Marketing Field Trip

By Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT

Summer is a great time for your practice to take a field trip. How about taking a marketing field trip in your community? So often we limit our external marketing reach to traditional medical referral sources and ignore opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) marketing. Small businesses in your community that serve similar demographic targets may be a great place to take your marketing message!

8 Steps in Planning Your Marketing Field Trip

Step 1: Begin the process by identifying your primary patient target market for expansion.

Step 2: Define the geographic range that patients typically travel from to your practice. It will vary greatly depending on if your practice is urban, suburban, or rural. Your practice management software may be a great place to run a patient zip code report to assist in setting your geographical parameters.

Step 3: Divide your practice up into teams that will do a field trip in a certain area around your practice location. Perhaps you will have two to four teams of individuals who will actually agree to drive through the neighborhoods surrounding your business and identify small businesses that serve your primary patient marketing targets. Businesses that are related to health, wellness, fitness, and sport are often great targets, but don’t forget a local coffee shop, salon, or shoe store.

Step 4: Each team should identify at least five possible targets and rank them by location (closer is better), affinity for your practice (to serve women’s health), and familiarity to the practice (someone in your practice patronizes the business).

Step 5: Each team member then selects a business or two to research via website and visit.

Step 6: Team members outline a strategy to approach the business and connect on similarities, identify a co-marketing or mutual referral system, and plan their B2B call.

Step 7: Once a successful B2B connection is made, create a specific plan to cultivate cross-referrals, cohost events, create social media exchanges, and share advertising opportunities.

Step 8: Track your results and remember to express gratitude to your team and to the small businesses you visit and build on each other’s successes!

Steffes-Lynn-2016 Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT, is president and consultant of Steffes & Associates, a national rehabilitation consulting group focused on marketing and program development for private practices nationwide. She is an instructor in five physical therapy programs and has actively presented, consulted, and taught in 40 states. She can be reached at

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!