The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – for your Private Practice’s Marketing Plan
The holiday season is upon us – and in addition to being a great time for your cash flow as patients rush in to use the last of their insurance benefits or get ready for family portraits – it is a GREAT time for your marketing plan inspiration!
For decades, Thanksgiving has marked the beginning of holiday shopping mania – and all the advertising that comes with it to your mailbox, email inbox, TV, social media, and really, just about EVERYWHERE. The latest trends, societal norms, and inside jokes are all reflected in the myriad of advertising messages streaming at you. And right after the holidays, the super bowl and award shows bring more online marketing content and TV ads.
Every day, catalogs, flyers, and postcards pour into your mailbox, and emails fill your inbox. They’re screaming their messages at you —“Eat our food!” “Shop here!” “Buy me!” If you’re like most, these pieces are instantly labeled as junk and chucked into the trash. But what if we told you that you are throwing away one of your most valuable — and FREE — marketing plan resources?
The #1 Reason You Should Keep Your “Junk Mail”
“Don’t reinvent the wheel.” You hear this quipped by business people around the world and it’s a favorite motto here at the Scheduling Institute… But how exactly does it apply to your marketing?
Think about it this way. Each large company — like McDonald’s, Macy’s, etc. — that regularly send ads your way has invested in the top marketing talent available. They not only have a robust in-house team but likely work with outside experts as well. That means that these ads were created by highly skilled and creative individuals whose pay depends upon their success! Each ad that you toss into the trash is, in essence, a marketing plan gold mine — chock full of crucial marketing basics and psychological “pushes.” These big companies have been testing and tweaking their advertisements to find out what works for ages — which means you don’t have to do all of the work. It’s already been done for you!
Imagine that you had hired a “marketing research assistant” to find all of the BEST marketing tactics available, and they just put a huge pile of information and samples on your desk. You wouldn’t throw it all in the garbage… Would you?!
Create a Marketing Plan Treasure Trove … aka a Swipe File
So, “don’t reinvent the wheel.” Instead of tossing your junk mail, start a collection of all of your favorite pieces to use for inspiration. We like to call this a “swipe file” because you are “swiping” whatever happens to strike your fancy. Even the most creative marketers in the world use other marketers’ pieces for inspiration, and often it’s a good place to start when you’re looking at a blank page!
You can keep your marketing swipes in a binder, a folder, a drawer, or on a giant bulletin board like we do at the Scheduling Institute Headquarters.
This massive collection of ads should be constantly growing and evolving… Just like the market! Remember, a swiped ad that is valuable in the next few months might be much less relevant by late next year (although the basic elements of a good piece remain the same!). That’s why you have to keep up with the ever-shifting trends and interests of the consumer — in your case, a potential patient.
Here’s our challenge. Change your perspective, and start expanding your creative potential! This year as the great tide of holiday marketing rolls in, instead of heaving a sigh at the thick pile of ads, why not whisper a quick ‘thank you’ to the corporations that are spending their money to send YOU free marketing plan inspiration!
Wondering how your front desk will do with the calls coming off your newly inspired marketing pieces? Take the 5 Star Challenge.
We have analyzed hundreds of thousands of practices across the globe, and our data shows that 97% are missing this ONE thing that will open the flood gates to new patients. Take the 5 Star Challenge to see if you are a victim of this blind spot.