Your Website: An Expense or Investment? The Choice is Yours


I’ve been to many MSO and DSO conferences, and I’ve noticed something striking: marketing often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I get it, marketing typically makes up just 3-5% of a DSO/MSO’s operating budget. So, naturally, it might only be a small part of conference discussions. However, people shop in all sorts of ways. Referrals and recurring clients, while a significant portion of revenue, are still only a portion of your overall revenue number. Your marketing efforts need to capture the other portions from the other sources and give you a lever to pull in good times and in bad.

Additionally, (yes, I’m biased because the domain I play in) the website plays a huge role in bringing patients through your doors. It’s not just a digital space; it’s the virtual face of your organization, helping with various transactions and information sharing. It’s also a key part of your brand identity, influencing how patients perceive your clinical services.

Yes, clinical relevance, technology, services, and insurance are all crucial factors in whether or not a patient chooses you. But remember, drawing patients in is a high-return activity, not just another line item to minimize on your budget.

I think my frustrations on the topic can be summed up by a recent Twitter post (fine, X…):

CFO to CMO: “Our revenue is going down, so we must cut your marketing budget”

CMO: “I’m confused, Marketing is how we drive revenue?”

CFO:“The macro environment is tough and we need to cut costs.”

CMO: “But, Marketing is how we drive revenue?”

CFO:“Yes, but Marketing is the fastest and easiest way to cut costs!”

CMO: “But, if we need revenue, don’t we need Marketing more than ever?”

CFO:“Not sure what they’re teaching today at Marketing MBA school, but we’re cutting your Marketing budget 30%.”

CMO:“OK, so when revenue goes down, the best strategy is cut Marketing?”

CFO:“YES! I believe you’ve got it!”

(Credit to Christopher Lochhead @Lochhead)

In this post. I will make the argument that marketing, especially websites, is not a mere cost, a loss on their profit and loss statement. In reality, when you earn more from an expense than what you’ve spent, it’s not a cost; it’s an investment. When done correctly, marketing is an investment that should yield a return.

The Current Perspective on MSO/DSO Websites As It Relates to Finances

The dirty little secret in corporate marketing procurement is marketing is an expense to be reduced, and more specifically, websites are an expense. That is typically only true for the people holding the purse strings (which is not often the CMO, at least for large capital expenses). The CMO or VP of Marketing understand the value of spending money to make money but are often left to convince the CEO or COO of the same reasoning. 

The Underutilized Potential of Good Healthcare Websites

If you’re playing your cards right, the website serves as the facilitator for many interactions with your organization. The problem with DSO/MSO website is they’re often left behind for bigger fires to put out as keeping them maintained, secure, private, on-brand, and effective for your other marketing efforts is really hard with a small team (and the current structure of copy-paste that many use…foreshadowing alert!)

When done right, the website touches nearly every aspect of the patient journey, from first discovery, to bill pay, to telling their friends about you. Here’s a diagram explaining that relationship. Does this look like something that should be reduced?



Leveraging Your Website: Maximizing Returns with Carenetic’s Expertise

At Carenetic, we understand the vital role your website plays in the healthcare journey. That’s why we specialize in crafting websites that are not just online platforms, but strategic tools to enhance patient engagement and drive revenue. Our approach focuses on creating websites that are patient-friendly, secure, and seamlessly integrated with your marketing efforts. With our expertise, we ensure that your website is not just another expense but a pivotal investment in your marketing strategy. We are not full service marketing on purpose. By prioritizing maintenance, security, and brand consistency, we help you utilize your website to its full potential, turning it into a dynamic interface that supports every stage of the patient journey—from discovery to post-treatment engagement.


In conclusion, redefining your website as an investment rather than an expense is crucial for MSO/DSO success in today’s digital landscape. The shift in perspective from a cost-cutting mindset to recognizing the website as a vital revenue-generating tool is essential. With Carenetic’s specialized approach, your website becomes a powerful asset, enhancing patient experiences and contributing significantly to your financial bottom line. It’s time to move beyond the traditional view of marketing as a mere expense and embrace it as a strategic investment, where every dollar spent is an opportunity for growth and enhanced patient care. Remember, in the world of healthcare, a well-designed, functional website is not just a cost—it’s a cornerstone of your success.

Picture of Grayson Allen

Grayson Allen

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