Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Would You Ever Treat a Pet Without a Diagnosis? Then Why Would you Do Marketing Without One?

The first step in treating any pet is the diagnosis.
  • What is causing any visible symptoms?
  • What are the underlying reasons that the pet is behaving a certain way?
  • What do we need to treat?
  • And how are we going to treat it?
These are the questions that any veterinarian would want to see answered before treating a pet.  Because without taking the time to diagnose the underlying cause of a pet’s illness, you are simply trying different treatments that may or not hit the mark.  Correct?  Additionally, you would be wasting time and risking the health and wellbeing of the animal.  True?

Then why would any practice consider going forward with marketing efforts without first conducting a diagnosis?

In the case of a practice, marketing without a diagnosis assumes similar risks.   Efforts that may or may not hit the mark.  A waste of time.  Risk to the ability to maintain and grow the practice.

For marketing to be effective, what do we diagnose?  It depends.  As in the case of a pet, what symptoms are you seeing?  Slowed growth?  Clients not coming back?  Per visit revenue on the decline?

So just like in the case of a pet, the diagnosis start with the SYMPTOMS, as well as understanding obvious environmental influencers that might might have caused the symptoms.  For the pet: Did  he or she get into something?  Did you change laundry detergents?  What do you use to clean your floors?  For the practice:  Have you made any staff changes?  Is there new competition?  Are you seeing a decline in certain service areas?

First you look at the obvious.

Then you look further.  So does marketing.  But instead of looking at blood levels or radiographs, we take  a close look at what may influence a pet owner to choose / not choose your practice.  This includes:
  • Local pet owner perceptions
  • Thought leaders and influencer perceptions
  • Why clients left
  • Why new clients came
  • Market segment analysis
  • Your competition
  • Local market dynamics
There are numerous diagnostic tools that are used for gathering the above information.   And like using ultrasound versus x-rays, each gives a different window into what is really happening.

Instead of blood values, we are looking at how clients DEFINE value.  Instead of the strength of a heartbeat, we are looking at the strength of client relationships.   But the bottom line is the same.  We are trying to get to the BOTTOM of what is causing the  practice to experience what it is in the first place. 

Without this understanding, marketing becomes an exercise of “just trying stuff.”  You would not risk being off target like this in  treating a pet.  Would you risk it on your practice?

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

Do you have a particular marketing question or dilemma that you would to see addressed in  a future blog?  Email LindaW@LWmarketworks.com.

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