What is the Marketing Mix and How do I apply it to my therapy business?Nov 20, 2023
When we go to school and they teach us how to be therapists, we are not taught how to own our own practices. Here is a quick video to provide more thoughts. This is the mission of Rewired360: to help therapists build thriving practices. Through our programs, we support therapists in creating their businesses and help them learn how to market effectively.
As we know, marketing is the cornerstone of any successful business. To effectively reach and engage your target audience, you need a well-thought-out strategy. That's where the 4 P's of the marketing mix come into play. This timeless framework, developed by E. Jerome McCarthy in the 1960s, helps businesses define and execute their marketing strategies.
In this blog, we'll delve into the 4 P's – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – and explore how they work together to create a winning marketing strategy for therapy practices.
The first 'P' in the marketing mix is Product. Your product is at the heart of your business, and understanding it is essential to your marketing success. As therapists, WE are the product, and our service reflects the features of the product.
When considering going into private practice, it is important to understand who you would like to serve. In mental health we often refer to these as populations. In business, they are referred to as target markets. Oftentimes, I hear therapists say, “you have to find a niche.” Well, a niche is a highly-specialized, narrowly-defined segment, and many therapists are just launching their practices and still need time to clarify.
When I work with EMDR consultees, I tell them to determine their target market and the niche will come. This is important when we consider our product. By casting a wider net, we are able to have more options for customers or patients as we work into a specialty.
That being said, here's what you should consider:
- Product Features: What are the specific attributes and qualities of your product? What problems does it solve for your customers?
When you think about these questions as a therapist, think about what clients you enjoy and where your skill level is. This will be the product you are offering and sharing what solutions you can provide. This will be important as you build your value proposition and branding to customers.
- Quality: How does your product compare in terms of quality to others on the market? Is it a premium product? Or is it positioned as affordable and value-driven?
Sometimes, when starting a business, you do what you have viewed others doing in the market. You can refer to my blog “Blue Ocean Strategy” to learn more about creating an uncontested marketplace for yourself.
Think about what you have experienced in your practice or heard about others doing. What improvements to systems or client experiences will improve your delivery of services to the market? This can be providing intensive therapy, conducting domestic violence assessments, substance abuse assessments, etc. Think about where you live and how many providers are providing the service you are offering. How can you make yours over deliver in terms of quality, and what value do you offer the customer?
For example, at Rewired 360, I wasn’t sure about the process of becoming an EMDRIA Certified therapist. I had no “home base” to guide me. From this experience, I created EMDR University by Rewired360 to give therapists a guide and a community to travel through the experience together.
This is my value proposition. What is yours?
- Branding: How is your product branded? Your brand plays a significant role in customer perception and loyalty.
When you think of a therapy practice, there is so much that goes into branding. Some companies choose to trademark their brand. You can trademark with a specific image or a general name. In my practice, I trademarked the name Rewired360 but chose not to create a specified image because it created too many limitations for marketing.
Think about how you want people to feel about your brand. What overall message does your brand carry? This will be tied to your customers and practice.
- Product Life Cycle: Where is your product in its life cycle? Is it a new product, mature, or nearing the end of its life?
For therapists, are you involved in offering a new intervention or service, or are you offering what other generalists are offering? Think about how long this service has existed, and this will help you with thinking about the demand.
The second 'P' is Price. Setting the right price for your product is crucial, because it directly impacts your revenue and profitability. Consider the following factors:
- Pricing Strategy: Will you compete on price, or will you position your product as premium or luxury?
This goes back to the undifferentiated marketing strategy vs. the niche marketing strategy. I see so many therapists struggling with pricing. My recommendation is to consider a pricing strategy vs. going with what other similar therapists are offering. Review the market, review your service, and decide a starting point.
- Pricing Model: What pricing model will you use: cost-plus, value-based, or dynamic pricing?
How are you pricing yourself? There are various pricing models to use. One of the models I use in my business is “The Rule of 9’s”. This applies where you add a “9” at the end of your products to make it more attractive to customers. Click on the link above to explore more methods.
- Discounts and Promotions: How will you use discounts and promotions to drive sales?
My value at my practice is to create generous wealth. I want to give to others, and also increase my sales at the same time. For example, in my EMDR Intensives, I offer one sliding scale spot, as these are cash pay. Others offer sliding scale spots for a limited time to patients, to avoid having patients in your practice for a long period of time. The point is to decide what promotions are going to benefit you and the customer.
- Competitive Analysis: What are your competitors charging for similar products?
This is important because of the market you live in. Take a look at your market; and when you consider pricing, make sure you know your “why” and reason when it comes to pricing.
Place, the third 'P,' relates to the distribution and availability of your product. It's all about ensuring your product is in the right place at the right time.
- Distribution Channels: Where and how will your product be sold? Will it be available in physical stores, online, or both?
Where will you provide therapy: virtually, in person, at a clinic or hospital? Do you have the online resources to support delivery of telehealth? What would you need to have in place to get started? You also need to consider if you would like to offer these for an individual or a group practice.
- Geographic Reach: What regions or areas will you target for distribution: local, national, or global?
This ties into the distribution channel. Oftentimes, therapists can only provide care in the state they live in. It is important to have a geographic region in mind.
- Inventory Management: How will you manage your product's inventory to ensure it's always available to meet customer demand?
How will you manage your company as a service? As we know, demand has increased with the pandemic. Understanding your capacity is critical here.
- Accessibility: How easy is it for customers to access your product? Is it available through convenient channels?
Where do you market your services? How can people find you?
The fourth and final 'P' is Promotion. This involves the strategies you'll use to communicate your product's value to your target audience:
- Marketing Channels: Which channels will you use for promotion? This can include advertising, social media, content marketing, email campaigns, and more.
For this area, how are you going to market your service? Many of us use psychology today, Zencare, etc. Think about social media channels you may want to use or what platforms people can use to see you.
- Messaging: What message will you convey to your audience? What unique selling points or benefits of your product will you highlight?
This goes back to your branding and value proposition. How do you want the customer to feel about your product? How can you benefit them for long lasting change?
- Budget and Planning: How much will you allocate for your marketing budget, and how will you plan and schedule your promotional activities?
We all have various income streams. Make sure yours can be sustainable, and decide how you can structure it for maximum benefit. Here is an article with more details.
- Customer Engagement: How will you engage with your customers? This includes customer service, feedback collection, and building brand loyalty.
How are you going to begin interacting with clients – or in my case, clinicians – who are seeking your services? Why are they coming to you, and how do you keep them engaged?
As an owner of a therapy practice, use this as a guiding tool to help you think through some of the decisions you need to make. The 4 P's of the marketing mix remain a foundational framework for businesses to shape their marketing strategies. By carefully considering and harmonizing the elements of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, businesses can better understand their market, communicate their product's value, and create a marketing plan that resonates with their target audience.
This timeless concept is a valuable tool in the hands of businesses looking to navigate the complexities of marketing and achieve success in an ever-evolving marketplace.
Until next time,
Couch, K. ( 2023, November 20). What is the Marketing Mix and How do I apply it to my therapy business? [Blog Post]. Rewired360. Retrieved from https://www.rewired360.com/blog/what-is-the-marketing-mix-and-how-do-i-apply-it-to-my-therapy-business.
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