Start Thinking About Branding and Marketing Your Business
Fantastic! I’m glad that you’re serious about growing your business.
Below you will find four key fundamentals that we call our Best Sight Think Tank. It is imperative that business owners have a understanding of these fundamentals before beginning any new branding and marketing campaigns.
Many Doctors and business owners shy away from marketing because the time to devote to growing your business is so limited.
We don’t waste time so let’s go!
Think Tank #1: Know Your Customers
Your customers and patients are royalty. It is crucial for you to know exactly who they are, what it is they want, and more importantly what it is they expect.
Who Are Your Customers
Do you know what the average age of the customers in your business? How about gender, zip code? Is this the demographic you wish for your practice? Is this the most productive demographic for your industry?
These are simple, yet very crucial, details we must first wrap our mind around before implementing any new marketing strategy.
For example. A Primary Care Physician (PCP) whose Practice has a patient average age of 62 and is looking to attract more 40-50 year old patients will employ a totally different strategy than say a Chiropractor specializing in sports related injuries with a average patient age of 35.
It’s not to say the PCP and Chiropractor won’t both focus on web-based and traditional marketing, but their strategies or approach should be totally different to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, as well as minimize cost.
What Do Your Customers Want
Let me be frank. Your patients and customers may not love you as much as you think.
I was helping a colleague of mine with his Practice a few years back and he told me, “My patients love me! I give them more time and attention than the other guys. I spend at least 30 minutes with every patient.”
Now mind you, I wasn’t helping him because his business was booming and cash was flowing.
After hearing this I said to Frank (fitting alias), “Frank, your patients don’t want to spend 30 minutes with you. You’re not caring for them, you’re wasting their time”
Followed by an awkward pause and the look like he was mentally hit by a mack truck.
Essentially I explained to him that he was killing his business because he did not know what his customers really wanted. Obviously they wanted the top-level care and service that Dr. Frank provided, but they wanted it more efficiently.
In Dr. Frank’s mind he was providing the best care in the area. In reality the message that went out by his best marketers, his customers, was that they had to spend 30 minutes listening to this guy talk and it had a negative impact on his brand.
Knowing your customers is one thing. Knowing what it is they want is totally different.
This fundamental is important with most all branding and marketing strategies. In Think Tank #3: Your Website Is A Marketing Machine I will discuss how knowing your customer and what they want is crucial for designing an effective website.
Think Tank #2: Email is Marketing Currency
Early in my business I brought on an employee with a background in marketing to be my patient coordinator and obviously help me with our marketing efforts as a small business. Her last position was in the marketing and PR department at Panera, the national high-quality food chain.
We were working on creating a Practice newsletter to go out every couple of months when she gave me the best insight to email marketing anyone has ever given me. The dialogue exchange went something like this:
Christina: “How many email addresses do you have?”
Me: “Around 1,500.”
Christina: “What!, some companies would die for those numbers. And you’re not even using them?”
Mind you that my Practice was very young. While for many businesses 1500 emails is nothing, we probably only had about 2000 patients at that time. The point Christina was making was that the amount of email addresses I had collected in ratio to my customer base was substantially high, and I was letting them just sit there to gather dust.
Email marketing may be one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to brand and market your business yet many businesses don’t ever take the time to implement a simple email marketing strategy.
According to Radicati, a technology market research firm, there were 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide in 2013. A number that is expected to grow to 4.9 billion by 2017.
In the US today we find that your customers are comfortable giving out their email address, just like their phone number, to businesses that they trust.
If you are not currently collecting your customers email addresses we suggest you start soon. Best Sight can give you simple and effective methods to capture your customers email addresses.
If you are, congratulations you are two steps ahead of your competition.
Think Tank #3: Understand Your Website Is a Marketing Machine
If you have made it this far I’m going to assume that 1: You are serious about marketing and branding your business and 2: Your business has a website.
If you happen to be one of the 45% of small businesses without a website stay tuned. We’ll show you how you can easily set up a great Practice website in under 30 minutes.
One thing that most business owners understand is that your website can be a great tool to drive traffic to your business.
The thing that most business owners don’t have a clue on is how to make your website a marketing machine.
This begins by going back to Think Tank #2: Know Your Customers. The business owner that knows their customers wants, as well as understands what they want from your business can easily transform their website into a marketing tool that maximizes the customer experience as well as executes performance goals.
Let’s Start With Goals
What is the goal of your website?
Most people will answer something along the lines of providing information about their business. Listing the bio and CV of their Doctors and medical professionals. Help their customers get directions. etc. etc.
Although there is nothing fundamentally wrong with those answers, and yes they should be found on your site, they best describes a website strategy from 1999.
Today you have a limited amount of time to grab your customers attention on your website. In fact you have 15 seconds.
Thats right. Most users spend on average 15 seconds on a webpage before they bolt.
So for our Think Tank experiment let’s lay out some website goals for today’s modern customer using our Local Family Medical Practice as an example:
Local Family Medical Practice has outlined clear and simple goals to maximize the effectiveness of their website. They want more patient's to schedule their appointments online and they want to collect potential customer's email addresses so they can send them information about their Practice. These goals are very simple, and specific to what Local Family Medical Practice wants from their website.
Goals don’t have to be complicated and don’t take a marketing team to create. They just take time to know your customer and what that customer expects when they visit your website.
Call to Action
You understand what your customer wants from you, and what you want from your customer. Now let’s create a call to action on your website that effectively executes the two.
For Local Family Medical Practice their call to action is as simple as adding a “Schedule Now” and “Request Practice Information” buttons strategically on their home page. These call to actions directs your customers to areas of your website that they are looking for, and with the right strategy, can be a very effective way to reach your website goals. They don't have to be complicated, they don't have to be fancy, but they do have to be strategic and effective.
Just to be clear. Making your website a marketing machine doesn’t necessary involve complex SEO tricks and a lot of money. Certainly their are more advanced strategies we can explore, but all it takes is knowing your customers, setting simple goals, and creating a clear call to action to complete the goals.
Think Tank #4: Are You Branding or Marketing?
What a powerful thought concept.
Although many times our efforts blur the lines of branding and marketing the truth is many small business owners do not understand that there are key fundamental differences between the two. Knowing the backbone fundamentals of the two will make all your marketing and branding strategies moving forward much more efficient and effective.
For this Think Tank, we want to offer simple, comparable points to help us understand these fundamentals as we plan our next campaigns.
What is Branding?
Your brand is the promise you make to your customers which through multiple experiences will lead to gaining trust.
Branding is about creating trust that drives and enhances customer loyalty
Branding is strategic
Branding is the reason your customer returns to you for a product or service
Branding builds loyalty
A good brand strengthens marketing efforts
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the promotion of your products or services that you offer to your customers.
Marketing is about creating a response that drives your customer back to the brand
Marketing is tactical
Marketing is the reason your customer wants or needs a product or service
Marketing creates a response
A good marketing campaign strengthens the brand
Congrats! You have taken the time to wrap your mind your mind around four key fundamentals that will help you effectively and more efficiently grow your business through your branding and marketing efforts. We offer you these insights and articles because Best Sight believes in independent businesses and we want to watch your business grow.
Just Getting Started
Don't leave yet, we're just getting started.
These fundamentals are just the starting block to focus you on your business. Below you will find tools and Best Sight articles designed for that next step.
This page is dedicated to Best Sight community members. Return to it often as we will update these tools and articles below as we grow with you.
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