Participation in helping industry events such as conferences, seminars, site visits and in-service trainings, known as addiction treatment marketing (reciprocal/referral), is the traditional way to build brand presence and get business to your helping center. But this requires integrity, solid investment, planning and execution, follow-through and tracking to be successful. Otherwise, you’re attending expensive events at expensive hotels, buying expensive dinners, usually for the same people, from event to event, and getting too few referrals.
Addiction treatment marketing for the helping professions is based on reciprocation. If someone is giving you referrals, but you are not reciprocating by giving them business back, the arrangement will be short-lived. It doesn’t matter how specialized your product is and that you might think you’re the only one, or one of a few, who provide it. This may be true, but likely others believe they provide the same thing and convince yet other people that they do, even if it isn’t actually true. So lucrative reciprocal marketing requires integrity in this reciprocation, or your referents will give their referral business to the imposter.
Addiction treatment marketing of any type requires a financial investment, for a sustained period of time for effective establishment, with adjustments along the way. Marketing should be the last victim of cutbacks, and when pruning gets to the area of marketing, something is wrong with the business and it’s probably failing in general. Effective and lucrative brand establishment takes money, time, effort, and maintenance. When premature or impetuous marketing changes are made, resources are being wasted. Too often businesses cutback on marketing first, and as counter-intuitive as it seems, it’s wiser to cut back services or providers than marketing, because the former does not exist without the latter, and the reverse is not true. This is particularly true of relationships marketing efforts.
Strategy, Planning & Execution
The success of any addiction treatment marketing approach is lies good strategy, planning and execution. In order to avoid wasting resources, one must make some determinations about their own business as it compares to the rest of the industry, identify areas of potential synergy with prospective customers who might appear to be direct competitors, and leverage your niche to stand out. This strategy is then planned given the existing industry events and executed in a productive way. It isn’t enough to simply attend and sponsor conferences. A savvy addiction treatment marketing plan will involve a service feature to the industry as a whole, and through this create opportunities for your business by connection.