For the private practice owner, there’s no doubt that marketing is both a driver and a barrier to business growth. For young businesses, implementing a marketing plan is crucial for success, but many business owners simply don’t have the time to dedicate to marketing.
We talked to our private practice customers to find out what they’re doing in the way of marketing and to learn about their most successful strategies for business growth.
“Being consistent and continuing to participate in marketing is extremely important,” says Tony Lombardo, Licensed Audiologist at The Hearing Shoppes. “One time marketing pieces don’t work. You need to be constantly building brand awareness, which requires continuous touch points with your target market.”
Integrate and Cross Promote
For their one year anniversary, McCollum Hearing Center held an open house lunch with free hearing screenings, which was promoted via a variety of channels. A list of 2,000 names was purchased and post cards were sent out to this list as well as to current patients, who were asked to bring a friend. The open house was also advertised in the local newspaper for 3 days in a row and on the radio. The newspaper and radio ads performed the best with direct mail returning the lowest response rate. Only 2 people responded from the 2,000 post cards mailed out. “The campaign was more successful among existing customers,” says Tara Bockstanz. “20 people from our existing customer base attended the event. In total, 56 people attended and 7 bought hearing aids.”
Constantly Evolve and Change
Taylor Parker, Owner of Concept by IOWA Hearing Aid Centers, believes the secret to success is in analyzing performance and adjusting based on your results. “You can’t be repetitive with your marketing. You have to be constantly analyzing what has and hasn’t worked to evolve in the way you market to consumers.”
Create a Positive Experience
“While we believe in all the marketing tactics we implement here, the fact remains that creating a positive experience for the patient is what really matters,” says Tony Lombardo. “It drives referrals and doesn’t cost a thing!”
“We had one patient come in who was borderline for amplification,” says Lombardo. “He had a difficult hearing loss to fit and wasn’t necessarily going to receive benefit from amplification. We started him out on a 60 day trial. He didn’t keep the hearing aids, but he referred 5 people who ended up purchasing hearing aids. Even though he wasn’t a candidate for our services, he still referred his friends because of the positive experience he had with our staff at the store!”