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Podcast: INSIGHT with John Marvin featuring Ashley Mills of The Vision Council

Vision Council executive shares her group’s recent successes.

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WELCOME! You’re invited to listen to the debut episode of a new podcast series produced by Texas State Optical: INSIGHT with TSO’s John Marvin feat. Ashley Mills of The Vision Council.

The first episode in the INSIGHT series, and just the first of many to come under the INVISION Podcast Network umbrella, kicks off with an interview of Ashley Mills, the chief executive officer of The Vision Council. In the podcast, John and Ashley discuss the role of the Vision Council and its initiatives, as well as the upcoming Vision Expo East tradeshow and its relevance to the industry.

“One of the biggest things that we do as The Vision Council is consumer awareness,” shares Ashley. “Our communications team is constantly working to promote eyewear products and solutions and technologies. Everything from the latest fashions to the type of lenses that can provide relief from Digital Eye Strain. We’re really successful on the national level.”

Some of their successes include a few recent segments on the TODAY show on Digital Eye Strain and National Sunglasses Day in June, which Ashley states trended #1 on Twitter and was on TV everywhere from ESPN to NBC and even late night television. “It gets bigger every year,” she says.

In terms of Vision Expo, Ashley feels education plays a huge role in the shows, but it is also “without question” the best place to experience what is new in the marketplace. “You simply will not see the diversity of product and new technologies by having sales rep visit after sales rep visit,” and you’ll “leave completely inspired and energized by the scope and energy of the industry in its totality.”

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Other topics discussed include the Think About Your Eyes campaign; The Vision Council’s robust market research division, which regularly polls consumers about their vision correction habits; and the similarities and differences between Vision Expos East and West.

The INSIGHT series hosted by John Marvin will appear monthly and cover all things current about the eyecare industry.

John D. Marvin has more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic and optometric practice industry. He is the president of Texas State Optical and writes about marketing, management and education at the practiceprinciples.net blog. You can email him at jdmarvin@tso.com.

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INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Why Optical (and Especially Optical Retail) Is Lagging Behind Other Industries

The optical industry is lagging behind but progress is inevitable and solutions are at hand for clinicians who embrace ownership.

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INVISION PODCAST EPISODE 8: JOHN MARVIN OF TEXAS STATE OPTICAL (54:53 MINUTES)


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IN THIS EPISODE of the INVISION Podcast with Dee Carroll, Dee speaks with TSO’s John Marvin, her go-to man on industry happenings, about managing eyecare businesses into the future.

John is president and CEO of Texas State Optical. In addition to heading up TSO, John is also INVISION’s regular management columnist and Dee’s go-to advisor whenever she has a question on industry happenings and trends.

They begin the discussion with the fascinating history of Texas State Optical, its current make up and how it functions today; but 15 minutes in they go right to the heart of it … How far the optical industry is lagging behind other industries, why John thinks that is and how that gap is only growing, especially on the retail side of the business.

At 20:17, they talk about the inevitability of progress, those in the industry who are the “wrong side of history” and John corrects Dee on the assumption that resistance to change is dictated by a practioner’s age. (It isn’t.)

They go deep into teleoptometry 26 minutes into the episode and you really don’t want to miss it. Half way through, Dee asks about motivating reluctant folks who may be dragging their feet when it comes to the advancement of technology and innovation and John provides tips for employees, team members and staff interested in moving a business forward (34 minutes).

At 37 minutes Dee attempts to rapid-fire question John on several topics and how he personally sees them affecting the delivery of eyecare in the future; topics like teleoptometry, e-commerce and the basic digital requirements of a modern business, and “selling stuff” or dispensing from the chair.

(Spoiler alert: It’s not particularly rapid.

Dee and John wrap up the episode (53 minutes) by having him identify some of the biggest obstacles facing eyecare businesses from a management perspective. Hint: They have to do with the disconnect between being a clinician and a business owner.

Get comfy and click play, this is a good one folks!

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Podcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients?

Dee talks with EyeCarePro’s Evan Engel — who knows what works … and what doesn’t.

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INVISION PODCAST EPISODE 7: EVAN ENGEL OF EYECAREPRO (41:30 MINUTES)


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AFTER A BRIEF spring hiatus, our podcast INVISION with Dee Carroll is back! In a streamlined new format, Dee talks with Evan Engel, the vice president of sales and marketing at EyeCarePro, an optometric practice and eyecare business digital marketing firm. Evan has a robust background in marketing eyecare practices and uses a data driven approach to help practices acquire new patients… in short, he knows what sort of marketing works and what doesn’t.

During the episode, learn once and for all what marketing actually is — Hint: it’s much more all-encompassing than you think (3:58) — the top three things that will give you the biggest bang for your marketing buck (8:25), the best tool to get new patients through your door (9:45), and the MINIMUM amount of work you need to be doing on your website (18:00).

If that wets your whistle, then stick around for the most important KPIs you should monitor to gauge your marketing plan’s effectiveness (23:00), hear Evan blow Dee’s mind with the concept of call tracking numbers (24:25), and how the second page of Google results is just the first loser when it comes to new patient conversion (33:39).

Evan also shares a tool to show you exactly how your business ranks when people Google search for eyecare businesses in your area (34:40) and gives a definitive answer to the question “Reviews, are they really that important?” and should you be responding (37:45). It’s 45 minutes of solid marketing information you do not want to miss.

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Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team

Dee talks with Dr. Steve Vargo about how you can create a happier, more productive team.

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INVISION PODCAST EPISODE 6: DR. STEVE VARGO (41:30 MINUTES)


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AS AN EYECARE BUSINESS MANAGER, how can you keep your staff motivated and doing the right things? What if “TGI Monday” become your staff mantra? Expanding on February’s lead story in INVISION, Dee gets answers on these questions, and more, from Dr. Steve Vargo, a business consultant with IDOC and author of Eye on Leadership, An Optometrist’s Game Plan For Creating A Motivated and Empowered Team.

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