How To Choose The Best Ad Budget for the New Practice

Chiropractic marketing budgetMany doctors grab my  advertising system, which is very effective at bringing in quality new patients.

However, if it sits on the bookshelf, never to be used, it’s useless.

I recommend they start the first week at implementing chiropractic marketing strategy and planning your next 3 months to a year.

However, you’re going to have to spend a bit of money to run your ads.

This article will help you to make smart decisions regarding that expense. I will also layout some good marketing plan examples for you to follow.

Each practice has its own unique monthly marketing budget.

Even if you don’t set a specific number for marketing each month, you still may be limited on the amount you can spend in the beginning.

But the amount of new patients you bring in from your advertising, as well as how fast you build your practice, is going to be determined by how much money you spend on marketing.

If you knew every ad would bring you $10 for every $1 you spent, how often would you run that ad?

Every chance you get! But the problem is, you can’t realistically run a winning ad every day in the same paper for very long… unless it’s a huge national paper like USA Today.

So how do you run that ad as much as possible, without wearing it out?

And even more important regarding The Ultimate Chiropractic Ads, how do you weave all of the ads into a marketing plan that get maximum effectiveness?

The answer to this question will depend on where you are at in practice. Most chiropractors divide up into 3 categories: the new practice, the struggling practice, and the successful practice.

#1. The New Practice (0-$500/month budget)

The problem that the new chiropractor in practice suffers is lack of knowledge. Also, a new practice owner is working with a limited budget.

Due to the lack of marketing and business classes taught in school, most chiropractors graduate with weak marketing muscles.

A new chiropractor is unsure of what works and what doesn’t. Which newspaper is the best in town? Which ad should I run? How often should I run an ad?

A new practice owner should follow these steps to develop and ramp up his/her advertising.

#1. Follow the instructions in sections 1 & 2 of my ad package to select the best newspaper to run an ad in.

#2. Determine the best ad based on your practice (or use Carol Smith take out all the guesswork for you by using her ad service). If you still can’t decide, just go with the ad you “feel” will do the best.

#3. Work the ad rep down to a price you can afford. If your max is $500, keep negotiating or lowering the ad size until you get that price (again Carol is better than I am at doing this). If you need to start with the small ads, then do so. But realize your goal is to step up to the larger ads soon. Don’t get comfortable with the new patients from a small ad, thinking you’ll just run those because they are cheaper. The big ads will bring in more new patients and income than the small ads 99% of the time.

#4. Run the ad and measure your ROI. (I would recommend a half page ad in the news section, unless you can run inserts for the same or better price.)

#5. Repeat the process but with the same ad, this time within 2 weeks in a different newspaper. Compare the newspapers.

#6. Measure the second newspapers ROI while continuing to run different small or large ads in the 1st paper. (Make sure to compare different ad’s results in the same newspaper.)

#7. Test inserts against the full or half page ads.

#8. Continue to increase your monthly marketing budget until you are running two different half page ads (or inserts) each in a different paper once a month.

With this type of advertising “ramp up”, you can build your practice really fast and not burn out any of the newspapers.

The above example assumes every ad is a winner in every paper (used for simplicity here), but this is not likely going to be the case. However, by diversifying your marketing plan, you’ll find out rather quickly which places to run your ads long term.

I would recommend testing at least 3 different ads, with good placement, in section A (or using inserts) in the same paper before determining that it’s a bad paper to run in.

One of the biggest mistakes I see doctors making with this plan is…

Not setting aside enough money each month to ramp up the ads.

All the sudden new money is flowing in, the urge to buy that new car or house is very tempting. (I know, I made this mistake too when I started and it set me back at least 1 year’s worth of growth.)

In the next two blogposts, we’ll look at how to budget for the “struggling practice” and the “successful practice”.

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