Evolve Healthcare Marketing

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Case Study: Leveraging Digital Marketing Best Practices to Elevate a Spine Practice’s Patient Acquisition

Digital marketing pilot delivers 131 new patients and achieves a 10.11x ROI within three months

The Critical Issue

For two years, patient volume at an independent spine practice in the southeast stagnated despite the region’s accelerated population growth. Evolve Healthcare Marketing worked with the practice to identify three critical reasons for this discrepancy:

  1. Outdated Marketing Mix. The practice spent over $1 million annually for years on local advertising, including television, billboards, and radio. Although the practice had an excellent clinical reputation, that outdated marketing program provided minimal ROI and did not reach its core audience.
  2. Competitive market. Competition increased when a national brand entered the local market. Regional health systems also began offering more services to spinal cord injury patients.
  3. Unvaried Payer Mix: A growing number of patients on government insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as opposed to commercial insurance or self-pay, resulted in a revenue decrease.

The practice leaders knew they needed to shift tactics to bring in their required revenue and patients.

The Solution

Evolve Healthcare Marketing executed a 90-day pilot program to expand the practice’s advertising into the digital arena. Our aim was twofold:

  • Increase patient volume
  • Attract a younger demographic more likely to have commercial insurance

The multi-tiered program utilized a full range of digital marketing tactics, including:

Paid Search

Paid search ads raise awareness of a practice by causing it to appear in relevant searches. Our paid search campaign focused on keywords associated with orthopedic surgery and those that indicated a need for our client’s specialties. We targeted people within a 50-mile radius of our client’s location via Google Ads.

Display Ads

Display advertising is advertising on websites or apps using banners, images, flash, and video. Users can click on the ad to visit a landing page. We targeted websites and apps with keywords related to orthopedics and specific users based on their online behavior, including relevant previous searches and visits to similar websites. Our campaign targeted devices within a 50-mile radius of participating locations.

Paid Social

We used the Facebook Ad Network to target users according to interests associated with orthopedics and pain relief. We advertised to those within a 30-mile radius of our client’s primary facility. We also created lookalike audiences that enabled our client to find similar users based on the patterns of those who converted.


Ultimately, 98% of web traffic will not convert. Retargeting ads allow users to see information about the practice regularly, encouraging conversion. By adding a tracking pixel to the website, we targeted non-converting users with ads across all devices after they left the website.

Mobile Conquesting

Using location-based targeting, we identified our client’s top competitors by region. Then, we targeted patients on their mobile devices in the waiting room at those practices. By targeting patients already in the waiting room at other clinics, we connected with those who were dissatisfied with their current care and looking for other options.


We executed the campaign and created a real-time dashboard that visualizes performance metrics like ROI, cost per acquisition, and more. Within the first 90 days of our program, we generated the following results:

131 new patients

An increase in the diversity of patient demographics and payer mix — most notably an increase in younger patients with commercial insurance

An ROI of 10.11x

As a result of Evolve Healthcare Marketing’s digital efforts, the practice finally saw the results it had hoped to achieve through local advertising.

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