Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Attracting & retaining clients: the difference between Promotion & Marketing

A recent Linked In post about National Pet Dental Health Month shared an idea for a dental promotion.  The promotion apparently asked clients to send in pet pictures.

The person making the post remarked that the practice already received seven email pictures in only 2 hours!

PROMOTIONS in which a practice invites clients to submit entertaining pictures or stories, participate in contests, etc., are fine as long as they are not mistaken for marketing.

The practice that is serious about MARKETING dental care – or any other services – recognizes that this is not something that you wrap around an observance and hold once a year.  Instead, you drive it all year with a focused marketing strategy.
  • Who are the best targets?
  • What are clients’  resistance points?
  • Which patients are at highest risk?
  • How can we gain traction – and credibility – with our message?
  • What makes dental care compelling – why should pet owners should pay attention?
  • What are the consequences of poor dental care?
  • What are the benefits of good dental care?
  • What are the success stories?
  • How can we ENGAGE clients?
  • How can we make clients a partner in their pet’s dental care?
Dental disease is a serious subject.  As we learned when our orange tabby stopped eating.  Our last vet said “bad tooth – needs to come out.”   Sent us home.    Happens again a few months later.  “Whoops – another bad tooth – needs to come out.”  Sent us home.  NEW vet – “You have an Orange Tabby.  I want you come over here.  See these red spots . . . “   

And you know the rest.  He (the orange tabby) now gets his teeth cleaned regularly and he gets regular check ups.  We -- his family now understand why.

The point -- BUILDING your dental services areas – and increasing client involvement  cannot be done through an annual PROMOTION. 

Yes, its National Pet Dental Health Month – and that’s great.  But if you really want to grow this area at your practice, you’ll look at ways to MARKET this service instead of just promote it. 

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, February 12, 2014

Marketing has to be an “inside job.”

When veterinary practices talk about marketing, I frequently hear them say something like, “We are looking for someone to ‘do’ marketing for us.”   Or, “So and so ‘does’ our marketing for us.”

Marketing is NOT something that you go out and hire somebody to “do” for you.   Marketing is something that you ADOPT.  When you adopt marketing principles at your practice, you make a commitment about the way that you are going to run your practice. 

Practices that embrace marketing are making a commitment to:
  • Being market driven, i.e, CARING about the local community and identifying its needs.
  • Understanding pet owners – and what’s important to THEM and not just to the practice.
  • Determining what represents VALUE to pet owners – and delivering it every step of the way.
  • Being proactive – and looking out for clients and their pets beyond the transaction.
  • Recognizing that not all pets are the same and delivering a level of care that takes into account pets’ unique heredities and health risks.
This is marketing.  It’s understanding how to connect in a way that is hard to find at the practice down the street.  It’s creating services that are in touch with the marketplace and  delivering them to the right targets in the right way at the right time.

It’s creating a practice that is so in touch it’s hard for any pet owner to go down the street.

Marketing is not something that you do.  It’s not creating a new website.  It’s not posting a bunch of stuff on social media.  It’s not sending out a newsletter.

While all of these CHANNELS can play a role in message delivery, they unto themselves are not marketing.

Marketing is not a bunch of messages telling pet owners “Pick us, Pick us.“   It’s the driving force behind why a pet owner should choose your practice in the first place.    

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