Running an Open Day as part of your healthcare marketing strategy
Open house or open day events are a traditional and long used healthcare marketing strategy in the hearing healthcare profession. Lately there has been much discussion in relation to the efficacy and return on investment on those events. It appears that the general feeling is that the events no longer have the impact that they once had.
When discussing this with several people from differing markets it became clear that sometimes the days had not been thought about clearly. It also was clear that the return on investment assessment used was quite narrow. The questions I asked in relation to the events were as follows
What were the objectives of the day?
What were the expectations of the day?
Had they clearly set targets?
Had they clearly set a budget?
Had they agreed responsibilities pertaining to the day?
Had you set an event structure?
Had you clearly profiled prospects?
Had the prospects been properly qualified?
Had appointments been set or was it a free for all?
Had the event been thoroughly reviewed?
Mostly I am afraid the answer to one or more of those questions was no. In order to clearly assess the impact or return on investment of any strategy, you really need to clearly understand what you are trying to achieve. Every strategy needs clear objectives, a clear framework for deployment, the agreement of key stakeholders and clear de-lineation of responsibilities. In other words a well thought out plan.
Sometimes the objectives of the event were actually either un-clear or were a very simplified “move units”. The objectives of an event like this need to be exceptionally clear. Whilst an event can deliver unit sales, I think that is a simplistic objective. I also feel that if that is the only objective it will skew the deployment of the event. By that I mean the focus will be limited to short term tactical sales as that is the only measure being applied.
These events can be used for more than just a boost in short term sales. They can also be a branding and engagement exercise. They can be an educational and profile raising exercise. They can meet many strategic rather than tactical objectives for your Practice. So before your next one, think clearly about how it fits into your overall healthcare marketing strategy.