(If you haven’t read it yet, you should read my last blog post “Death of a Chiropractic Salesman” before reading this one.)
To get down to the bottom of chiropractic advertising, we begin with a story…
In 1898, at the age of eighteen, Albert Lasker left Galveston, TX and traveled to Chicago by train to learn advertising from the agency of Lord & Thomas. As Mr. Lasker learned the ropes of working in the agency, he quickly began to have a burning question…
“What is Advertising?”
You see, Lasker quickly realized that even though his new employer called themselves an “advertising agency”, no one could tell him what advertising really meant. Not his manager, not even the owners of the company. Mr. Lasker did finally come across an ad man, from a rival company at the time, who offered to help him on his quest. The conversation went like this…
“Well”, said Lasker, “what is right in advertising? Can’t you define it for me?”
“Why”, said the friend, “advertising is keeping your name in front of the people.”
To that, Lasker replied, “Well supposing I can’t live that long. Supposing I go broke; that I can’t keep my name before the people. There must be something else to this thing called advertising.”
I need to stop the story at this point and ask…how many chiropractors do this very same thing? How often have you heard, or even said it yourself, “I just need to get my name out there.” While getting your name in front of people certainly won’t hurt (as long as your name is being mentioned in a good way!), you aren’t likely to live long enough to rely solely on it as a way of growing your practice.
Another way chiropractors use this wrong line of thinking is by running ads in the newspaper or putting up websites that only have their name, phone number, etc. They believe this is getting their name out there in front of the reader and therefore, will be enough to get a new patient. This indeed will work if your are the only chiropractor in town, and it’s circa 1951, but for most of us this form of advertising is a complete waste of money.
Back to the story…
Within a few years, Mr. Lasker had become a partner in the agency, yet he still did not have a good definition of advertising. He had come to the conclusion that advertising was simply “news”, since most ads of that day were simply a small space ad announcing a new product. While Lasker was sitting upstairs talking with another partner is their office, a note got delivered to the room by a bellboy. It read…
– John E. Kennedy
Lasker sent a note down immediately saying yes, he’d like to know. Mr. Kennedy was shown upstairs, and the two met. Kennedy asked Lasker, “Do you know what advertising is?”
Lasker said “I think I do. It is news.”
Kennedy replied, “No, news is a technique of presentation, but advertising is a very simple thing. I can give it to you in three words.”
“Well,” said Lasker, “I am hungry. What are those three words.”
At this, Mr. Kennedy revealed the three words that would change advertising forever. He said…
“Salesmanship in print.”
Advertising had always been”salesmanship in print”, and would always be, but Kennedy was the first to put it in those exact words.
This is what your chiropractic advertising must be…in your newspaper ads, on your webpages, pay-per-click ads, email messages, etc. Today, you could slightly change it to be “salesmanship on video” or “on audio” since we have new technologies that can be used to persuade and influence. (If you question whether chiropractors “sell”, you should read my last blog post.)
News, in the form of press releases, can be good for your practice. “Getting your name out” can get an occasional patient or two. But persuading prospects that chiropractic has the answers…and that your office is the office to choose…now that is advertising that will set you apart from your competition and give you a means to obtain success in life.