Monday, October 7, 2013

Finding the marketing SWEET SPOT is a game changer

There is nothing like 18 holes on a fall afternoon.  But I was playing sloppily.  My balls were going all over the map.  My friend – a scratch golfer and champion at his club – told me to stop and rethink the basics:  “Find the sweet spot.  Align your ball.   The club will do the rest.”  He was right – I had to go back to that basic premise.  I started  hitting much better.  Not like a pro – but pretty darn good!

Of course, in golf the “sweet spot” is the spot or place on the face of the club where it delivers the maximum energy and momentum to the ball. 

Marketing is no different.  You also have to find the “sweet spot” to get the right momentum and maximum leverage for your efforts.

In marketing – as in golf – the sweet spot is the right place for targeting your marketing efforts.  It’s where your ball is in alignment with your target.  It’s where your marketing efforts are in alignment with the marketplace.  Without knowing the sweet spot, your marketing – like my golf game – will be sloppy and all over the map.

And – like in golf – you will use your time and energy, but fail to hit your mark.  And it will be frustrating.
So how do you FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT IN MARKETING?  It’s simple.    But first you have to know WHERE YOU ARE HITTING. 
  • Know your market.
  • Study the competition.
  • Segment the market.
  • Find the OPPORTUNITY.
Without knowing where you are hitting –  your balls – or marketing efforts – will be all over the map. Once you know where you want your “ball” to go, its time to concentrate on where to make your hit.  
In marketing, the OPPORTUNITY is everything.  Now all your practice has to do is connect. 

So for example, let’s say that you have studied your local marketplace and found that you have an active sports dog market – dogs play fly ball, they go camping, they hike, they run, they go boating and they go fishing. And because of it, they get injured, they get into bad stuff and they face risks that lap dogs do not.  Your practice happens to have veterinarians who are good at diagnosing and treating pet sports injuries, arthritis and joint problems.  If this sounds like your market – and your practice – you may have found a sweet spot!

It’s where you bring together:
  • The target
  • The need
  • Services that meet the need (deliver value)
  • The right timing
Start your marketing by finding your sweet spot and you will hit your target.  Better aim.   Better alignment.   A real game changer.

To schedule your FREE one-hour marketing consultation, contact Linda Wasche at or 248-253-0300.

Do you have a particular marketing question or dilemma that you would to see addressed in  a future blog?  Email

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Engage pet owners instead of just TELL them – they might even start listening!

“Remember to get your dog’s teeth cleaned.”  “Don’t forget to schedule your pet’s wellness exam.”  These are a few of the messages pet owners often get on reminder cards, in emails or in a practice’s advertisement. 

But simply TELLING pet owners what to do doesn’t cut it among today’s message-bombarded consumers.

Today’s consumers are better informed and more skeptical.  Plus they have unprecedented access to information and resources.  Its not unusual for them to consult multiple sources – friends and neighbors, bloggers and fellow pet owners or on-line chats  -- before making a decision.   Unless a pet owner is ENGAGED, its unlikely that they will listen to your message and do what you TELL them.

How to ENAGE them?
  • First, get their attention by making information RELEVANT to them.  When messages are overly BROAD – in an attempt to reach everyone – you will end up missing everyone.
  • Segment messages to make them meaningful to your target. 
  • Convey the REASON they should act – what is the dilemma or problem?  In other words, are more dogs getting prostate cancer?  Are more cats becoming diabetic?
  • Share the BENEFITS of their actions.  For example, “Detecting diabetes early means it can be managed.  This will save you money on vet care and save your pet’s life.”
  • Make sure you are a credible source of the information.  Why should they come to you in this dilemma versus the practice down the street?  (Again – it NOT be just because you TELL them so!)
Engage pet owner by making information MEANINGFUL and RELEVANT to them.  Make them WANT to act.    And then keep the “I told you so” to yourself!

To schedule your FREE one-hour marketing consultation, contact Linda Wasche at or 248-253-0300.

Do you have a particular marketing question or dilemma that you would to see addressed in  a future blog?  Email

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reception desk may be sending wrong message to pet owners

Before I start working with a practice, I like to call the receptionist. I pose as a pet owner – often calling about a variety of situations. 

These phone “mystery shops” are often an eye opener for the practice.  I have made more than 500 calls – and see a lot of similarities in what I hear.  With the exception of ONE -- MAYBE TWO PRACTICES (YES – ONE MAYBE TWO IN 500) the bottom line is that, for whatever reason, practices have forgotten how to listen to pet owners.  

In most cases, when I ask about the practice, I get a disjointed list of services and equipment that the practice has to offer.  Typically something like:

“What do you want to know?  We have four vets – two are male and one is female.  Dr. Smith has been here for 5 years, but Dr. Jones is leaving next month to set up her own practice.  We do surgery – but only on Mondays and Wednesdays.  We’re open 6 days – drop off starts at 8 a.m. – but not on Thursdays and Fridays.  We’re open Saturdays but only until 1:00.  We do dental, x-rays and have a really good orthopedic surgeon.  We have boarding and grooming.  Not sure what else you want to know.”

How can you ENGAGE the caller when you don’t know a thing about them?
  • The receptionist doesn’t know if I have a dog, cat, horse or iguana.
  • What if my pet has a serious condition or health problem?
  • What if I have an exotic pet (which I do!)?
  • What if I live too far away?
  • What if yours if not the best practice for me?
Many veterinary websites say that the practice cares about pets and their owners.  If you care, then why didn’t you ask my name?  Or my pet’s name?  Or why didn’t you get my email address so you can stay in touch?

How can a practice ENGAGE the caller?  Ask questions.  Listen.  It will SAY MORE than you know.

To schedule your FREE one-hour marketing consultation, contact Linda Wasche at or 248-253-0300.

Do you have a particular marketing question or dilemma that you would to see addressed in  a future blog?  Email