Isn’t Chiropractic Advertising the Same as Chiropractic Marketing?

I get this question.

Not like get it from other people, I mean like;  “I get it”.  I understand where it’s coming from.  I might have even asked this same question at one time.

However I do know there is a difference between advertising and marketing, and I also know why chiropractors would think if you’re running a few chiropractic ads, then you are also marketing.

On the other hand there are those who know there is a  difference between the two, but maybe feel intimated by the “marketing” word.

Let’s face it, we are chiropractors and that’s the profession we are trained in, not marketing.  So for a chiropractor to know how to effectively market his or her practice would be about as ridiculous as a person with a degree in marketing setting up a practice and offering chiropractic care to the public.   In reality, that can’t or should not happen, but it’s also a reality that chiropractors need to learn the art of marketing so they can build a successful business.

I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I want chiropractors to understand the difference and reassure them that they don’t need to be intimated when it comes to marketing.  It’s really pretty easy, once you get the hang of it.

Since I like a good story, I’m going to use one to try and explain how advertising and marketing are different and why you need to do both to help build your practice.

There is a private school in town that teaches graded K thru 12.  This school offers sports to the higher grades. They have a football team, cheerleaders a band and a drill team. I’m assuming the attendance at the games might have been low, and at some point, somebody must have asked how they could increase the numbers.  Higher attendance equals more revenue for the school.

They could have advertised, but that would mean spending money on advertising and to who? The parents of the student body?  That wouldn’t be prudent since they were probably already aware of the games from newsletters and parent meetings.

Should they advertise to the general public?

They could but why would anyone, who didn’t have a child at this school, want to attend one of their football games?  Even though these students would supply entertainment for the crowd, there just wasn’t any demand from the general public. They couldn’t expect to receive a good return on their investment.

This is where marketing comes in.  It turns out some of these students involved in these sports, needed volunteer credits.

So somebody came up with a idea and a committee was formed to help plan and facilitate a cheer camp for the girl students in the younger grades.  The cheerleaders and drill team would volunteer their time and earn volunteer credits by teaching the camp participants a few cheers, dance moves. Pom-poms, t-shirts and lunch were provided and the cost of this day camp was $50.  The camp was held on a Saturday from 8am to 2pm. 

Now I know that they didn’t clear $50 on each camper.  I’m sure there was a some overhead for lunch and props, but those things could have been donated as was time of the volunteers.  Even so, if the school invested $15 for supplies and lunch the school’s profit was $35 per camper.  Wow, that’s a ROI of 233%!

But that’s not all, 40 campers registered and they were given the opportunity to preform during half time at the next game. This meant moms and dads, brothers, sisters and maybe even grandparents would be purchasing tickets to the game so they could see their little cheerleaders show off what they learned at camp.

There’s more, there were concessions and who doesn’t love to eat while watching a sporting event?

What that school did, that was great marketing. Preparing and providing the opportunity to get a service from a business in return for a fee and setting in motion a way to receive residual earnings after the fact.   You experience this at concerts when you pay to see your favorite band and then buy the t- shirt or CD on your way out the door.  Except those businesses go one step further and turn their fans into walking advertisements when they wear the clothing with their logo on it. (logo = brand = marketing)

You might be asking; “great story, but isn’t that advertising?”  Nope, but advertising did happen as part of the school’s marketing plan at some point.  I’ll have to cover that on my next post.

Wrapping up…marketing is a process.  It’s preparing your chiropractic business for your targeted audience, this would include getting condition specific chiropractic ads ready for the patients you want to see in your office. It’s this preparation that will ultimately attract potential patients to your office.


Avoiding 5 Common Pitfalls in Chiropractic Advertising

Aside from creating ads and other marketing tools for the chiropractic profession, one of the perks of what I do is sharing advice and wisdom about how to use those tools here on this site. The do’s and don’ts, the ins and outs, the how to’s, when, where.

It’s great to have a collection of chiropractic ads, but we all know that there is much more to marketing than placing an ad in the newspaper once or twice a month.

That is one of the reasons both of the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads editions come with one whole binder filled with instructions and helpful tips.

I know that there are some who might read this blog, who might still have some reservations about using chiropractic ads, they just aren’t sure if ads work.  My assistant fills me in on feedback received from chiropractors. Not just docs here in the United States, but from all around the globe. Which when you think about it, it’s really amazing how much our profession has grown.

Personally, I’m excited to know that more and more people are seeking chiropractic care, but I’m not naive, I know there are so many more who have not ever seen a chiropractor, and many more who know nothing about the benefits of chiropractic care, even more who have been mislead by false claims and urban myths surrounding chiropractic.

Those people are the reason why you have need to advertise, that and advertising builds your practice.

I don’t mean you have to market your practice to the masses, only those who are your potential patients.

Yes, you have to put some thought into it. You’ll have to do some research and know the audience you need to target. The best part is as a chiropractor, you don’t have just one target, you have many groups of people to which you can direct your advertising.

Going over emails we receive, I see trends. At times there is feedback from several docs that have a common theme. Today’s issue is more than one thing, more like a collection of stumbling blocks or pitfalls. But as you will notice from the list below, some of these pitfalls are simple mistakes or omissions that can be avoided.

  • Pricing/Negotiating rates
  • Ad Size
  • Tracking ROI
  • Alerting your staff about the campaigns
  • Following up

All of the points in the list above are pretty self explanatory, except for negotiating rates for ad space.  That one is not as much of a mistake as it is a learned technique.  It is a task that gets easier the more you do it and the longer you work with your newspaper rep. The trick is working until you getting the best rate for your budget.  If your rep won’t budge, ask to speak with their supervisor.

Ad size is simply knowing when not to waste your advertising dollars.   If you can’t afford a decent sized ad, one that can be noticed, then don’t run the ad.  An ad in the paper that is only the size of a post card, isn’t going to yield the same results as a full color insert or a half page ad.  Yes they cost more, but they also give you a better return on your investment.

And since we are on the subject of your ROI, forgetting or worse, neglecting to track your ROI is a very avoidable pitfall. Knowing where your advertising dollars are bringing in the best results, is like knowing what investment company gives you the highest rates on your money.  Track all of your advertising to the best of your ability, even any direct mail and email marketing.

Find the time to sit your staff down and share what you are doing, if not this can kill a great ad campaign. Explain how you want these calls handled.  If you want your staff to go by a script then provide a script to go by.  If you want all calls from your ads to be handled by a specific staff member, then let all of your staff know who to funnel the calls to.  The last thing you want is one of your chiropractic ads to motivate prospective patients to call for an appointment or get more information, and the person answering the phone doesn’t know what the call is about or how to convert an info call into an appointment.

Following up is only an issue if you don’t have a system in place to capture those patients who came in for their initial exam and ROF, but didn’t continue with any care.  If they called in, made an appointment, came in for the exam and came back for their ROF, don’t you think they might be motivated to continue care?  So why aren’t they? If it’s just a matter of money,  have some payment options available or risk losing that prospect and any residual patients from referrals.


Noth’n But Net

What does a term typically associated with basketball have to do with chiropractic marketing? Well seeing that it’s the down to the Final Four, I figure why not use the momentum of the NCAA basketball frenzy and March Madness to my advantage, at least some of the terminology.

I’m not a huge basketball fan, but I’ve been known to shoot a few hoops in the driveway with my kids and while I am tall enough to bring a decent game to the court, I’m no slasher. I might be able to pull a layup, but a slam dunk? Yeah probably not, but it is pretty fun picking up my kids and letting them dunk a few balls.

I will admit, there are some really exciting moments in a basketball game.

I can imagine that if you are a huge basketball fan or have played basketball competitively in the past, you have probably been, at one time or another, the one to pull out the win in the final seconds of your dream basketball game.

What is your “dream game” winning play?

Is it the aggressive “in your face” slam dunk? Like a breakaway? or maybe a play like the alley-oop?

Who wouldn’t want to be that guy who jumps up for the pass and dunks it in for the win?

The breakaways are great, but the guys who drive the ball up the middle and get the lay up for two points in all that traffic are just as exciting to watch.

Oh…what about the buzzer beater? Yep, those are good too, especially those shots from the three point zone with one second on the clock. The ball goes up, all the noise stops, the crowd is on their feet collectively holding their breath and it seems as if all the air is sucked out of the arena. It’s so quiet for a millisecond and then you here the “swish”…and pandemonium is unleashed on the court and in the stands.

Those goals where the ball rides the rim are frustrating, especially when you think it’s going to go in and then the ball falls the other way. Heartbreaking, especially if your team doesn’t come up with the rebound.

I have to say, the points where the ball just slides through the net are probably the best. Those guys make it look so easy. Of course this can only come from years of practice. Can you imagine how many times a person has to throw that ball at the basket in their lifetime to get to the point where, under pressure, they shoot the ball and it glides in so smooth the net doesn’t seem to move?

The term “nothing but net” is defined in the Urban Dictionary as; “when a ‘swish’ is made on the basketball court. A swish is when the ball goes in the basket without touching the rim or backboard. The ball makes a ‘swishing’ sound.”

In chiropractic marketing, “nothing but net” could be defined as making money by marketing without any investment, basically free marketing.

We all have the ability to realize this type of income, but rarely tap into it and yet it doesn’t require years of practice. But it does require a system of redundancy and some simple training of yourself and your staff and it’s as easier to do than shooting a ball through a hoop.

Referral marketing can be successful without large sums of money. In fact the only real investment required is time; the time to ask, the time to offer and the time to share.

Once a patient is established under a care plan, have a member of your staff asked them if they have anyone they would like to refer to your office. Have testimonial forms ready to hand out when a patient begins to see results from their chiropractic care. Remember if you are using the patient testimonials in your marketing, this needs to be disclosed and a signature is required.

Have discount referral coupons sitting on your front desk for your patients to hand out to their friends, family, neighbors or co-workers. Discounted exam coupons are a great way to get referrals from your patients and who doesn’t like to save some money. If you own one of the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads packages you have coupon templates in your kit, ready to print out and use, testimonial forms too.  Coupons should be added to your chiropractic website as well.

Another missed opportunity to maximize referral marketing is when your patients come in for their appointment and they have a friend or family member with them. Don’t disregard this chance to introduce yourself and your staff, share your time with them, offer a tour of the office and allow them to observe your patient getting their chiropractic adjustment. Make yourself available for any questions they might have and by all means make sure they leave with your business card or a pamphlet with your information on it, and of course a coupon.

Not to be corny, but getting new patients from referrals is a slam dunk in my book and noth’n but net on my ROI spreadsheet.

Now back to basketball, who’s your pick as this year’s winner?

2014 Final Four
Congratulations to these teams for making it to the Final Four!

Make Your Marketing More Profitable

I think in order to know how to implement plans to make your marketing more profitable, you first need to understand why you need to market yourself and your practice, and agree that you will have to sink a portion of your money and time into several sources in order to maintain a profitable business.

Inevitably every business has to put into motion a marketing plan with the intent that it will generate profitable revenue. For you, a chiropractor, revenue and profits come in the form of new patients, preferably a continuous flow of new patients.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s not enough to get a degree, lease a space, slap a sign up and wait for that steady stream of patients to walk through the door. If only it were that easy…right?

Like me you’ve probably asked these questions at one time;

Where do I begin and how much should I spend on marketing?
When it comes to getting more new patients, you want to focus on the marketing that gives you the best return on your time and money.

A sizable chunk of your marketing budget should be put toward external marketing with time spent on internal marketing. For example, you can expect to spend a good portion of your marketing dollars to run newspaper ads and set up a chiropractic website. In contrast, sending out referral stream letters are more time consuming but less expensive.

Where is the best place to spend my marketing dollars?
There a many places and ways to spend your marketing money. While starting small is ideal, you should eventually get to a point where you can spread out and use multiple sources for marketing.

Once you become seasoned and gain confidence, why not branch out starting with a minimum of 5 good sources for reeling in new patients.

Some examples would be…
-newspaper ads
-internal referrals
-networking groups
-yellow pages

Why a minimum of 5? Of course your long term goal should be to have 8 or even 10 good sources of new patients…but 5 is a good number to get comfortable with, and then add more over time.

Here’s what I mean by “good source”, something that consistently produces 5 or more new patients per month, giving you 25 new patients per month, which as long as their good (meaning the patients not only convert to care but stay in your care) should put you in the $30-40k range in collections each month (this assumes your case average is good).

What is the best way to get a better return on my marketing dollars?
Want a better return on your marketing dollar? Then stop spending money on marketing that doesn’t produce results and sink that money back into the campaigns with the better results. And the only way to know what campaign is producing the best results is to track all the marketing you do. It won’t take long for your stats to show which campaign is working better.

If your stats show you that newspaper ad A yields a higher ROI than newspaper ad B, then you should be running with newspaper ad A.

Does this mean you should never run ad B? No, as long as it’s bringing in a positive ROI, you should. You want as many ‘poles in the water’ as you can afford to maintain.

If you’re budget doesn’t allow you to run multiple newspaper ads in the same month, go with the more profitable one this month and build up to working both ads the next month.

What’s considered “good results”?
When it comes to chiropractic marketing, anything above a 2-to-1 ROI is desirable. Obviously an ROI of 2:1 on all your marketing sources won’t build your practice effectively, so you’ll want to have a few 10:1 or even 20:1 marketing channels working at the same time.

Chiropractic Marketing in the New Year, What’s Your Plan?

Another year has passed in a blur and the New Year has arrived.  Now that the noise of the holiday season has quieted down, it’s time to think about your chiropractic marketing for 2014.

Got a plan?

A new year always inspires people because they see the new year as a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start, a time for change.   For some this change comes in the form of improving their health, for others it’s the urge to organize and put things in order, some vow to spend more time with loved ones and less time working.

Now is the time to dust off those chiropractic ads and get them ready to work for you while people are thinking about their health and eager to make some changes.

For businesses, 2014 will create many challenges in their marketing, one challenge in particular is just getting noticed amid all the other businesses vying for attention.  The chiropractic profession already utilized many new ways to market this past year, social media and other online marketing like websites and blogs, and now mobile marketing has come into play.  In fact there are so many marketing paths you might wonder where you should putting your marketing efforts.  Worse case scenario, you try to take all the paths and spread yourself and budget too thin. This could result in lower ROI in the long run.

It also makes me wonder if all of this access to everything under the sun will eventually lead to a media meltdown.  Will people begin to pull back from all the information they are exposed to on a daily basis? Will they long for the simplicity of turning a page in a book, or getting their fingers black from the print on the newspaper?

I’ve had people ask me; are the days of placing an ad in the newspaper gone?  Lost to the digital age, buried beneath mountains of online media and electronic noise?  I tell them no and not just because I write chiropractic ads specifically for the newspaper.

Consider this; you don’t see major retailers and real estate pulling their advertising from the newspapers do you? Even though they have other marketing resources. Large companies seem to have bottomless marketing budgets, they can pretty much and should use every means possible to push their brand and products.  So if newspapers weren’t a valuable marketing tool then why would they still be sinking their marketing dollar into print advertising?  Could it be that people still read the newspaper?

I am more than aware that a chiropractor’s marketing budget is limited.  This is why I encourage you to look at ways to increase your exposure and keep costs within reason and one way to do this is to use what you already have.

If you already have a chiropractic website but it seems to have lost is punch, it might be time to consider adding a blog to your site.  This will keep your site active as you add fresh content on a continuing basis.  Fresh content with rich keywords will help your site rank higher as more and more people read your blog.  Helping people find your site by promoting it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will also bring more traffic to your site.

It is also helpful to use, within reason, the online advertising available through Google Adwords and maybe even a few Facebook ads. These a great marketing tools because you can set your cost limits and work within those limits to bring in new patients, this is referred to a PPC (pay per click). Overtime as funds allow, you can always increase the budget on these campaigns.  Both the Adwords and the Facebook ads allow you to direct traffic back to your website.  Once there, having your blog filled with articles about health and wellness will further encourage people to read your blog posts regularly and potentially become your next patient.

One other consideration for your chiropractic website in 2014 is having your website mobile friendly.  Since more and more people use their smartphones for reading emails and daily news, your site should be easy to access on a mobile phone.  If you’ve not taken steps to do this already I would suggest discussing this with your webmaster or someone who can get your site set up for mobile viewing. If you are the webmaster and need help, you can check out Chiropractic Marketing Web and let Hill help you get your site tuned up for 2014.

If you already own any of my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads and you think they’ve seen better days, think again.  You can revive those ads in no time with a little help from Carol Smith and her Ultimate Ad Service.   But even if you’re not ready to take that step and you want some fresh ads, pull those ads out and give them a little face lift by adding some testimonials in place of studies.  Or maybe you just need some new material or a few extra ads to round out your advertising plan, the Ultimate Ads Club is stocked and ready with 24 newly written ads that won’t be found anywhere else.

So  are you ready for 2014?  I think it’s going to be a great year and I hope all of you are eager to get your marketing working for you.

p.s.  don’t forget to get those new ROI charts ready so you can track your marketing dollars.

p.s.s. don’t know much about ROI?  find out more HERE

Navigating the Chiropractic Marketing Highway

I’ve had the privilege of driving on the highways in both Dallas, TX  and Los Angeles, CA.

Two totally different cities and two very different driving experiences, although both city’s traffic is crazy.  Dallas more so in the morning and evening rush hours, LA is all the time.Solutions

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.

Chiropractic Business Tip: Add Product Inventory, Increase Practice Numbers

Before I transitioned into this position of creating chiropractic marketing products for the chiropractic profession, I owned a successful practice just like many of do.  Even though I’ve shared my story several times on this blog site, there are always some details that get left out.

Before you bounce out of here thinking you’ve heard this before, I challenge you to stick with me as I share some great tips for adding extra income to your bottom line each month.  And get this, there is no marketing involved, no ads to submit, just good old fashion supply and demand.

I’m not talking about huge sums of cash, but even if it’s a few hundred to a couple of thousand, wouldn’t you like to know how this could be done?

When I owned my practice I always tried to help my patients outside the office as much as I did inside my office.  Depending on their condition and symptoms when they began their care, I would often provide suggestions for things they could do in their home.   These suggestions would range from lite exercises to help strengthen weak areas, to habits that needed to change like,  reading in bed, sitting incorrectly at their work station, sleeping positions and using the proper pillow. There were also times when I would recommend supplements and analgesic ointments.

My staff would routinely apply an ice pack to those patients who where using the traction table or receiving stim treatment.

After a few patients asked where they could buy the ice packs we used in the office, it occurred to me that if I kept some in stock then patients would probably buy them from my office.   Same thing with the pillows, if I suggested to my patient they needed to change the pillow they slept on, the next question out of their mouth was usually; “what kind of pillow should I use and where can I find one?”

So we began carrying a line of cervical pillows and most of my patients with neck problems were over joyed that they didn’t have to go out and find this special pillow, it was available for purchase right there at the front desk.

There was never any need for a sales pitch, I simply instructed my staff to place samples of the products on the front desk and around the front office area.  The patients who wanted to purchase were able to do so when they were setting up their next appointment or making their payment.

Since those two items were selling so well, I decided to keep my favorite pain relief cream in stock as well, there were weeks when we couldn’t keep it in stock.  What was great about the ointments was our vendors always made sure we had plenty of sample packets for my patients to try, the rest was easy.  A great product will sell itself, all I did was provide a place for it to be seen.

I later added a foam roller to my product inventory, it sold like crazy.  Suffice it to say, if I used a product it in the office and it was something the patient could use at home, then I kept tried to keep it in stock.

Next  I tried supplements, just a small sampling at first.  This was pretty easy to do as I just stocked the supplements that I took daily, like fish oils.

For those who have the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads and use the health reports included in the kit, this is great for you, for as you know in these reports, supplements are recommended.  So if you use these reports with your patient care, it would benefit you and the patient if they could have access to these supplements without having to run all over town to find them.  Plus, when you provide the supplements, you are typically going to use a brand that you know and trust, therefore you are assured that your patient is getting a good supplement.  Some patients, in their effort to find what you suggested, may or may not purchase a pure and effective brand.

One last detail..don’t forget to track your product ROI.  My staff was instructed to keep daily stats on all of the products, this was done along with the daily practice stats.  Just as I suggest keeping up with your chiropractic marketing  return on investment, I suggest you keep up with your product return on investment.

Also, if you have a website you can promote the products you carry in your office.

Did selling products make me wealthy?  No, but it did take my practice to another level, my patients loved the convenience and the extra money was nice to have.

*Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, therefore I am compensated if purchases are made using the link. I have not receive products for free in exchange for my opinion.  My opinions are based on my personal use or knowledge of these products and services.

Does Your Marketing Audience Include Your Existing Patients?

Like anyone else, I get offers and solicitations in the mail.  More commonly referred to as “junk mail”.  And like most people I toss it in the waste basket. But sometimes curiosity gets the best of me and I’ll casually scan it as it’s flying into the trash.  The ones that catch my attention specifically are the offers to “new customers”.  They’ll read something like; sign up for 12 months of service at this low introductory rate, offer valid for new sign ups only. 

What gets me hot under the collar is that this is usually a company or service I’ve been a loyal customer to for years.  So how come I don’t get a bonus for sticking with them for years and paying my bill on time?  Most likely I was one of those that did take advantage of the special offer way back when, and then when the honeymoon was over, my rate went up and that is where I stayed.

Of course there are also the offers that come to you in your monthly bills.  You know, those little offers to upgrade your service.  Even though you might be perfectly happy with your level of service, you still might wonder if you need to upgrade.   I don’t fault them for providing options.

You see these companies understand human nature and they use this knowledge to leverage their marketing muscle and ramp up their ROI, after all if you sending a monthly bill anyway, why not include a few enticing lures.

These two scenario’s are your typical target marketing.  One is targeting those patrons that don’t have the service the company is advertising, or the prospective clients are using another company for their service and the “dangling carrot” is a comparable service at a low rate, for a limited time of course.   The other is targeting their own customer base, but they’re not offering a loyal  customer discount, rather the ad is to make you think your missing out on something bigger and better and you need it.

To be fair, there are those companies who do reward their loyal customers with coupons.  Ah but you know there is always a catch!  Here is your 20% off coupon for being a wonderful customer,  coupon valid on  purchases of $75 or more.  Gee thanks!

Why can’t they send a coupon for a percentage off of my whole purchase, whether that be $10 or $100.  Better yet why not just give me the cash?   You know why?  Because there are statistics that show that the majority of people won’t even redeem their coupons, but 100% would keep the cash.

So why the rant?  What’s getting me so worked up?

Well for one thing people should be acknowledged for their continuous patronage and I’m sure they would like to be recognized for sticking with a company.  Sometimes it feels like a slap in my face when I see a company offering a service, that I pay full price for, to others for  pennies on the dollar.  But then again….I could shop around for another company and take advantage of their low introductory rate.  Why don’t I do that?   Maybe I will.

I write this post in hopes that you will consider the gold mine you have in your practice.  It’s your existing patients and they are hungry for your gratitude and your attention.  They would like to be recognized and appreciated.

As I’ve said in previous posts; it’s much less expensive to market to your current patients then it is to go out and acquire new patients. This doesn’t mean you can only market to current patients and grow, but I bet you could do more with your patient base. Do they know about all the services and products you offer? Are they reminded on regular intervals to get adjusted? Do you send a monthly printed newsletter in edition to 2-4 emails a month? Do you have special events like P.A.D.’s, toy drives, etc?

Here’s my humble opinion…

When you’re proofing that next chiropractic ad with that amazing offer for a limited time only, think of all those patients you already have.  Some of them are current, getting to all of their appointments on time, referring you and your wonderful staff to friends and family, and bringing their children to you.  Others have fallen off the grid and need to be contacted, even if it’s just to say;  “we miss you”.

I guarantee you will see growth as you implement this form of marketing.  If you already do this, go to the DC Practice Tools facebook page and let us know how you market to your existing patients.

Out of Adversity Came A Unique Chiropractic Ad Idea

If you had been told that being a chiropractor would involve marketing, keeping stats and in some cases spending your weekends doing spinal screenings, would you have continued down the path?

Maybe in the back of your head you suspected there might be more to it than seeing patients and using chiropractic to improve the quality of their life. The business side of chiropractic wasn’t the passion that gave you that push to complete chiropractic college. It was more than that.

Every chiropractor has his or her own story to tell about why they chose this wonderful profession. I myself had one, but if you’ve been reading this blog long enough you know that it’s the after story that changed my family’s life and turned my business around. My story involved debt, loss of a car and home, and about as close to loosing my practice via bankruptcy as I ever care to get again.

Looking back the whole experience taught me a lot. In the midst of all the chaos, there was an idea. Putting this idea on paper was the easy part, but implementing it was scary.

The idea was to reach people with a form of advertising that I wasn’t real familiar with. After all, I didn’t go to school for marketing or advertising. In fact, running a chiropractic office and marketing a practice was just barely discussed in one of the classes.

I knew something had to be done, I just wasn’t ready to give up on my dream or my practice. I had worked too hard and so had my wife. Plus there were patients out there that needed a chiropractor to help them and I wanted to be that chiropractor.

The form of marketing I’m talking about is called direct response advertising. In my case I used the direct response method within a condition specific chiropractic ad. I placed my ad in the newspaper with a call to action and prayed.
Maybe my story should be titled; “If you write it, they will come”, because they did, new patients began to come in.

I guess you could say the rest was history. The ad brought in new patients and so I ran another ad, soon my practice had turned around and we were working our way out of debt.

During this time I learned to record the ROI on each ad I ran, that way I would know where the new patients were coming from and which ad worked the best.

So you see, out of adversity came an idea, that idea gave me hope and confidence.

Marketing your practice is tough, especially today when there is so much information thrown at people all day long. Common sense might tell you that people just don’t have to time look at a newspaper let alone sit and read it, but don’t fall for that lie.

People will always have health issues ranging from low back pain to chronic illnesses. Remember, that is why you wanted to be a chiropractor…to give those people a choice in their health care.