5 Principles to Follow When Marketing Your Office - E16
I am going to be honest, I really love this aspect of my office. I find that it is fun and a welcome distraction from the day to day operations of the office. I feel that marketing is an absolute necessity to growing your office. Plus, now is a great time to start setting your marketing budget for 2021. You do set a marketing budget, right? Remember the grass you water is the grass that grows. Making $50-100 donations and getting your logo on a random banner is not marketing. Come up with a plan.
Additionally, when you set your budgets, I implore you NOT to focus on ROI. Do not get me wrong, we want to be smart and not waste money, but the benefits take time to see. Marketing in an optometric office is rarely a 2+2 = 4 equation. That is the normal cycle of a patient returning is every 18 months if they wear contacts and 24-36 months if they wear glasses. That means the work you do now may not get a direct increase in ROI for over a year. Think tectonic plate and a sudden earthquake, eventually your efforts will reap rewards and you will grow exponentially. Now lets lay out the principles.
Be Authentic and Be Passionate
You have to market to the audience you care about. If you merely do what you think you “have” to do, your message will be lukewarm at best and people will not respond to your efforts. Now, you may truly know the value of marketing, but not enjoy marketing in general or you may have great ideas, you just do not have the time to make it look “pretty”. Whatever your situation, you need to have your “head of marketing” be passionate and knowledgeable in Social Media, Adobe illustrator, Adobe photoshop, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Make the investment, hire someone or learn it yourself, and your campaigns will be better and more effective than ever.
Have a Target Audience and Goals
Do not just randomly make ads or campaigns, instead sit down, make a game plan, and have a targeted audience and specific goals for what you are trying to do. This can be growing a dry eye clinic, building awareness of your office and services, or promoting state of the art technology or an event such as a trunk show. Any and all of the above are possible, just have a plan and make your ad copy speak to the people you want to hear it.
There is no need for modesty here, if you get an opportunity to make a splash, do it and do it big! For example, whenever I go to an expo or back to school fair, I always try to give away something substantial. It can be a free pair of Ray-Bans or an iPad, just make it something people will genuinely want. Give people a reason to visit your booth, talk about your office, and remember you after the event.
Build a New Category, Be Different
This builds on “Going Big”, and helps you stand out from the crowd: be different. You should not worry about trying to explain to others why you are better than the competition. Instead explain why you are different. IF you are different you will force a choice rather than a comparison. Think about Uber/Lyft vs Taxi’s. Uber/Lyft and Taxi’s do essentially the same thing, but whenever I fly anywhere, I always use Uber or Lyft and do not even consider a taxi. Why is this? Uber and Lyft seems simpler and convenient, it is all handled with an app and I am not worried about a meter running because I am stuck in a traffic jam or the driver taking the “long” route to make more money. Be different!
Remember the goal is to grow your office, so do not limit your reach! If you are doing a raffle, give away, or a promotional program, do not limit it to current patients, instead let anyone and everyone be eligible. Think about the opportunity you have if they have to stop at your office, website, or facebook page?!?!? That is how you show them why they should be a patient at your office. The more people you can make aware of who you are and what you do, the more profitable your office will be!
There you have it my friends, follow these 5principles and watch the growth begin!
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