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10 Marketing Ideas That Can Make All the Difference for Your Practice

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Ideas from the book “Do It! Marketing.”

David Newman believes in making marketing simple: Figure out to whom you’re talking — then talk to them for a good, specific, relevant reason, understanding who they are and what’s important to them. Just do that, and you’ll have all the professional copywriters and ad agencies beat in no time flat. Here are 10 more ideas from his book:

1. When face-to-face with a customer, establish what they want to talk about and focus on that. If they answer, “B, 47, and kangaroos,” then don’t talk about “A, 21, and buffaloes.” Ask, “Which one do you want to talk about first?” (Take note, some of you who might push the A/R treatments too hard without first establishing a reason for your customers to want such treatments.)

2. Try the “Black Marker Test.” (Put your ads next to your competitors’ and black out the names. Do you notice a difference?) Then try the “So What Test.” (Read the marketing statements in your ads and then ask yourself, “So what?” Can you come up with a compelling value-based answer to that question?) Finally, try the “Prove It Test.” (Prospects assume marketers are liars. Can you prove your claims with testimonials, third-party proof and verifiable facts?)

3. Everything is too expensive until you want it. Your challenge is to make customers want what you’re offering.

4. Create a “Marketing Language Bank” — a collection of verbal building blocks that reflect your most profitable clients’ pains, problems and predicaments. Once you’ve created your bank, use it in all your marketing materials.

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5. Here’s how to see if your marketing copy is good copy. Imagine sitting down to a cup of coffee with an old friend. Soon the conversation turns to your business. Could you read your marketing copy out loud to them without them choking with laughter or staring at you in confusion? If the answer is no, then remember: If you wouldn’t say what you’ve written, then simply write what you would say.

6. Make your ads so educational that customers would never throw them away. (How about a graphic of perfect frames for various face types?)

7. Get clients’ attention, then move away from musty old features-benefit selling by “Doing the Flip.” Take the positive benefits you offer — and determine their opposite negatives. Then take each of those negatives and build a restorative statement around it. (1. Benefit: better vision while driving at night; 2. Opposite: glare from headlights and streetlights mean more dangerous driving; 3. Pain relief: Boost nighttime driving comfort, performance and safety with no-glare lenses.)

8. Underpromise and overdeliver. When you say, “I’ll do my best to get it here Tuesday,” your customer hears, “I promise it’ll be here Tuesday.” In fact, even if you say, “I can’t promise it’ll be here Tuesday,” some customers will still hear, “I promise it’ll be here Tuesday.” Instead, offer a date that you’re absolutely confident you can commit to, and then try to beat that date.

9. Don’t trust your customers to sell your business the correct way. Instead, create a “referral blurb” they can forward to their contacts to spread the word about your excellent vision care.

10. The thing you should be most afraid of in your business is being too afraid. To play things too safe is the biggest risk of all.

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This article originally appeared in INVISION in September 2014.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

SPONSORED BY REICHERT

When You’re Passionate About Eye Care, the Right Technology Matters

Lisa Genovese, O.D., strives to give her patients the very best. At Insight Eye Care’s multiple locations, Dr. Genovese provides optimal care for her patients using the Reichert® Phoroptor® VRx Digital Refraction System. In this second Practice Profile Video from Reichert’s “Passionate About Eye Care” series, take a closer look and see how this eye care professional achieved a better work-life balance with equipment that’s designed and engineered in the U.S.A.

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3 Major Marketing Trends for 2020

They aren’t the only game in town, but they are currently among the most overlooked from small businesses.

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AS WE ENTER 2020, many businesses are looking at their budgets. Marketing is always an important consideration but it can be difficult to determine where to focus.

One constant: marketing is ever-changing. Knowing that most of us have finite marketing dollars, let’s break down a few trends that are likely to perform well in 2020:

Local Influencer Marketing

If 2018 and 2019 were the pinnacle of national and international influencer marketing, 2020 will be the year of the local influencer. Local influencers — high-visibility people and organizations that reside near your location — are extremely effective if their local reach is strong.

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These influencers often do not have the six or seven-figure follower counts that their national/international colleagues do, but that is a strength in the context of local marketing. A local Instagram influencer with 25,000 followers likely has higher engagement, and when it comes to getting people in your back yard to take notice, engagement is key. And those smaller local influencers almost certainly cost less than their national counterparts.

How to Get the Most Out of Influencer Marketing
  • Have a well-defined measurement of success (link clicks to a website, sales of an item, etc.)
  • Implement as much tracking as possible (tracking URLs, call tracking #s, etc.)
  • Engagement is more than just “likes;” look for shares and commenting activity.
  • Offer an incentive if the influencer hits certain performance thresholds.

Digital PR

Public relations, in its traditional sense, involves trying to get your brand mentioned on the radio, TV, newspaper, etc. The same is true for digital PR, but replace those more traditional media outlets with their digital equivalents. This ties in with search engine optimization and is likely to get more intertwined with SEO over time.

PR is a time-involved and challenging process. However, when it works, it works extremely well. This is not only due to the brand exposure that your business receives, but the SEO benefits.

How to Get the Most Out of PR
  • Focus on stories that have broad appeal, such as how parents can address eye teaming problems in infants versus something generic and overplayed (“Did you know kids need an eye exam?”)
  • Don’t pitch your services or your business; being mentioned is enough to accomplish the SEO/branding benefits you’re looking for.
  • Build relationships with local bloggers and journalists, as they may come to you in the future asking for your opinion.

Engagement in Local Social Media Communities

Younger audiences are rejecting traditional media and favoring social communities. Millennials, born 1980-2000, are the driving force behind this trend.

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Websites such as Reddit and Facebook allow people to create their own hyper-focused communities, and the broader trend is creating communities that are hyper-localized. Reddit, traditionally a content curation/aggregation site, has a community for just about every major city and state, and I’m sure we’re all familiar with the popularity of FB groups.

Look for ways to engage these communities. Often, the administrators will allow you to advertise if you follow certain rules or pay for the privilege. The hoops you jump through are worthwhile.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Engagement
  • Reddit hates when businesses hock their services/wares. Instead of selling yourself, look for ways to add value to the conversation — people will come to you on their own.
  • Avoid generic messages (“It’s back to school time!”) and focus on information that is more regionally relevant (“Dry eye is pervasive in Las Vegas, here’s why…”)
  • When linking back to your website, link to a helpful blog post versus your homepage or service pages. People hate being sold but love to go shopping — let them find your sales channels on their own.

The above trends aren’t the only game in town, but they are currently among the most overlooked from small businesses. Actioning them now with smart strategies will give you a leg up over your peers.

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Manager's To-Do

Get Your OD’s Cleaning Those Frame Boards and More Manager’s To-Dos for February

And planning for Valentine’s Day and VEE should be well underway.

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Jan 26-Feb 1

INVENTORY Buying season is on the way (Vision Expo East starts March 27). It’s time to take a hard look at your inventory.

Feb 2-8

MARKETING Make plans to visit some local nursing homes to share the love this Valentine’s Day. Take flowers and business cards and prepare some vision-related conversational topics.

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TRAINING If your doctors do not do the frame buying, have them straighten up the frame boards at least once every two weeks. This way, they’ll become much more familiar with the product — and your frame sales will increase!

Feb 9-15

INVENTORY In the months ahead of VEE, use Pinterest to build a list of the frames you like, supported with captions that provide the model details (adding the Pinterest button to your browser will make this easier.) When you reach a vendor you’re interested in, whip out your phone and call up your boards.

MARKETING The America’s Finest Optical Retailers contest honors the country’s most innovative eyecare businesses. Enter before it closes in March: invisionmag.com/AFOR.

Feb 16-22

WEBSITE If you haven’t already, post a photo of your storefront on your website, along with text-based directions. It makes it easier for shoppers to find you and eases threshold resistance.

TRAINING Training staff on equipment and procedures always seems like a job for another day. Want an effectively run office? Today is that day.

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Feb 23-29

MARKETING Flex dollars are still out there. Keep reminding people who rolled over 2019 benefits or have spring deadlines.

FINANCES If you haven’t updated your props and fixtures for five years or more, they’re showing their age. Amortize and depreciate them as you do other equipment. Set a budget and plan to acquire new ones routinely. Discard at the first sign of overuse. Faded or dirty elements affect consumer perception.

INSURANCE Organize all insurance plan information. Current information should be in an easily accessible folder.

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Calendar

Making the Most of that Extra Day and More February Events

Plis ideas for celebrating Punxsutawney Phil and pigskins.

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1 February is LOW VISION AWARENESS MONTH, fire up all of your communications platforms to emphasize the importance of annual eye health and visual performance checks to prevent low vision problems. You can also discuss available treatments or assistance options thanks to the useful resources at allaboutvision.com/lowvision.

1 African Americans have some of the highest rates of vision loss and blindness caused by eye disease in the country — and these rates are getting higher. During BLACK HISTORY MONTH, launch a campaign on the importance of eye exams for people with diabetes, hypertension and other diseases prevalent in the black community.

2 The SUPER BOWL these days is as much a test of a business’s advertising acumen as a sporting event. Make sure you’re ready too. America is watching.

2 OK, here we go again (and again, and again …). It’s GROUNDHOG DAY. Any excuse to have a party. Perhaps something like, “It’s Groundhog Day. 20% off if Phil doesn’t see his shadow!”

29 LEAP YEAR DAY only comes every four years so jump on this sweet little marketing op. Offer discounts to those leaplings who have the fortune — or misfortune —to have been born today. Get out your frog or rabbit promotions. Hoppy Hour, anyone?

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