OK, I confess, I used to tell myself little lies too. I’d think I was reformed, and then I’d catch myself again. I’d tell myself things like:
- “It’s non-fat, so it’s OK.”
- “This time I’m totally committed to keeping my New Year’s Resolutions.”
- “People aren’t buying because the economy is bad.”
- “French fries count as vegetables.”
These tiny lies slip by in part because they are innocuous, but similar lies about your audiology practice can end up costing you thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Hidden Costs
Every time you spend money on marketing, chances are you are losing money in two ways. First, you’re overpaying for what you get. You’re paying $1,000 or $3,000 or more for marketing activity that in most cases isn’t bringing in new patients.
Second, while you’re spending your hard-earned money, potential patients are finding and signing up with your competitors. You’re not only losing them once, but you’re losing their lifetime value to your practice. Which could be costing you big time.
Here are some common misconceptions about audiology marketing that can negatively impact your practice’s growth and revenue, adding to the financial costs of ineffective marketing strategies.
Lie 1 — Audiology Marketing Just Doesn’t Work (and I’ve Got the Bills to Prove It)
You’re right. The type of marketing many companies push doesn’t work and can lead to some very disappointing results. Ninety-five percent of advertisements use the one-step selling approach. They jump right into the sale and only appeal to the patients who are ready, right now, to make an appointment. They completely miss the hundreds of people who are on the phone getting insurance pre-approval, researching practices online, or just plain on the fence. They miss the 85% of patients who do weeks of research before being ready to make an appointment. If they did this one little thing, they’d have radically different results.
Lie 2 — You Have to Spend a Fortune to Get New Patients
I get it. If you’ve been spending a lot to see anemic results, I can totally see how you’d have this impression. No one wants to throw good money after bad. But effective marketing brings in more money than you spend on it. Imagine getting 8-10 new patients every month. Wouldn’t that be worth investing in?
When we first started offering our Online Review Builder, we put it up as a test to see how much of a difference it would make. Even we were surprised at the jump in new patient calls.
The truth is, sometimes little changes can really make a difference.
Lie 3 — My Front Desk Guru Can Take Care of Marketing for Me
I’m not sure why, but most practices at some point think their front desk can manage any miscellaneous task they need done including running a successful marketing campaign.
If this is true, why is it some businesses are booked solid and some businesses have 25% or more of their appointments free?
We’re sure your front desk team is awesome. But they already have a job–converting your calls into appointments. They could book more if someone else is focused on getting your phone to ring.
The key is to find someone who knows how to attract new patients, not just send out mailers or social media posts. You want results not just activity.
Lie 4 — All Audiology Marketing Companies Force You to Commit to a Long-Term Contract
Just last week I was on the phone with a practice owner who complained that they got locked into a long-term contract with a marketing firm that took all of their marketing budget and wasn’t bringing in new patients for them. You really don’t need to sign long-term contracts. In fact, if a marketing company is insisting on looping you into one you should consider it a red flag.
Lie 5 — You Need to Get Three Bids on Every Marketing Job
Who you trust to do your marketing can have a dramatic impact on your practice’s growth and financial stability. Yet many practice owners and their marketing managers take this approach asking for bids from different online marketing firms. They think if they throw out the top and bottom bids and select the middle bidder they have saved money without sacrificing quality.
There are a few crucial factors – more important than price – that practice owners should look at before making a decision. If you’re evaluating marketers, check their reputation. Ask about their results. You can even request to speak with their references and evaluate whether they’re worth the price. Sure, this is a lot more work than asking for a few different bids. But the best marketing companies are true partners in your growing your business–that’s a relationship that’s worth investing time into.
Lie 6 — You Don’t Need a Firm That Specializes in Audiology Marketing
Attracting patients is not the same ball game as marketing the local car wash or neighborhood pub. If someone tells you that all website design, SEO or PPC is the same, ask yourself if you’d go see an optometrist for a heart problem or a podiatrist for a toothache.
Lie 7 — You Need All Kinds of Data to See if Your Marketing is Successful
Turns out, you really only need to keep track of one number to see if your marketing is successful. That measure is the number of new and repeat patient calls and email contacts. That’s all that matters if you want to grow your practice.
That’s not to say that other data isn’t important. But when it comes to measuring your ROI, the only thing that really matters is the number of patients walking through your door. It’s important your marketing company is measuring that. MedPB’s call tracking system makes it easy to determine your ROI from each of your marketing efforts, including SEO, PPC and direct mail.
Lie 8 — Email is Dead
It might feel a little old fashioned, but the reality is that email marketing works. The key is knowing how and when to use it. You can burn your list by emailing and pitching to your list too often. You can let your email list wither away from neglect. Or you can stay front-of-mind with your patients as the go-to local audiolgy expert and increase new and repeat patient visits.
When you start telling yourself the truth, you can accomplish more with your marketing campaign.
Achieve more. Talk to us.