Audiology Advertising In 2015, Planning Your Marketing Activity
Written on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 by Geoffrey Cooling
Changes In Marketing Strategy Across The Audiological Profession
I get to talk to quite a few people from around the world within the Audiology profession. Through this network I can see changing attitudes to marketing. More Practice owners are taking marketing spend more seriously. Many are talking about assessing past marketing activities for ROI in an in-depth way.
A few have admitted that it is only in the last year that they have started to adequately track leads in order that they can make decisions based on data. Not just that, but they are seriously considering moving away from traditional marketing channels. More than a few have begun to invest in a concerted online marketing strategy involving content creation, social media and email marketing.
No matter what activities you are considering for next year, if you are serious about your marketing plan for 2015, there are some things that you need to do to ensure you make the right decisions for your Practice.
Without tracking of your leads you can’t know how well your marketing money is being spent. Do you have any idea where your sales are really coming from and what activities are the most cost-effective? I have said it before and I know I will say it again, tracking leads and conversions to sales is an imperative for planning any marketing strategy.
Review Last Year To Plan 2015
Start with a list of your marketing activities for the last twelve months, that includes all of them. Local advertising, direct mail, networking, leaflets, blogging, Google Adwords, exhibitions, open days etc. Look at the costings for each activity and compare generate leads from each activity. That will give you a cost per lead by activity, but to get the full picture you need to follow through to conversion. One activity could be delivering a lot of low-cost leads but your conversion rate on those leads could be low.
Another activity could be delivering leads at a higher cost but conversion rate is higher and cost per sale is actually lower. You need to strike a balance between cost per lead and cost per sale per activity, that will give you a clear idea of the best performing activities.
What You Need To Consider For A Marketing Activity
The Target Market
Every time you consider an activity, you need to ask yourself some questions about that activity. Firstly, what exactly is your target market for this activity? When you have clearly identified your target market, ask yourself is the activity going to be effective in reaching them. If it is, how many of your target market can you expect it to reach? Every activity is a gamble, but the gamble reduces with possible increased exposure.
Seems silly, but what exactly is the purpose of the activity? Are you trying to generate leads, raise awareness prior to an event, generate appointments from new prospects, generating appointments from existing Patients? You need to clearly understand the goal and assess if the activity is suitable.
The Full Cost
What exactly will be the cost of the activity, the full cost including the time spent to prepare plan and deliver. For instance, blogging may seem a cost neutral form of marketing, but it is not. It takes time for you to plan a content strategy and deliver it. that time is worth real money.
Not just that, what is your target for return based on that cost? I remember someone said to me that they had broken even on a marketing activity by covering their costs. I asked them how much was their marketing spend as a percentage of their return.
Basically it was 60%, no business can continue to run if marketing costs are 60% of turnover. To break even, your cost of activity as a percentage needs to be closer to 10%. Remember that clearly, if you are going to spend 2,000 of your favourite currency on an activity, you want to make 20,000 of your favourite currency to call it a real success.
So work out how many customers you need to attract, how many sales you need to make, how many appointments you need to book to make your activity a success. When you are assessing results, do so over a quarter, that will give you a clearer view. Then re-assess every source at year-end. Some activities can be slow but steady lead generators, in particular the effort you spend on you online activities.
Can and Should the Activity Use More than One Channel
Marketing activities don’t happen in a bubble, if a prospect’s interest is piqued be a newspaper advert you can be sure that they will check out your website. You should consider running a campaign on your website designed to capture lead data in tandem with your advert. In fact every marketing activity should be pushed through all your channels, online and off.
If you ask yourself these questions while planning out your marketing strategy for 2015, you will be off to a good start.