Many podiatrists make the mistake of only marketing their podiatry business when their patient numbers and profits are down. As soon as business picks back up again, they completely stop all their marketing activities, that is until the business numbers start to drop off again.
Repeating this stop/start cycle is crazy, and it's an ineffective way to grow any business.
You Need to Build Momentum
If you continue to start and stop your marketing, you'll never really develop any business momentum, and every time your marketing comes to a complete stop, it takes far more time and energy (and money) to get it started again.
This form of marketing is referred to as Helicopter Marketing, and it should be avoided if you want to create some consistency in your podiatry business.
A helicopter uses a massive amount of fuel every time it leaves the ground; however, once it's airborne and has momentum, it becomes far more fuel-efficient and can fly much further. Your podiatry business is no different. Once you create momentum, it takes less time and energy to keep it going, and it costs far less money.
Old And New Business Owners Make Similar Errors
You would think that only new business owners would make this marketing error, but unfortunately, I've seen people that have owned podiatry business for decades make the same mistakes.
- Business is quiet - they advertise.
- Business picks up - they stop.
- A new podiatry business opens - they advertise.
- Business picks up - they stop.
- They see their competitor advertise - so they advertise.
- Their competitor stops advertising - so they stop.
Helicopter marketing is a very reactive form of marketing. What you should be aiming for is a proactive marketing campaign, where you have a well thought out marketing strategy in place.
Too Hard Too Fast
Helicopter marketing also occurs when you go out too hard and too fast, and you blow your marketing budget before you really get a foothold in the market. You may have strategically planned your marketing, but through lack of experience and poor management, you run out of money.
You may be to blame, or you may have been smooth-talked by a sneaky sales rep. Regardless of the reason, learn from it and don't make the same mistake a second or third time.
Plan Your Marketing 12-Months In Advance
If you want to avoid helicopter marketing, you need to start planning your marketing strategy 12-months in advance, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
You need to look at each month and plan in your marketing activities well in advance. How you market your podiatry business in January may be completely different from how you market it in June, July and August.
The type of business you've created, sporting seasons, and school holidays can have a huge impact on your marketing strategy, and this needs to be taken into account and thought out well in advance.
Good planning also means making sure you have adequate materials and supplies ready to promote your podiatry business. Brochures, Free Books, signage, pull-up banners, demonstration materials and promotional products should be on hand at all times.
Stick To Your Budget
You also need to determine your budget, and you need to adhere to it. Don't get sucked in by the sales pitch, because a good Sales Rep can make everything sound good and look good on paper.
When presented with any marketing idea (tactic), you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it fit into my budget?
- Is it going to capture my ideal patient?
- What return will I get on my investment?
- If I put the money somewhere else, would I get a better return?
How you answer these questions will determine if you should proceed or not.
Test Your Sales Rep
Also, before the Sales Rep starts their sales pitch, and it doesn't matter if they're selling you radio airtime, newspaper ads or wanting to do your online marketing, there are three questions you should always ask them before they proceed.
- Can you tell me what a podiatrist does?
- Who do you think is my ideal patient?
- What did you like most about my website?
If they cannot answer these three simple questions to your satisfaction, do not proceed to work with them.
Repeating a marketing message once per day for 365 days is far better than repeating the same message 365 times in one day. Consistency is the key to long-term marketing success, and once you create momentum with your marketing message, it's almost impossible to stop.
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