Marketing is one of the most important parts of running a business, but what is it exactly? Marketing is the use of tactics and strategies to identify, create, and maintain relationships with clients. An effective marketing program is based on a strategy or ‘big picture’ idea that drives you to success.
Many people are surprised to learn that the most important part of marketing is not selling. Selling is only the tip of the marketing iceberg. It is only one of several marketing functions, and often not the most important one. If the practice does a good job of identifying consumer needs, developing appropriate services, and pricing, distributing and promoting them effectively, these services will sell very easily.
In today’s fast moving, technology based society, businesses are faced with a number of challenges and exciting opportunities when it comes to marketing. Veterinary practices in particular are faced with the challenge of online sales and now more than ever, their competitors. In light of these challenges, veterinary practices are also fortunate to have they key to any successful marketing campaign – a point of interest. Animals!
So, how can you maximise your marketing program and keep your practice ahead of the game?
1. Get to know your clients. What types of pets do they own? How many? What do they like to do in their spare time? What age are they? The more you know about your clients, the better you can provide them with the solutions and information they need.
2. Ensure that your campaigns are targeted. Extract data out of your practice management software and send campaigns to a specific group of clients for any given campaign. Sending generic campaigns to everyone on your client list is not an effective way to get results.
3. Use a variety of marketing methods. Make the most of the free resources you have on hand like social media, email marketing and in-practice opportunities. Mix these free tactics with some paid strategies such as advertising, community events or client education evenings. Gone are the days of simply sending a letter to your clients, competition is fierce- so get out there!
4. Make sure your message is consistent. Promote one thing at a time and have a consistent message across all marketing methods. A marketing calendar will help you with consistency, time management and delegation.
5. Analyse the effectiveness of each campaign and learn from the results. There's no point spending your time and money on marketing campaigns if you don't know how effective they are. Set goals for each campaign and a strategy for analysing how effective the campaign was. Most importantly, learn from these results and continue to do what works.
Want more information on marketing for your veterinary practice? Join CCG at the annual Practice Management School, 12th - 16th October 2015