Featured Image via Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful

Have you tried grassroots marketing tactics to get the word out about your urgent care center? If not, you’re missing out on a really cost-effective way to “advertise” your center.

Let’s face it; the time and money it takes to properly advertise your urgent care center is often simply out of reach. That’s why grassroots marketing is often the way to go. And it’s a lot easier than you might think.

Recently, Practice Velocity participated in a community medication collection hosted by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, our local version of Keep America Beautiful (KNIB). The medication collection is exactly what it sounds like: the community is encouraged to drop off expired and unused prescription, over-the-counter and pet medications, as well as inhalers and mercury thermometers. The medications are incinerated, and the containers are recycled.

Practice Velocity agreed to serve as one of three drop-off locations for the medication collection. In return for offering up the company’s parking lot as a drop-off site for the collection, Practice Velocity received the following in-direct marketing exposure for free from KNIB:

Free Ads

  • 50 30-second radio ads rotating 24 hours a day on four stations, with listings on each of those radio station’s websites. The ads and website listings all included Practice Velocity as a drop-off location.
  • Ads in several local newspapers that included Practice Velocity as a drop-off location

Free PR

  • TV appearances mentioning Practice Velocity as a drop-off location
  • An editorial by Dr. Stern in the Rockford Register Star newspaper both in print and online

Screenshot of Dr. Stern’s Editorial in the Rockford Register Star

  • Press release sent to local print and broadcast media that included Practice Velocity as a drop-off location
  • Flyers distributed widely throughout the city that included Practice Velocity as a drop-off location

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Free Web and Social Exposure

Listings on KNIB website and social channels that included Practice Velocity as drop-off location

Screenshot of Facebook event created for the Medication Collection

One major benefit missing from this list? The public was directed straight to Practice Velocity’s building. You can’t put a price on getting people to your door and right in front of the smiling faces of your team members. That’s incredible brand awareness. If Practice Velocity were an urgent care center, the public would now know exactly where to go when that urgent medical need arises, and Practice Velocity spent zero dollars to create that brand awareness.

Again, this may be indirect marketing messaging, but the public is being exposed to Practice Velocity’s name over and over again, strengthening the company’s brand awareness in the community.

Investing in Grassroots Marketing

Now, just because all this advertising was free doesn’t mean Practice Velocity didn’t make any investment at all. That’s not how grassroots marketing works. Grassroots just means there’s not a lot of financial investment involved, but there’s usually some in-kind investment.

Besides giving up its parking lot for a day, Practice Velocity also volunteered to help promote the medication collection by writing some of the marketing materials and spreading the word about the collection on Practice Velocity’s social media channels. PV’s staff also worked closely with KNIB before the event to make sure everything was ready for the collection, and Practice Velocity’s staff volunteered to help out on the day of the collection.

If your urgent care center hasn’t done any grassroots marketing, it’s time to add this tactic to your marketing plan. Get to know your community and find out what kinds of events might resonate in your area. You could attend local sporting events and hand out free popcorn with stickers on the bags promoting your urgent care center. Or you could attend holiday craft fairs and hand out little bags with your logo on them for attendees to hold their crafts in.

Whatever it is, find out what works for your community and get out and do it.

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