Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Behind The Movement: GetPT1st

Hi everyone, so we're back to healthcare advocacy & physical therapy. Today, I want to dig into something I'm sure you've noticed... GetPT1st. While our profession has the APTA, all the state associations, special interest groups, PAC, Move Forward, etc. -- I was rather impressed that a separate and private entity went out of its way to further the cause of improving the lives of others through physical therapy.

As GetPT1st developed, I took joy in noticing a very unique aspect in both their focus and methodology. The focus was outreach from the perspective of the consumer and the methodology was primary engagements via social media from provider to consumer.

And, what better, than to have front line representatives interact with their market's end-users.

Well, it is happening again, GetPT1st is planning another internet takeover and I'm happy to share excerpts from an inside scoop behind the movement.

Behind The Movement: GetPT1st

GetPT1st started with the early realization that the majority of Physical Therapy information available on the web was too technical and inappreciable by consumers. And, if the information about physical therapy was not technical or free from clinical terminology, it was far too shallow that consumers would still not be interested.

As the digital marketplace grew, the founders of GetPT1st notice a global trend in Physical Therapy (PT) business.
  1. With no true marketing plan, PT businesses had no active budget for paid marketing or advertising.
  2. As a result, the financial health of such businesses would inevitably start to suffer.
  3. Finally, PANIC -- business owners would realize the need for change and reach for anything.
  4. Unfortunately, they would throw money in any and every direction in hopes it would somehow bring in clients and give business a boost.
The GetPT1st founders realized there was a big need for affordable marketing solutions for the average PT business owner. Most of the available marketing services at the time were too expensive to be used and were better suited for large chains and corporations. And, since outsourcing marketing initiatives was out of the question, small PT businesses either haphazardly filled this need internally or not at all. 

After some networking via APTA's Combined Sections Meeting and through social media, the idea came to the point where the founders felt the need to contribute to the profession on a much larger scale.

Once a team was officially gathered, there were three goals for GetPT1st.
  1. Creating an engaging community of PTs, PTAs, and students via social media to generate both interest and support with the idea of GetPT1st.
  2. Expansion. The creation of consumer friendly and shareable content that both prospective customers and clinics could use on their websites and in social media.
  3. Destination. To become the first choice destination website for consumers as it pertained to physical health concerns which physical therapy is best equipped in serving -- and, in essence, to drive a majority share of mind as far as the physical therapy brand is concerned.
It is in this final goal which Get PT 1st aims to make it's ultimate contribution; to convert healthcare consumers who would otherwise see another provider before a physical therapist. And, to expand the profession's brand equity and share of mind to which, if there is any physical therapy needs as we the profession knows it, they the consumers would also identify in the same way.

These are the words from one of the founders: "We need to focus on reaching the public instead of fighting and using all of our collective resources on the "fringe." We need to major in the big things. It might not directly help all the subspecialties of PT immediately (peds, aquatics, women's health), but it will help raise our profile and benefit all over the long run. But, that's one thing we (the PT profession) are terrible about - the long term plan and vision. Which is why we are also horrible about marketing, advertising, and branding. We don't realize that immediate, short term gains are great, but we need to look further down the road."

Personally, I feel that the GetPT1st movement is one of the best examples of end-user marketing to date for any discipline within healthcare. It meets customers from their perspectives, their opinions, and their interests. Rather than focusing on what providers find interesting and intriguing, it converges on consumer engagement to what the customer needs and wants most... to Get PT 1st for all their physical health concerns.

This type of approach benefits our profession as a whole. And, what benefits us as a whole will summatively benefit the parts as well.

Great work. Awesome strategy. Get PT 1st.

For more about GetPT1st please visit:

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