It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in 2009, while focusing on your marketing plans for 2010. Surely, we will continue to face challenges and risks, but with thoughtful planning and consistent tactical execution, we can improve our odds of achieving our goals despite living in an environment of unknown variables and uncertainty.
There’s a lot happening in optometry and in the word of small business right now from reports of early signs of economic recovery to the rise of social media to the creation of a new optometric association to much more.
The Pioneering Spirit Continues
Since at least the late 1930’s, when Dr. Feinbloom started replacing plastic for glass on the eye, contact lens pioneers have continued to pursue new ways to enhance patient satisfaction and optometric income. Aren’t the two inextricably intertwined? As we jump headfirst into the second decade of the new millennium, ask yourself how you can enhance both patient satisfaction and optometric income to pioneer your practice forward.
Your Optometric Marketing Rx for 2010: Create a Plan for Success and Make It Irresistible for Your Patients!
Plan for Success
First, as we approach 2010, it’s critical to make a commitment to focus on what you consider to be your 2 - 3 most important goals. Undoubtedly, there will be many tasks and projects requiring your time, energy and resources outside these goals. However, by choosing 2 – 3 important goals for 2010, you and your staff will know exactly where to focus your attention when the dust settles from the whirlwind of your daily practice. You may want to monitor your progress towards these goals, so you can adjust if needed.
Make It Irresistible for Your Patients
Second, I’d like to recommend an exercise to consider during your planning for 2010. It’s based on the premise that each and every point where your patients connect to your practice is an opportunity to enhance their experience, differentiate your practice, acquire new patients and foster patient retention. Let’s call these patient touch points or PTPs.
If you believe this may be of value for you in 2010, here’s what I’d suggest doing:
Step 1: Conduct a brief review and list each and every one of your PTPs. Examples include staff interactions, chair side manner, phone etiquette, on-hold message, email, postcards, newsletters, websites, blogs, social media sites, radio, TV, health fairs, store front, etc.
Step 2: Consider what message you’re currently communicating via these various PTPs. These PTPs are like mini-conversations taking place between you and your patients. Are they taking place by design? By accident? Is your message consistent (and integrated) across your PTPs? If you were the patient, what would you think, feel or share with others about your experience?
Step 3: Develop an irresistible offer. This is not a “special” offer. It’s not a gimmick or limited time offer. I want you to tell me in 30 seconds or less why I should choose you for my eye care - why you’re the obvious choice! Domino’s built an empire on this simple concept with the promise of “it’s delivered in 30 minutes or less… or it’s free.” They didn’t claim to have the best tasting pizza. They delivered fast or it was free. Simple.
And they constantly delivered on the promise. Remember consistent tactical execution is a key ingredient. Now, I’m not suggesting you start by offering “eye exam done in 30 minutes or less… or it’s free.” Be creative with your own irresistible offer. Experts recommend making the irresistible offer a cornerstone of your business – not a gimmick, special or limited time offer. You can learn more about crafting an irresistible offer in Mark Joyner’s book, “The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 30 Seconds or Less.”
Then simply make sure that your irresistible offer is clearly and concisely communicated across all of your PTPs. Your offer should clearly align with your target audience, the bulk of people who make up your practice. Okay, that’s all for now.
Thanks for tuning in and please feel free to comment, tell us your irresistible offer, or make suggestions on what topics you’d like covered in future blog posts.
All the best!