When your practice has multiple specialties, it can be tempting to spread your marketing budget equally across all areas - just as you might serve the same amount of food to each of your children at dinner. This approach seems easy and fair, and it tends to keep the peace at home. But is it the best way to grow your business? Maybe not.

Consider these tips for getting the most out of your multi-specialty marketing spend:

Build a marketing calendar that works for you - When you're cooking a meal on the stove, it's not often that you switch all burners on high at the same time. Try putting some specialties on simmer while you turn up the heat on one area. For example, market your orthopedic practice's back-to-school physicals during the summer and early fall when schools are starting back up. Time your heart-related specialty campaign to launch in February. When you create your marketing plan and schedule, share them with your team - both physicians and staff - before you launch, so everyone knows what to expect.

Strengthen your referral network - Just because you're running an ortho consumer campaign, it doesn't mean you're ignoring your other specialties. Use this "simmer" time to pay attention to your top referring physicians. Even a simple thank you can go a long way. If you're building a new practice, look for opportunities to connect with physicians who could refer patients to you in the future.

Ask for a reality check - Use patient surveys to learn what you're doing well and what areas you can improve. Include an option for free text, so you can find patients with great stories to tell. Consider asking one to participate in a testimonial to use on your website, print materials and social media channels. Don't avoid patients who complain - instead, feed the hand that bites you. Taking a moment to ask what you could have done differently can help your word-of-mouth marketing.

Get your house in order - Before launching any type of marketing campaign, know which practices have the capacity to take on new patients. Understanding patient lead times can help you determine which practices you should - as well as those you shouldn't - market right now. Even if your physicians are ready, make sure your front office staff are prepared to handle extra phone calls and respond to email inquiries.

Ready to get the most out of your practice's marketing spend? Contact CMG Health Marketing to learn how to get started.