I was recently thumbing through Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Direct Marketing book, looking for a quote I had seen about chiropractic newsletters. While I did find the quote, I was reminded of something even more important when it comes to marketing.
In the first section of the book, Dan lists 10 rules to follow on marketing in your business. What he said in rule #9 can be directly applied to your chiropractic marketing. Here’s what he said…
Rule #9: Results Rule, Period.
Results are what matters when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing.
While there are certain caveats to this rule (which I discuss below), let’s look at what this really means for your practice.
“Results rule, period” means it doesn’t matter what your friends, colleagues, family, front desk CA, or even your spouse thinks about your advertising. When it comes down to it your own feelings about a certain marketing piece aren’t the determining factor of it’s success.
It doesn’t matter what your newspaper representative thinks about your chiropractic ads either. You would be surprised at how many times an ad rep wants to make changes to my ads. They’ll tell my customer “I can make that ad look much better. Let me have our art department put a better picture in there. And I think you should cut this out and we’ll put you a pretty coupon right there.”
Then I get an email from the doctor asking me if he should let them do this. I tell him “Sure, if THEY GIVE YOU THE AD PLACEMENT FOR FREE! Otherwise, tell them it’s your money and you’ll spend it on the type of marketing you want.”
I once had a front desk CA proof read an ad I was about to run in the small community newspaper. She told me “the ad wasn’t going to do well, because she wouldn’t respond to it herself.” Then I asked if she had a herniated disc like the patients the ad was geared towards. Of course her answer was no. But she still insisted the ad likely wouldn’t do well. I then told her that we could run her rewrite of the ad, if she wanted to pay for it out of her next paycheck. That ended the discussion. (This ad brought in 13 new decompression patients for an ROI of 2062%.)
So who’s vote does count?
The only vote that counts is your patient’s vote, since they are the ones giving you the money. You then total the income from their case fees, and see if it’s more than you paid to run the ad. This is your ROI and it is the determining factor if the ad was successful or not.
So what’s more important when measuring ad results, the number of new patients you get from an ad or the actual ROI?
Well, if you ask most chiropractors, they would tell you it’s the number of new patients. But the ROI is much more telling. The biggest reason is because the ROI figures in the quality of the patient, how long they stay, and how much they spend.
For example, you could get 81 new patients in for a free exam and have only 4 of them actually ever give you money. Or you could have 15 sciatica patients pay $47 for an exam, 13 of which accept a care plan, spend $2000 each and get an ROI of 2500%. Which one would you rather have?
Figuring the ROI will also factor in the “caveat” I mentioned above to Dan’s rule. Here’s what I mean…
If you are measuring purely the number of new patients you got in, you could change the above rule to “Number of New Patients Rule, Period.” But this is not true, as it doesn’t account for the unethical, hyped up, immoral, and in some cases illegal advertising that goes on.
After all, if all that matters is getting the most new patients you can get from an ad, why not “promise a cure” and tell them the first visit is free? Hey, if you’re just measuring new patients, you did great, you got 101 new people in the door! Do whatever it takes, right?
But let’s look at your ROI. After 99 of them waste your time and never pay you a dime, 1 files a lawsuit against you for unethical advertising, and the state board fines you and yanks your license to practice, I’d say your ROI is about a negative 1 million percent.
With that said, I think we should modify Dan’s rule to make it a bit more speficic. “Return on investment rules, period.”
Do you agree or disagree? Post your comments below.