How do you know if you’re marketing is working?

Many would say the answer is “by the number of new patients” or “by the number of phone calls.”

While these are both good signs that help you to determine if an ad is successful or not, they are not the right way to measure success in marketing.

Let me show you how measuring your return on the number of new patients only can mislead you. Here’s an example of a conversation I once had:

Doc: Dr. Beck, I only got 5 new patients from the ad I ran. I consider this a failure!

Me: How much did the ad cost you to run?

Doc: $500

Me: Did all 5 patients start care? And how much is your average case fee (or lifetime value)?

Doc: $1,800

Me: So you made $9,000 from an ad that cost you only $500 and you consider that a failure?

I know as chiropractors we get all wrapped up in talking about the number of new patients we get from certain marketing campaigns. It is an important stat to keep. But successful business know that it’s your return on investment (ROI) that really matters.

That’s ROI for the whole practice and specifically for each ad we run.

So how do you figure the ROI? Let me show you by using some real numbers. Here’s an email I just received from one of my Decompression Marketing Elite clients:

Hello doc,

Stats update from first EM ad ran as insert; collections in my hand. Ready for this? lol!

I ran in as 21,500 inserts in a free paper; printing cost $515.41 Distribution for inserts cost me $376.25 = total of $891.25 combined
15 day only offer of $35 expired 9-6-11;

Grand total= $17,490.00 collected with residual collections for multipal payment program option uncollected yet. Table is now filled for next 6.5 weeks!

27 new SD patients were scheduled
7 still remaining to be seen.
8 signed and paid in full

Now let’s do some math. I calculate marketing return on investment the quick and easy way. Take the total amount collection and divide it by the cost to run the ad. 20:1 ROI (19.6 rounded up) as of right now, just 2 days after the expiration date of the ad!

$17,940/$891 = 1962% ROI
or 20:1 Return

It goes without saying that not everyone will get these kinds of results. Some will do even better. Many will get a great return although it may not be this high.

But the point is this doctor has kept excellent records of his ad and is quickly able to figure ROI. He’ll need to re-figure the results later after ALL the money has come in. So in the end, it should be even higher than a a 20:1 ROI since 7 new patients have not yet come in and the residual payments have not all been collected.

What kind of returns are you getting from your chiropractic marketing? And if you aren’t measuring ROI, how do you know if your campaigns are successful or not?