therapy—as in, what did success in the clinic allow them to do outside the clinic.

Ben Montgomery

Ben Montgomery is a former journalist who applies years of copywriting and message development experience toward serving physical therapists through, the marketing services arm of Vantage Clinical Solutions, serving private practice clinicians with content marketing and web development solutions. He can be reached at

*The author has a vested interest in this subject.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

Are you a PPS Member?
Please sign in to access site.
Enter Site!