A Counter-intuitive Approach to Mapping Marketing Funnels, Part 1


Peter J. Polack, MD, FACS, is a corneal, refractive surgery, and external disease specialist at Ocala Eye, a large multi-disciplinary practice in north central Florida and founder of Emedikon Marketing Systems. He has written and podcasted on EMR and healthcare technology, and is also the co-author of The Ultimate Ophthalmic Marketing Guide.

Disclosure: Polack reports that he is the founder of Emedikon Marketing Systems.

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In previous posts, I’ve described the use of marketing funnels to define what is known as the customer’s buying journey.

Here I explain how visualizing your practice marketing funnels can help identify constraints, dependencies, and black holes while increasing conversions.

Our first funnel was designed to stop LASIK electrodes from leaking. We had never thought about how we could improve the number of “opportunities” in our pipeline. We used a manual process with paper messages and voicemail that maybe went to our refractive coordinator. The problems were 1) we had no idea how many LASIK calls were coming in, or 2) how many calls were dropped on the way to planning a prospect’s assessment.

Peter J. Polack

When we mapped our first LASIK phone inquiry process, we started at the most obvious point: at the very beginning with the first incoming phone call. In the end, however, we did numerous iterations because – in retrospect – we discovered that there were multiple restrictions or hiccups along the way. (By the way, this exercise works for any procedure or service.) Later, you will see how it can be more effective to do this backwards, starting at the end.

In your head, you can imagine a potential patient calling to inquire about LASIK, schedule an appointment for an exam, and then have to undergo surgery. It’s a direct process, isn’t it? But your mind cannot foresee all the permutations that could divert that prospect from the optimal path to the goal of a planned operation.

What if they are just doing prize purchases?

What if you just want some information but don’t want to plan an evaluation yet?

What if you are pregnant or still breastfeeding?

What if they’re not sure if they can afford it?

What if the first examination shows significant cupping of the intervertebral disc or a dry eye or an asymptomatic retinal hole?

These restrictions could have been identified from the start by visualizing the buying journey process with a funnel map. Not only does this work for existing procedures or services, but especially if you are considering adding new ones, as this process can save you a lot of work and headaches (not to mention lost revenue). So before you ever design, let alone create, a website for a new service, you should first map the marketing funnel and sales pipeline.

Why map the funnel instead of just spitting it and optimizing it in the blink of an eye?

The mapping of your marketing funnel gives you four functions that you would not have without a visual representation of your patient’s buying journey.

1. Alignment. Planning and mapping your strategy creates a single version of the truth. Presented internally, this aligns your team with a process so that everyone knows the prospect’s end-to-end journey and their role (as a process participant) along the way. You discover tasks or functions that have been neglected due to a previous lack of clarity.

2. simulation. Use it to set goals or targets on the go, such as: B. Conversion rates or other metrics that track how well the process is working. This allows you to simulate several scenarios before you start building to see if the marketing and sales figures show that it is breaking even. By running projections, decision makers can “see” alternatives for the investments they are funding.

3. Performance. A properly made funnel can track performance and present data in a meaningful way: How far did it scroll on your squeeze page? Did you watch the whole video? At what step are they most likely to abandon the sales journey?

4. Optimization. You can tweak your funnel by making the changes your simulations reveal. First of all, you just need to compare “planned and actual” and identify the limitations, gaps or inefficient sub-processes that affect the conversion and cost you money.

Eli Goldratt’s constraint theory states that fixing a bottleneck does not necessarily improve the system as a whole. It may seem obvious to respond to a decline in a particular service like LASIK by opening the prospecting spigot: too few cases mean too little traffic, too little traffic equals too few leads (which is usually a marketing agency because you “it is a numbers game “).

Maybe you have a marketing screen, not a marketing funnel. Chances are lost because potential customers don’t get the information they want when they look for it, maybe the coordinator is too busy to call them back on the same day, or maybe there aren’t enough review slots, or, conversely, it’s too easy for a patient online Make an appointment and the schedule is full of tire kickers and non-candidates.

In the next blog post, I’ll show you why you can get a better look at what’s going on with your LASIK (or any other procedure or service) by working backwards from the goal (surgery) instead of at the beginning (first phone call) marketing funnel .

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