Chances are you’re either prepping for a demo and creating a list of important needs from a marketing technology partner (if you haven’t created a list, check out our recent ebook here for help), or you’re at the final decision stage of what marketing technology partner you should go with. To help you better understand what needs are a priority and what aren’t, we want take a closer look at some things you may have written down as something that is important to your practice, but may not be as important as you think it is.
1. Postcards - Yes, you heard that right. Postcards are not as important to the success of your practice as you think they may be. Sure, you’ve been doing it for years, but the honest truth is postcards are not essential to the survival of your practice and your attachment to them is more of an familiarity or “safe” attachment. It’s always hard to break a habit that you’re comfortable with but there are better ways to save money and send more effective reminders, like push notifications, text messages and email. I’m not going to go into detail about postcards because we’ve spoken about them a lot, and you can check out our recent blog, Postcard reminders: 3 reasons you’re kidding yourself, but the bottom line is, postcards are costly and the ROI is poor. As a pet owner myself, I’ll honestly tell you that I give my one-year old son the postcard to play with because it has a “kitty” on it and then it gets thrown in the trash can. Chances are, your clients do something similar.
What process do you currently follow when selecting a marketing technology partner? Do you even have one? Lucky for you, in either case, we've put together a guide on questions to ask when choosing and evaluating your current or potential marketing technology partner.
If you haven’t started already, the beginning of the new year is a great time to start evaluating your current marketing technology partnerships. Even if you’re not certain you want to work with someone else, it’s always good to revisit what other marketing solutions are out there and if they can be a better match for your marketing needs. Chances are, you’re already scheduled to attend a few conferences, so it could be in your best interest to spend time reviewing what your specific marketing needs are and interviewing a few of the other marketing solutions out there. To help you with the process, we’ve put together a list of the top five recommended questions you must ask when considering a marketing partner.
1. How does your marketing technology address the top three critical components of my business - my clients, my team and my reminder tools?
This question should be asked at the beginning of each meeting. You have three areas that are of importance for the success of your practice and your marketing technology solution should be addressing each one. How is their marketing platform providing value to your team? Is it helping with efficiency or eliminating daily administrative tasks that may otherwise be a burden? What about clients; do they offer something of REAL value to your clients?
When working with a third-party company to grow your practice, you should be asking yourself one question; is this a business vendor or a business partner? There is a distinct difference between the two and chances are your practice could be hurting depending on your answer. A business vendor is simply a company that receives payment whether they perform or not. They provide very little accountability and are not aligned with the same goals as your practice. A partner, on the other hand, takes the time to understand your business, understand your goals and establishes a relationship of trust over time through transparency and accountability. Now take a moment and think about your current third-party marketing companies, the ones you may work with to send out emails, to book appointments and promote your business. Are they a vendor or are they a partner? Are you paying them every month and unsure if or how they’re delivering on their promises?
One of my favorite business quotes is, “What are the seven most expensive words in business? We’ve always done it that way.” I love it because it reminds me that inertia is very powerful and that we should always be on the lookout for new and improved ways of doing things. I can’t imagine a better example than our persistent reliance on faxing records. I know some world-class referral hospitals with MRI machines, state-of-the-art endoscopy, and a commitment to staff training that is beyond compare… and they’re still faxing records. Something there just doesn’t add up. We do a great job in this profession of staying current on medical technology but overall we have done a pretty terrible job of staying current on communication technology. The point of this blog is to help colleagues understand that not only is faxing (and it’s kissing cousin, email) far more time-consuming than most veterinary practice managers realize, but also that there are better ways of sharing information.