Investopedia.com defines marketing as, “the activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service.” It is the way a company gains attention of an audience in order to sell and deliver goods and services. The ultimate goal of your marketing plan should be to match your products or services to the people who need and want them. For many businesses, traditional methods of advertising do not effectively provide that match-up. “Duct Tape Marketing” refers to a method of reaching your customers that comes from within your practice. In other words, you do not get to hire an outside company to get your message across. You have to do it yourself! What a great idea!
The problems with Duct Tape marketing are that it can be expensive, outdated and just downright boring. However, marketing from within can offer a more personal touch and is often appreciated by the client. Companies just have to find what works for them. Many times, what works is very non-traditional.
Here are some unique marketing ideas that are sure to get your practice noticed. The following ideas provide a more personalized approach to marketing. Many are very simple and cost next to nothing. Some require a little more of an investment, but are well worth the effort!
1. The First Visit Follow-up Call. This works especially well for us as healthcare practices. After your last patient for day exits, call your new patients you saw that day and find out how they’re feeling. You will be amazed how appreciated your patients will feel. Also, it helps to gain trust with them instantly.
2. Birthday Marketing. Keep track of patients’ birthdays and offer special discounts for the day or week of their birthday. Send birthday cards and/or sing happy birthday to your customer…they’ll never forget it! A great idea is to use Fiverr and create a birthday video and email it to them.
3. Refills. Offer water bottles to patients and tell them that they can fill up with fresh, cold water anytime they enter your office.
4. Banner Trivia. Put a trivia question on your web banner that requires clicking back to your site. Offer a cool prize to the winner(s) and announce them on your site.
5. Famous People’s Birthdays. Use Bob Barker’s birthday to offer a “Price is Right” discount. Get creative with this! Check out http://www.famousbirthdays.com to find your favorites.
6. Customer/Client Profile. Highlight your clients’ products by creating a Client Profile on your website. You clients will love the extra exposure and are likely to recommend you to others.
7. Battery Baskets. These are great for the holidays! Any business owner with children will appreciate a lovely basket full of batteries around Christmas time! Use a fun tag line to make your point. For example, “Get recharged and make sure your Powers On with XYZ Chiropractic center!”
8. Beat the Telemarketer. Ever get sick of telemarketers? Ask them if they or someone they know is interested in your products or services. You never know where it might lead!
9. Blogging. One of the single most important (and cheap!) marketing tools for your business is the ever-famous blog. Keep up with industry trends and let your prospective clients know that you know your stuff!
10. Clever office gadgets. If your budget allows, purchase a clever office gadget with your company logo silk-screened onto it. Everyone uses pens, mugs and magnets. Why not try an egg timer? Send it with tips on how to increase office efficiency and decrease costs. Maybe supply a small mirror for your clients to place near their phone. You could send this with tips on how to have more productive phone conversations.
Whatever marketing method you choose, be sure it is right for your business. Don’t waste your time on tactics that bring zero bucks. Use the ideas that show you the money!
Brianna Dean is the owner and defender of VirtualSolutions, a freelance administrative assistant company.