While yes – such forms of PROMOTION DO have a place as part of a marketing plan -- alone, they are NOT marketing.
Marketing starts with having something to sell that the marketplace understands the need for and wants. This is called primary demand. (Examples of this include the “drink milk,” Florida orange growers and “buy more cotton” campaigns.) The marketplace understands the needs for veterinary services. However, unfortunately, many pet owners do not recognize the need for regular exams, dental care, etc. So this is a case of needing to stimulate greater primary demand for these services. This is a huge stumbling block for any practice as it appears that messages telling pet owners to get their pet’s teeth cleaned, come for annual/bi-annual exams are not resonating.
Another next key element of marketing is gaining a PREFERENCE for a particular service PROVIDER. Why should they choose your practice over another? This is called stimulating secondary demand. To effectively reach out and build a MEANINGFUL presence in the local marketplace, a practice needs to:
- Know its market – SEGMENTING
- Identify its targets /types of pet owners it wants to attract -- TARGETING
- Develop the type of practice that will attract the above – POSITIONING
Not with a new series of advertisements, not with putting more stuff on Facebook, not with a new website. Until you have determined how you want your practice to be understood and defined – as well as who its trying to reach -- it doesn’t make sense just to keep talking.
Your positioning strategy will help you determine what services and programs to offer, how to package them, and, most importantly, how to elevate them from being the same list of services that pet owners can get at any practice in town.
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.