I’ve had the privilege of driving on the highways in both Dallas, TX and Los Angeles, CA.
Even if you do have the advantage of knowing exactly where you are going and how to navigate the massive amounts of cars at speeds of 50 to 70 mph, abundant lane changes and drivers on their cell phones (not in California), you still have to contend with road construction, delays and the occasional if not everyday occurrence of an accident. Hopefully not yours, but even the fender benders that don’t involve you will almost always effect you and your drive time.
I find it easy to become stressed when things keep me from moving in a forward direction at a speed needed to get somewhere on time. To say it takes planning and the ability to think ahead is an understatement. It’s safe to say that if you don’t give yourself some extra time to get from point A to point B you will almost always be delayed, which will cause frustration and anxiety.
It’s not a stretch to compare marketing with driving on the highway. You pretty much need to know where you are going, how to get there, shortcuts and detours included, you need to maintain a consistent speed and there will be some quick lane changes. You can always expect some type of set back or delay and you can bet there will be a few wrecks to contend with.
As with commuting there are tools and rules you can employ to make your chiropractic marketing stress free and keep you moving forward even if you encounter that occasional traffic jam.
Plan ahead – Just as you plan out your day or a trip you should map out your chiropractic marketing strategy each year and follow this map for all of your marketing and advertising. A yearly calender will help you navigate the marketing highway. Looking ahead and setting up timely advertising campaigns can help you see how you will be spending your marketing budget. This also allows you to make any changes ahead of time if you see the need. Set up your ROI spreadsheets for the year and use them throughout the year so that you will always have up to date figures to analyze.
Give yourself a head start – If you are planning several advertising campaigns, it would be smart to have your ads ready and submitted in time to review drafts and make any changes if needed. Marketing materials such as newsletters and emails should be planned out on your marketing calender too, that way staff members who are responsible for sending out marketing mailers and emails will have plenty of time to get things written and edited. Along with keeping data bases updated. It’s helpful to have weekly or monthly meetings with your staff so everyone with be on the same page.
Be gracious and flexible – Just as there will always be reckless people behind the wheel causing havoc and delays on the highway, things will happen to cause delays in your marketing. Deadlines will be missed, errors slip by causing confusion, someone drops the ball and there goes that nice flow of forward progression. You could choose to fly into road rage, but that rarely solves anything and there is always collateral damage. If you prepare for these things and know they will happen occasionally, it will be a lot easier to be gracious and move on.
Have an exit strategy – In the event of grid lock, know your exits and back roads. Marketing has it’s ups and downs, yours can be plugging along at a great speed and then all the sudden, things just stop. No more momentum, no more new patients. It happens. Even if you’ve planned everything perfectly. This is when you need to know where to make your next move. Maybe it’s time to get off the highway and find a quite back road. Notice I didn’t say pull over and park it? If your goal is to get from point A to point B, then you have to keep moving forward, that means finding another route. If your chiropractic ads are not producing well in the newspaper, maybe it’s time to do some direct mail marketing.
Utilize a navigation system – I know there are those who think they don’t need help with directions, but there will be times where you need to be pointed in the right direction. And how will you know about those alternate routes if you don’t seek the help of a good navigation system? Have you ever been lost? It’s not fun and it’s very unproductive. Marketing costs money, so looking into a chiropractic ad service that will help you with ad placement and marketing advice makes perfect sense.
My staff and I wish you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.