Nine Marketing ROI Stats That Might Surprise You

Is your marketing working?

In other words, is it generating business in a profitable way?

If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” then read on to find out why it’s important to have a clear understanding of your marketing return on investment (ROI) and its impact on your business.

First, let’s define marketing ROI: It’s the practice of attributing profit and revenue growth to the impact of your marketing initiatives. Simply put, if you spend money on marketing, it measures your return.

Now, let’s discuss why your marketing ROI matters. Here are the top three reasons it’s a critical element of your overall business strategy:

  1. You can identify any “red flags” or missteps in your current marketing strategy so that you can make the necessary adjustments to drive greater results. For example, if your call response rate for your marketing initiative is below the industry benchmark, you might need to reevaluate your target audience.
  2. You can make informed decisions about allocating your marketing budget and creating your marketing plan for the coming year. If you don’t know what works and what doesn’t, then you’re essentially gambling with your investment.
  3. You can analyze your ROI data and know for certain if and how much your marketing efforts are contributing to revenue growth.

Now that you understand why marketing ROI is important, we can dive into the fun part—the data!

We reviewed a year and half of data from a select group of practices and below are some insights and benchmarks we uncovered. Some stats might surprise you or, more importantly, motivate you to take a closer look at your own marketing strategy and reevaluate your plan for 2020:
  1. Direct mail still works— in 2018 and 2019, our practices sent out 525 direct mail campaigns, yielding an average of $1,320 in profit per campaign. Find out if your own direct mail campaigns are successful with our Direct Mail Calculator.
  2. Thinking about advertising in your local magazine? You might want to give that a second thought! With a high cost-per-campaign and a negative return, magazine advertising serves more as a brand awareness tool than a true opportunity driver.
  3. Patients routinely check your digital properties before picking up the phone. 421 digital campaigns resulted in 2,935 calls with a total profit of $1,058 per campaign—a whopping 502 percent return!
  4. Over half (55 percent) of our Associates’ referrals come from physicians. This is encouraging because patients that come from a trusted opportunity source are more ready to buy. So, keep working to establish relationships with physicians in your area!
  5. Five thousand direct mail pieces resulted in 15 calls and 6 appointments with an average response rate of 31 percent. Although this appears low, the industry benchmark for response rates is 0.25-0.50 percent.
  6. Wouldn’t you like to make two months’ revenue in just three days? It’s possible with the Consult Upgrade Program! A total of 32 upgrade events averaged $58,000 in total revenue.
  7. Did you know that 40 percent of co-op dollars available are currently going unused? Every co-op dollar spent results in $5.39 in revenue for our Associates. If you’re not taking advantage of your co-op dollars, let our marketing team help you use them strategically.
  8. Calling Out of Warranty (OOW) patients generated an additional $215,000 in profits for our Associates while calling Tested Not Sold (TNS) patients yielded an extra $86,000 in profits. So, pick up the phone! Or, better yet, let Your Patient Contact Center do it for you.
  9. Due to blank categories in our Associates’ practice management systems, there was nearly $1.7 million in revenue unaccounted for. Meaning, many practices don’t know where all of their revenue is coming from each month. Don’t be one of those practices — let our marketing team help you establish an organized process for labeling opportunity sources in your practice management software.

*Based on the Marketing ROI data from a select group of practices between Jan. 2018 – June 2019

Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing ROI Reports offer invaluable insights that ensure every marketing dollar spent today is growing your practice for the future. If you don’t already receive a report, talk to your Account Manager to find out how you can!

About the Author

Laura Kegelman joined Consult YHN in 2018 and currently serves as a Strategic Planning Analyst. Her diverse professional background includes supply chain, forecasting, and marketing. Laura holds a degree in marketing from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. When she’s not working, Laura loves exploring the city she lives in (Philadelphia) as well as traveling to new cities and countries.

Three Reasons Why You Should Mine Your Data

You’ve been practicing for years and everyone in town knows who you are, but you’re not increasing the number of patients you help each year. If this describes your practice, you’re not alone! In fact, this is a common concern we hear from our Associates—they’re working hard, feel busy, and yet, the number of patients helped, and revenue generated is not increasing.

So, what can you do to reach more quality people? If you’re thinking the answer is “marketing,” you’re correct. However, it’s important not to get so focused on marketing to new patients that you forget – you’re already sitting on a patient gold mine: your database!

Whether it’s through a sophisticated practice management system or less sophisticated paper folders in a metal cabinet, you’re already keeping great records of your patients and tracking everything. Obviously, organization is key. But what you do with the data makes all the difference, especially with patient touchpoints.

We call this data mining and here are three reasons you should mine your data regularly:

#1. Stay Connected with Your Patients

If you’ve been on an airplane lately, then you’ve probably heard the flight attendant say something along the lines of: “We know you have many options for your air travel needs.” This is a very true statement and it’s not limited to the airline business—it applies to every business, even yours. Touching base with your patients regularly (at least twice a year) gives you a chance to show you’re thinking about their well-being and thank them for choosing you as their trusted hearing healthcare provider. This will also remind patients of the wonderful experience they had with you, making them less likely to go to one of your competitors.

#2. Help More Patients

Based on Consult YHN’s studies, 60 percent of patients with hearing loss will not purchase hearing aids during their first visit. That means, if you’re seeing 300 patients a year, 180 are leaving your office without accepting help. When you reach out to those patients, you can restate the impact hearing loss has on their overall health and remind them how you can help (yearly check-ups and cleanings, hearing aid troubleshooting, upgraded technology, etc.). This will fill your schedule with quality opportunities.

For example: If you’re a five-year-old practice seeing 25 patients per month, then you are helping 10 patients while 15 patients leave untreated. At this point, you could have about 900 patients that were tested but didn’t accept help as well as a database of about 600 patients whose technology is out of warranty. Over the next 3-4 years, you want to stay connected with those patients so that when new and improved technology is released, you can fit them with an even better device.

Our tracked data shows that for every 38 letters sent to patients for either new or upgraded technology, one appointment is scheduled. For every appointment scheduled, we see one hearing aid sold. From a business standpoint, think about what that can do for your revenue: if you reach out to 300 patients a year, you could possibly sell eight hearing aids for an additional $16,000 in revenue (assuming an Average Selling Price of $2,100 per device). The Consult Upgrade program is by far one of the most effective ways to reach your patients, with the average event yielding more than $51,000 in revenue.

#3. Minimal Effort and Costs

You’re already spending the right amount on your annual marketing, so what’s the cost associated with sending letters to patients? Minimal at best, especially compared to the average cost of a new patient: $760.

You can find several customizable database letters on Consult’s MarketSource that are proven to drive appointments. All you need to do is export well-constructed lists from your database and perform a simple mail merge to personalize the letters for each patient. Or, you can let Consult YHN’s marketing professionals handle all of this for you. From designing to mailing to reporting, we can execute a 12-month strategy for you so that you and your staff can focus on other important responsibilities, like follow-up calls, scheduling appointments, and more.

Starting mining for gold today! Reach out to your Account Manager to learn how Consult YHN can help you implement a database mailer strategy that drives results.  

About the Author

Kimberly Costanzo joined Consult YHN in 2017 and currently serves as a Business Analyst. Her diverse professional background includes revenue accounting, internal audit, system support, and project management. She holds an MBA from Stockton University in New Jersey. When not working, Kimberly enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and her daughter, Gianna, either at the local playground or playing competitive matches of Go Fish. She also serves on her daughter’s school board and volunteers in the community to promote emergency awareness.

Physician Marketing: The Why & How

In order for your practice to thrive in 2019, it’s essential that you have a well-rounded, multi-channel marketing plan. This plan should include database outreach to ensure your patients continue to be your patients, traditional media like direct mail, digital marketing which may include PPC, and referral programs—both for patients and your community physicians. If you don’t have an active physician referral program, you may be wondering, “Why are physician referrals so important?”

Being a primary physician’s top-of-mind local hearing healthcare partner strengthens the patient relationship with both providers. Patients trust their primary care physician (PCP) with their whole-body health and, in turn, will trust you as an “extension” of their primary care team.

Here’s how to implement and execute a successful physician marketing program:

  1. Devise a target provider list – You won’t be able to visit everyone, and you won’t be remembered by everyone that you do see. So, create a hierarchy of relationships. Identify who your “A-lister” and “B-lister” PCPs are (i.e. the most reliable referring physicians that you already have relationships with). This is one example of why proper tracking in your practice management system is so important. You’ll also want to create a third tier that includes physicians who may have referred patients to you in the past and therefore, you may want to build better relationships with those providers.
  1. Target your message – Consider this startling fact: 95 percent of physicians understand that hearing loss negatively affects older adults, but studies show only 14 percent of physicians screen for hearing loss. Most PCPs are also busy seeing patients, day-in-and-day-out, especially as 10,000 baby boomers retire each day. So, when you first reach out to physicians, your message should be direct, concise, and center around the shared quality of care you both provide.
  1. Do your research – Find out who is responsible for referrals and what their internal process is. Does the physician make referrals on a script pad or does he/she give a business card to patients? Does a referral coordinator set up appointments for patients or does the practice rely on its patients to call?
  1. Determine what collateral you may need – Does the PCP you’re visiting need convincing health data to back up how important hearing health is, or does he/she want collateral to give to patients about how hearing is connected to their overall well-being? Does the referral coordinator use fax forms or does the doctor prefer to hand out business cards? Before each visit, make sure you’re well-stocked with the appropriate collateral for that PCP, including up-to-date health information for both the providers as well as the patients. This effort shows your commitment to the partnership. Consult’s MarketSource has a large selection of expertly-designed patient and physician marketing collateral which can be personalized for your practice.
  1. Develop the relationship – Remember, this isn’t a sprint. A truly successful physician referral program takes time to build and nurture; you don’t help anyone by pestering busy PCPs for five weeks and then disappearing. By creating an outreach calendar and sticking with the plan for months (then years!), you’ll build a partnership based on trust and a commitment to patient care.

Overwhelmed by the thought of putting a physician referral program in place? Consult YHN’s experienced marketing professionals are here to help!

Talk to your Account Manager or email our Marketing Department for more information: marketing@consultyhn.com

About the Author

Rachel Atar joined Consult YHN in 2015 as Marketing Account Executive. With experience in multiple industries, Rachel has consistently helped small businesses navigate marketing for their end consumers. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she was Taylored Home Health Care’s Marketing Manager.

Marketing New Technology: How to Ensure Your Patients Purchase from You & Not Your Competitor

As we all know, hearing technology is rapidly advancing, and new products are hitting the market every few months. From a marketing perspective, it’s important for providers to understand their patients’ relationship with technology adoption.

Remember, everyone’s relationship with technology is different. Take the iPhone for example: some people will camp outside of an Apple Store just to be the first to own the latest model, some wait for their techie friends to try it first, and others refuse to upgrade their phone until they absolutely have to do it. 

But what about hearing devices?

Interestingly enough, there’s a very similar application of how patients adopt new hearing technologies. Below is Consult YHN’s take on the technology adoption curve applied to the hearing industry.

Based on nearly seven years of data and a sample size of over 70,000 patients, this curve points to insights on the different segments of your database, their relationship to new technologies, and the marketing touchpoints to drive conversions.

As a practice owner, how often do you think patients upgrade their hearing devices? Every 5 or 10 years? Our data shows that on average, patients upgrade their hearing devices every 3.6 years. If you want to ensure patients don’t go somewhere else to purchase their next set of hearing aids (which 40 percent of patients do), the below graph illustrates the number of times you need to contact your patient to ensure your patients remain loyal to your practice and purchase their next set of hearing aids from you.

 

FIRST ADAPTERS – Innovators

Also referred to as techies and visionaries, these are the patients who are eagerly awaiting the next hot device to hit the market. There are no sensitivities to price or technology for these folks. They are current users with a hearing aid that may even be less than a year old. Because of their readiness to purchase new technology, they only require a couple of touchpoints or marketing interactions to drive conversion.

Focus on the bells and whistles of the technology – what are the latest and greatest features that are really going to wow this audience? Remember, the first adapters may be the first to kick off sales of a new product, but they only represent five percent of current hearing aid users.

EARLY ADAPTERS – Enthusiasts

Although very similar, there are some key differentiators between first and early adapters. This group of customers value new technology but have purposely waited to make a purchase. They’re more hesitant to test drive new products and will most likely look to resources and reviews to consult first before purchasing. Gathering testimonials from your innovators (first adapters) will help move the early adapters along in their purchase decision.

1st MAJORITY – Pragmatists & 2nd MAJORITY – Conservatives

This is where a new device really gains momentum – it has now been road-tested and has built some credibility in the marketplace. The first and second mainstream customers are the peak of our contact curve, representing the majority of untapped opportunities. So, you want to make sure you are hitting this audience with the necessary touchpoints and the right messaging to convert them.

At this point in their hearing health journey, they are hovering around that 3.6-year mark of average device replacement. It’s important to tout the proven applications of your technology – not just the bells and whistles – how these new applications will impact real-life users in everyday situations.

This segment requires more nurturing – between 3-5 touchpoints for first mainstreamers and 5-7 for second mainstreamers. But making up 50 percent of hearing aid users, they’re worth it!

 

LATE ADAPTER – Skeptics

By this point, the newest technology has been on the market for some time. Anyone making a purchase after a product’s introduction is considered a late adapter or a skeptic. They are risk-averse and price-sensitive, so these individuals need the benefits of upgrading their hearing aid devices to significantly outweigh the cost.

If you can afford to offer discounts, value-added services, and/or accessories with a hearing aid purchase, this may be the only thing to entice this group. Be mindful though of the number of touchpoints required to convert skeptics: between 7-9 interactions.

RESISTANT ADAPTER – Resisters

Finally, the resisters. This is a group who are, yep, you guessed it: resistant to change! More often than not, this group of customers will only upgrade when they absolutely have to. Because they represent a small percentage of hearing aid users and require constant nurturing to convert, they are too costly (of your time, money, and energy) to build a separate marketing strategy around.

Of course, these patients are no less deserving of better hearing and can still benefit from your care – we just recommend focusing on other motivations outside of tech, like wellness, when marketing to this group.

If you want to learn about more ways to engage with your database, reach out to your Account Manager and schedule an appointment with the Consult YHN Marketing Team.

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

Six Key Elements to an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

There are those individuals who believe that direct mail doesn’t work anymore, but our Associates’ numbers tell another story!

Based on our practices’ data, the average cost-per-call is $247 and the cost-per-appointment is $442. Over the past year, direct mail generated an average of 40 percent ROI for our Associates.

In fact, when it is executed properly, direct mail is still one of the top opportunity drivers for our practices! When the Consult YHN marketing team develops direct mail strategies for our Associates, we incorporate the following components:

  • 1. Vendor

Surprisingly enough, there are numerous direct mail vendors that specialize in the hearing industry. We recommend only working with these companies because they understand the market and how to speak to the target audience. All their pieces have been tested and proven to drive results and they will supply the distribution list at no additional cost. Contact us for Consult YHN’s preferred vendor list and pricing.

  • 2. Budget

Our general rule of thumb is to allocate about 45 percent of your total marketing spend towards direct mail. Every practice has their own objectives and goals that may require increasing or decreasing that percentage amount. It is up to the practice owner to decide what he/she is comfortable spending and how much they are already investing in other marketing efforts. All of this information helps us determine what funds are available to put towards direct mail.

  • 3. Distribution

This is a key attribute of the direct mail strategy. If you aren’t reaching the right people in the appropriate zip codes, then it defeats the purpose.

Here are the factors that you should consider:

  • Age — Typically between the ages of 62-65, depending on how many residents it pulls.
  • Income — We suggest adding a household income filter of $30K. If you need more residents to target, you can eliminate that filter, but we don’t recommend increasing it. Keep in mind that most of these individuals are retired and don’t have as much disposable income.
  • Zip Codes — We recommend looking at your database and identifying in which zip codes your current patients live. If individuals in certain zip codes are already visiting and purchasing from the practice, others are likely to do so. Once the targeted zip codes have been identified, send them to the direct mail vendor of choice to confirm how many residents they can mail to in those areas.

Note: Consult YHN offers free territory analysis reports that identify all your surrounding zip codes in a certain mile radius (varies by practice) and where your competitors are in relation.

  • 4. Approach

Now that you have an idea on the budget and who the target audience is, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. When it comes to a successful direct mail campaign, frequency and consistency are crucial. It is best to divide your total audience into groups and rotate them every mailer. Once you’ve reached everyone on your list, continue that rotation until you have sent a direct mailer to your total audience 3–4 times over a 12-month period. You don’t want to inundate them with direct mail, but you need to reach them more than once to make it impactful.

Another key factor is how many pieces you send out with each direct mailer. While direct mail can be successful, the response rates are relatively low (.25 – .5 percent). We recommend sending out 5,000 – 7,500 pieces for each direct mailer (per location) to drive the necessary amount of opportunities to make it worth the investment. If you think you need to send more than that, you may want to divide it up further so there is a steady flow of traffic to the practice on a consistent basis.

If you are curious as to what results you should expect, check out Consult YHN’s direct mail response rate calculator. It will tell you how many calls and appointments you should receive and the gross revenue that you should generate.

  • 5. Messaging

We rely on our preferred direct mail vendors to determine what messages are the most successful and what resonates the best with our audience. Those vendors will customize each message for the specific practice (i.e., logo, contact information, offer, etc.) and we do not recommend interfering with the overall message. When you change the content, it could skew the results. We also recommend incorporating an offer that will entice individuals to come in. Many practices offer a free hearing screening, but that may not be enough of an incentive to get patients to your office.

  • 6. Call Tracking

If you want to know if your direct mail campaign is successful, you must have a call tracking number on it! Even if you have the best front office staff, it doesn’t hurt to have a documented report that captures all the calls that came in. You can purchase your own call tracking number through one of Consult YHN’s preferred call tracking vendors or your direct mail company may provide one to you.

There is a lot of strategic thinking that goes into a direct mail campaign, which is why the Consult YHN Marketing team is here to help! We will work with you to determine the best strategy and if it is driving the necessary traffic and ROI.

For more information about how to optimize your direct mail campaign, click here. You can also calculate your marketing ROI with our new Marketing Calculator.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.

Seven Things to Consider When You Run Your Next Ad

your-ad-goes-hereWhile it is true that advertisements don’t drive as much traffic as they once did, they are still effective!

In Consult YHN’s most recent ROI report (compiled from Associates’ marketing data), ads brought in a slightly negative ROI (-4 percent) and brought in few opportunities, BUT 72 percent of those completed appointments were converted to sales!

We also noticed that few Associates are running inserts, but those that do generate a positive ROI. In fact, of all the marketing initiatives, inserts delivered the highest conversion from appointments to sales (75 percent)!

The next time you weigh the options of advertising in your local publication, ask yourself these seven questions:

  • 1. Is the ad at least a quarter-page?

WHY: If you want traction, your ad needs to be at least a quarter-page in size. Frequency in the newspaper is a tale of the past — if you want your ad strategy to be successful, run one larger ad once a month instead of smaller, weekly ads. In the hyper-competitive world of advertising we live in, frequency can become white noise. Allocate your budget to a larger ad or an insert that doesn’t run as often in order to make it stand out.

  • 2. Is your logo and contact information prominent?

WHY: You would be surprised how many ads we review that neglect to list a practice’s name or their phone number! Beyond your contact information:

  • Utilize your logo prominently to establish some brand recognition in your community.
  • Calling out a landmark close to your office under your address can help provide easy reference.
  • List your website URL under your address — it helps build your credibility as an expert in your field and your website is typically the place that individuals will go to after they see your ad and before they pick up the phone.
  • 3. Do you have a call-to-action that encourages people to call the practice?

WHY: You need to tell people what to do with the information you give them. As simplistic as “Call today” or “Schedule an appointment” are, you would be surprised how effective these messages can be.

  • 4. Do you highlight what makes your practice unique?

WHY: From a branding perspective, it is important to utilize your messaging to highlight what sets you apart from your competition. With the big box stores and OTC coming into play, you need to tell your audience why they should come to you instead of going to your competitors. Ask yourself if there are any services that you provide that no one else in the area offers. Have you been around longer or have more experience? Are you doing things in the community that no one else is doing? Your audience wants to know!

  • 5. Is there an incentive that will entice them to call?

WHY: Incentives provide an added value to the services you provide. While everyone loves a deal (e.g., money or percentage off a hearing aid device or a free hearing screening), this doesn’t always have to be the offer. For instance, Consult YHN’s wellness initiative encourages practices to have “Lunch & Learn” events or educational seminars within the community, which could be your promotion. Ads receive a greater response rate when tied to an event where there is no commitment to buy vs. advertising an offer for a hearing device.

  • 6. Is there an image that relates to the message?

WHY: It is important to feature an image in your ad that grabs your audience’s attention and visually communicates your message. We prefer imagery with multi-generational families or active seniors that the audience can relate to. If your message is focused on technology, include imagery of up-to-date hearing devices that showcase their sleek design and advanced features.

  • 7. Are you optimizing your ad results?

WHY: Based on industry benchmarks, the average response rate for an ad is 1-2 calls per run. If you run an insert, then it is 10 calls per run (est. 30,000 distribution). The calls may convert to appointments and sales, but that is not always the outcome. While ads are typically seen as a branding awareness initiative, you can promote them through digital marketing or utilize your community network to gain more traction.

You should be allocating about 15 percent of your marketing budget towards print ads. While there has been a decline in response rates, it is still an important touch point that should be integrated into your multi-media marketing plan. If you have questions or need marketing help, the Consult YHN marketing team can review your existing ads and provide feedback, develop and release ads, and assist you with your overall marketing strategy.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.