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Community Connections Drive Practice's Marketing Plans

Practice owners are always looking for new ways to market themselves. While digital marketing and social media are a major part of modern strategy, it's important not to overlook opportunities that may be right in front of you.

Bristol, Connecticut's Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers focuses on community-based marketing that has been successful over the years. In fact, old-school and simple marketing methods have been remarkably effective for the firm.

"There's not just one home-run thing," says practice owner Craig Zettergren, PT, Dip. MDT. "The aspects we use to market MDT in our community really start at the ground level."

Don't be afraid to put a little novelty into your marketing. A little creative thinking can turn even the least obvious opportunity into promotional gold.

Have you ever considered marching in a parade? That's just one tactic Zettergren and colleague Brian Greer, PT, DPT, came up with.

How? The best place to start is with a handshake.

Build Your Professional Network

Networking is essential, Zettergren says. He and his team constantly get face time with business and community leaders at chamber, Rotary and private group events - as frequently as once a week.

"With private and public networking, we know everything that's going on every week and every month," Zettergren says. "And someone in those groups is the leader of those events."

He's even used these relationships to get involved with Bristol's biggest parade, where Fyzical-branded pencils were passed out. Children took them home ... along with an attached postcard intended for their parents.

Attend Community Events

"You have to understand the community you work in," Zettergren says.

He and Greer, frequently set up shop at community events like the "Healthy Fun Fest" they did recently. This too goes back to networking.

Not only does networking keep a finger on the pulse of what's going on in the community, but the relationships that help you get involved. Once that word gets around that you are the spine experts in your community the word-of-mouth advertising spreads like wildfire.

"When you are confident about the system that you utilize and you reach out to the right people from a marketing standpoint, good things happen," Greer says. "The people that we connect with spread the word about our services, and that is very powerful."

Create Your Own Events

The "Love Your Life" series adapts lessons from McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) books, including Treat Your Own Back and Treat Your Own Neck. The seminars created by Zettergren and Greer welcome the public regularly on Saturday mornings.

It's a great opportunity to expose back and neck pain sufferers to MDT as well as their practice that's firmly rooted in the method.

"People want to take the initiative to help themselves," Zettergren says. A cornerstone of MDT is self-treatment intended to help patients take care of their conditions and avoid setbacks in perpetuity. "We call it patient empowerment."

Become a Columnist

Community magazines are a great place to establish authority as a physical therapy resource. Using topics similar to his seminars, Zettergren frequently contributes to a five-times-per-year magazine with a circulation of 15,000 - all in his primary market.

He pays for the space, but offers genuine advice to readers that creates invaluable engagement. Weekly or daily newspapers and websites also work for this purpose.

"Building relationships is key" in all aspects of marketing, Zettergren says. "Once you've built that trust in people, they are going to come to you.

"Don't let those opportunities go away," he says.


Perhaps the oldest school thing Fyzical does is door-to-door marketing. Not in the physical sense, of course, but Zettergren urges practice owners not to forget that the post office can still be a marketing ally.

Once a year, he blankets the entire community with a mailing to every household. It's cheap and keeps the Fyzical name in front of people. He notes that his printer is an acquaintance from a networking event.

Stake a Claim

All Fyzical's marketing goes back to what Zettergren considers his primary selling point - the McKenzie Method.

"McKenzie is the foundation when it comes to my clinic," he says. "We are the spine experts and we are the experts because we use the McKenzie Method."

The evidence-based MDT system begins with a thorough mechanical evaluation to establish a "cause-and-effect" relationship between historical pain behavior as well as the response to repeated test movements, positions and activities.

A systematic progression of applied mechanical forces utilizes pain response to monitor changes in motion and function to classify the disorder. Clinicians then develop a treatment program that empowers patients to treat themselves when possible.

"I thank (late Founder) Robin McKenzie every day I have a complicated case that he made very easy for me," says Zettergren, a diplomate in the McKenzie Institute® International.

To learn more about the McKenzie Method, visit or

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