Tag Archives: profit

The Value of the Experience

26 Jun

A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

All of today’s shopping, dining and entertainment experiences are just that – experiences.  It’s more important than ever to engage customers and tether them to your distinct brand – what makes you different from your competition down the street or a purchase made online?  The answer to this question – and the way it’s conveyed to your current customers – will keep them coming back for more.

Let’s face it, in today’s marketplace, it takes more work to make [and keep] the sale.  Consumers have higher expectations, expect more value, look for discounts and demand better service – so your business has to focus on how to integrate or improve upon these factors.  Use these influencers to your advantage by enticing customers to buy from you based on what they want, not what you think they should be getting.  Maybe you can’t offer the best price, but you can give excellent service and you sell an amazing product – focus on your strengths and what makes your business unique to the customer so they’ll want to purchase from you.

Remember that the consumer experience does not end with the purchase; that’s just the beginning.  Large and small ‘follow ups’ post-purchase are necessary to keep your business top-of-mind with the consumer.  The establishment and retention of these types of relationships are becoming almost as critical as the actual product itself.  We know that your current customers are your most qualified leads, but just because they purchase from you once doesn’t guarantee repeat business.  So it’s up to you to nurture these relationships and create a strong connection between these customers and your business.  This can be accomplished via targeted direct response [email and direct mail], personal phone calls, yearly birthday messages, etc.  Stay connected to these customers to keep your business top-of-mind.

Businesses [especially privately owned ones] need to concentrate on selling the experience and differentiating themselves from the competition.  It’s the positive and unique experience that will fuse a customer to your business – not the device they take with them.  A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

In this industry, our Associates are selling a lifestyle improvement, not merely a device.  The device is the solution, but the customers’ journey is actually more important.  Focus on the journey, the factors that are important to the customer and encouraging them to always travel back through your doors!

Remember these tips:

  • How is your business unique?  What differentiates you from the competition?   Use the answers to these questions to help your business stand out.
  • Raise the bar [especially related to service] to meet consumers’ increasing expectations.
  • Keep current customers connected to your business to encourage loyalty and repeat sales.

Integrated, Organized and Educated Marketing

7 Mar

Every marketing plan should start with an overarching, ‘big picture’ strategy to ensure the correct audience is being targeted, the budget is being used wisely across mediums that produce opportunities and everyone within your business is privy to and educated on how to capitalize on the marketing efforts.

Integrated Marketing

When approaching your marketing plan, it’s imperative to take an integrated approach when choosing the strategy.  By ‘integrated,’ we mean incorporating the initiatives that drive traffic to your business while targeting both your current and future target markets.

Why is this type of strategy important now?  We’ve been saying for a few years that direct response marketing to your current customer [the 65+] should be your focus.  Your marketing strategy still needs to rely heavily on this goal, but you also need to plan for your future target [the Boomer] via multiple marketing mediums.

The Marketing Pyramid

No doubt you’ve heard us talk about the strategic importance of the ‘pyramid’ approach.  That’s because it’s the best use of your time and marketing dollars, plus it produces the most opportunities.

The crux is this: focus 80% of your efforts on your current patient database, physician referrals and patient referrals.  These are your most qualified leads and will produce opportunities with the least amount of effort.

The other 20% of your focus and budget will be prospect marketing [i.e. direct mail, newspaper, telemarketing, etc.] to continuously feed the pipeline with new customers.

Using this combined strategy will leave no stone unturned and produce a constant flow of opportunities 

Marketing is a Collaborative Effort

In order for your marketing initiatives to be as effective as possible, your entire staff needs to be on board.  Successful marketing is a collaborative effort between all facets of your organization, from the front office through the audiologist/dispenser and everyone in between.

For example, make sure the front office personnel are generating patient referrals, identifying out of warranty opportunities and rescheduling cancelled appointments.  Plus, ensure that they understand the all current marketing initiatives [direct mail, newspaper, etc.] to handle incoming calls and set appointments.

Apply these same principles to all positions – practice development representative, telemarketer, and audiologists/dispensers – so the entire office is ‘on the same page.’

Many strategies and tactics need to work together for optimum marketing performance.

Many strategies and tactics need to work together for optimum marketing performance.

Ready to Get Started?

Beginning with these ‘big picture’ strategies will keep you organized and focused while working towards a path of positive return on investment when it comes to marketing for your business.  Reaching the appropriate target audience, capturing opportunities from both your current customers and new ones will keep the pipeline full and creating an environment where all employees are working toward the same goal will collectively help your  marketing dollars go farther and produce better results!

A Marketing Wish List

10 Dec

Since the holiday season is upon us, I began thinking that if I could give a marketing themed gift to all of our Associates, what would I choose? [Yes, these are the types of thoughts a marketing nerd has on a daily basis!]  One of the most important components to any marketing plan is the integration of call tracking and the ability to determine a return on investment [ROI] for all initiatives; much more powerful and business focused than drummers drumming, lords-a-leaping and partridges in pear trees.  If you are going to spend thousands [or tens of thousands] of dollars on marketing initiatives, you better know how much bang you are getting for your buck!

As our team helps Associates plan for 2013, we are analyzing ROI data on a daily basis, helping to determine the marketing initiatives that were most successful in 2012.  And success is measured based on the answers to the following questions:

  1. How many calls [opportunities] were received?
  2. How many of the calls [opportunities] were converted into appointments?
  3. How many appointments [opportunities] resulted in units sold?

If you have all of the aforementioned data, you can easily calculate your ROI and determine the success of your collective marketing efforts.

The most accurate data can be assessed when Associates integrate a unique call tracking number on each initiative [e.g. one number for direct mail, one number for newspaper inserts, one for ads, etc.] to obtain the number of calls received.  Couple that with monitoring the calls to appointment ratio and number of devices sold in your practice management software, and you have your ROI all tied up like a holiday gift!

So what if you think you are doing everything right but are still feeling unsure?  I often hear that “marketing isn’t working,” or “what I tried years ago just isn’t producing as well as it once did.”  These are valid comments/concerns in the marketplace, but often when we dig into the data, we can focus on the variables that are preventing the marketing from being as successful as it should be.

If the data tells us that you are receiving a healthy number of calls that fall within industry benchmark [and we do have these numbers because we work with many AHAA Associates across the nation], that’s the first win.  If 75%-80% of these calls are then converted into appointments, that’s win number two.  And if 60% of these appointments are then converted into sales, you will generate a more-than-healthy ROI.

Conversely, if any of the variables fall below the thresholds listed above, we have some work to do.  Whether it’s reassessing the marketing piece, enrolling your front office person in training or getting the Audiologist to a sales class, AHAA is here to help.

Make sure you take the time now to research your marketing ROI before setting your 2013 plan in stone.  AHAA Marketing wants to wish you happy holidays and help make marketing planning part of your yearly tradition!

Interested in learning more about AHAA’s Marketing ROI Tool?  Contact Scott Berger, Director of Marketing and Sales Analytics at sberger@AHAAnet.com.