Why Doctor Marketing Budgets Are Sometimes Larger Than Hospital Marketing Budgets

If you were to guess that hospitals always outspend private practices on marketing, you’d be wrong. While it’s true that most doctors spend very little on marketing, that is not always the case.

Our healthcare marketing firm works with many kinds of clients including doctors, hospitals and corporations. In recent years, we have noticed a number of instances where hospitals are being significantly outspent in the marketplace by individual doctors. How can that be?


The doctors who invest significantly in marketing are willing to do so because they look at marketing as an investment, not an expense. In other words, these doctors will happily spend $50,000 on marketing to bring in $250,000 in revenue. They are also willing to try a variety of ideas until they find a proven, profitable formula. Finally, they tend to focus on strategies which attract specific types of cases, rather than mere, “feel good” marketing.

Meanwhile, hospitals usually have a variety of stakeholders with different and sometimes competing objectives. While some executives at a given hospital may look at marketing with a similar return-on-investment philosophy, others may argue that marketing is “expensive,” “ineffective,” a “waste of resources,” or even, “beneath us.”

In instances like these, the “marketing-savvy” Davids can handily take lucrative cases from the unwitting Goliaths, without their even knowing it.

I realize that hospital and medical practice politics are complex, but be forewarned: sometimes the little (but business smart) guys win.


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