Medical societies and associations exist to add value to their members through education, networking and providing other resources to support personal and professional growth. Hence, this is why professionals join and pay their annual membership fees.
Nevertheless, as competition in every medical field and specialty heats up, members are demanding more from society leadership. This will help the marketing to consumers and referral sources distinguish their expertise, hence build their practice, which is “Branding“.
However, often, patients (and other professionals) are confused over what different medical specialists do? Besides, branding will help provide clarity and growth. Equally important, this is where medical societies can add value.
From our experience, branding members and their specialty have become one of the top requests from medical society leaderships. Where do you begin to gain insight?
To gain insight, you need to start with research . . .
Where do your members see themselves now and in the future?
What are the unique capabilities and greatest benefits your members bring to patient care?
How do patients, referral sources and other providers, hospital administrators and payors perceive your members?
What are the patient/referral pathways for your members? This will help you determine the audiences for your message.
How do your target audiences to keep up on medical and peer information?
You need to understand where your members want to go. Which will have challenges that may involve getting them there. You can start to develop a unique brand strategy, position and value proposition, for them.
A strong brand for your medical society members will:
Differentiate them in a crowded and confusing marketplace
Elevate their specialty in the healthcare landscape
Resonate with target audiences
Align with the society’s and member’s strategic goals and plans
Accordingly, the final point is where many medical societies fall off. for example, they budget and strategize for how to build their member’s brand. However, they fail to carry these initiatives forward. Also, they need to remember building a strong brand for your members is never one and done. Therefore, be sure to nurture and support it over time.
In a few words, once you have established a unique position, value proposition and the creative messaging to bring your medical society member’s “story” to market. Hence, your society’s efforts will be inspired and fuel preference (and business) for your members, now that’s adding value!