Case Study


Bluegrass Orthopaedics works with athletes of all ages on their road to recovery, serving 16,000 patients in central and southwest Kentucky annually. With 14 specialized physicians, three locations, and several satellites, they cover a wide variety of sports medicine injuries.  


The online reputations of some of their physicians did not represent them well. Andrew Carlson, Bluegrass Director of Sports Medicine, was concerned that these mismatched reputations were interfering with the ability of their great physicians to attract patients. In early 2019 Bluegrass began working to improve their physician and practice reputations. As they moved the needle on their ratings, they wanted to capture the power of their improved reputations to fuel their digital marketing efforts.



After initially hiring a reputation management company with a more limited scope, Carlson discovered SocialClimb and began working with them in August of 2019. He wanted to be able to leverage their improving reputation to target and attract a better patient mix. With SocialClimb’s help, they optimized GMB listings for their physicians and PAs. Once the listings were in good shape, his next step was to initiate Boost Ads. He chose to start with a relatively new practice so he could test results and be wise in his marketing spend. 


SocialClimb’s Boost Ads feature automatically sends Google Ads targeted to people at risk for specific health concerns. These at-risk populations are identified with predictive analytics using the same big data and artificial intelligence (AI) hospital systems use. SocialClimb’s platform identified zip codes near Bluegrass with high concentrations of people at risk for joint pain.

Predictive analytics heat map

SocialClimb’s predictive analytics tool identified several zip code areas to target, including an area with a high density of at-risk individuals where Bluegrass had not previously been sending ads. Targeting these “hot-spot” areas enabled Bluegrass to maximize the value of their marketing spend while attracting the right mix of patients.


Bluegrass Orthopaedics received a total of 610 inbound phone calls between January 1 and March 31, 2020, at the office that began using Boost Ads. Of the calls, 231 were tracked from their GMB listing (their reputation) and 379 were tracked from their Boost Ads, a 164% increase over what they would have received from their reputation alone. Fifty-eight appointments were made from the Boost Ad phone calls, giving them a conversion rate of 15%.


Predictive marketing and targeted ads have changed the game for Bluegrass. They saw an immediate increase in phone calls when they began sending out Boost Ads in January. The ads were targeted to patients with good insurance, the right kind of joint pain, and other important factors. Sending ads to these at-risk individuals gave them a great conversion rate and an improved patient mix.  


What’s more, they can see the ROI of their marketing dollars down to the patient acquisition cost (PAC), which for this location is $23 for Boost Ads and $16 overall. “Tracking ROI is very important for healthcare, especially for small orthopedic clinics that, frankly, don’t have a huge marketing dollar,” said Carlson. “This is the best marketing dollar I’ve spent. Hands down.” 


Bluegrass is expanding Boost Ads to other locations and plans to use them for individual physicians in the future. 


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