Marketing is the answer! Maybe not

Marketing will save your business! Do it now with us!

By Geoffrey Cooling

I received a circular the other day, I am a terrible signer up-er, I swear all you need to do is wave a mailing list sign up at me and I am in. Anyway, back to the point, the circular was aimed at hearing healthcare professionals and Practice owners in particular. Basically the premise was, your business is knackered, down the tubes we tell you, but our marketing advice will save your ass!

Marketing alone will not save your ass

I don’t doubt the veracity of the company, nor do I doubt that their advice may lead to a marketing campaign that delivers sales. In fact I believe that marketing, intelligent, strategic marketing will play a part in the ongoing health of your Practice. So what’s the gripe fatty?I hear Miller say. Its simply this, marketing alone is not going to save your ass and I think the belief that it will, hurts a Practice.

I see it many times, a Practice has a slow month, panic ensues and an advert is arranged. Said advert is often rushed, often has some special offer which reduces margin and often brings middling results. That type of marketing is of little use to your Practice and its sustainability. Marketing should be planned out in a twelve month structure. It should be designed to assist the reduction of seasonality in your cash flow. It should assist your bottom line, not hurt it through lower margins during busy times.

Your key focus should be Patient retention and customer referral 

The key thing that irritates me though is that everyone tends to focus on marketing. When the key to their survival and sustainability is often overlooked. Marketing is and should be a major concern for every Practice owner, but it should have slightly less focus than Patient retention and customer referral. Your key focus, with every other element being secondary, should be proper Practice management designed to deliver retention and referral.

Designing and implementing strategies that deliver retention and referral will pay off almost immediately. They pay off by ensuring that you take care of your Patients. That makes them happy, in fact if you do it right it will make them damned ecstatic. Ecstatic is what you want in your existing Patients. Because that is what will deliver sustainability to your Practice.

Regards

Geoff

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

3 Comments

  1. Good article. Last minute ads are a gut reaction when the month is not going well. Branding your practice with a long term plan that creates awareness and educates your community is a better solution so that you can maintain a steady stream of patients rather than hoping a quick ad provides you with a shot of adrenaline to keep your heart going. Staying healthy to begin with is the better option, with an annual calendar so that you’re maintaining that stream of patients.

    As Geoff indicated, this is first and foremost accomplished by providing the best service possible, and THEN by making sure everybody knows about it.

  2. Right on Geoff! The best executed ads will still fail in the long run if the practice fails to deliver. It will always come down to the patient experience. A good ad can’t make up for a lousy experience. Happy patients = referrals.

  3. Great article! I get frustrated when I see so many practice owners trying to get new patients while virtually ignoring their existing patient base. They are wasting such a great opportunity spending so much time trying to convince strangers that they can help them when the practice owners have a list of people that already know how good they are.

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