The Importance of Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

Occasionally, we encounter a practice that comments “our marketing isn’t working.” So, the first question we ask is “are you tracking your marketing activities?”

All too often practices forget that there is still more work to be done even after a marketing initiative or event has come and gone. Executing a successful marketing plan requires taking a deeper look at the results to glean insight and direct you on how best to market in the future.

Let’s look at the different ways that tracking your marketing efforts can benefit your practice and set you on course for success.

 

Tracking Your Marketing Mix

tracking-your-marketingPerhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of tracking data is the insight into the number of opportunities your marketing mix is generating. By utilizing your practice management software, you can track which marketing activity precipitated a patient to come through the door.

While this tactic is more of a backend approach that indirectly relates to marketing spend and outputs, it is important to gauge what your current marketing mix consists of and where there may be room for improvement. A healthy marketing mix includes activities that reach new leads from the community, tapping into your patient database, and attaining a continuous flow of referrals from current patients and physicians. Identifying segments that are missing from this mix can help direct your focus towards future forms of marketing that will directly impact your schedule and bottom line.

 

INSIDER TIP

Establish an organized process for how you are labeling your opportunities in your practice management software. Create unique sources to detail exactly which activities your patients are responding to daily. Some practices even add secondary sources to capture a further level of detail; for example,

Primary Source Secondary Source
Physician Referral Pediatrics
Community Outreach Sunrise Nursing Home
Telemarketing Out of Warranty (OOW)

And take this one step further. To ensure accurate tracking, make sure staff members who are responsible for inputting this data are all on the same page regarding what each referral source represents!

Adjusting Your Marketing Strategy

Taking a close look at the results of a marketing campaign can help you course-correct any missteps in current marketing strategies. The primary goal of any marketing effort is to make the phone ring. If your tracking data indicates that you are falling short of industry benchmarks for call response rate, then there may be an issue with the audience you are targeting. Identifying this variable, via the data, alerts you that it’s time to reassess the variables making up your target audience. Often, this fix is as simple as readjusting the profile of the target audience – maybe you aren’t marketing to people in the right demographic, or are reaching out to areas too far from the office location. Tracking can help you identify these types of “red flags” and aid to steer you in the right direction strategically.

 

INSIDER TIP

Capture as much “good” data as you can! The more detailed your tracking data is, the more refined you can make the marketing strategy to yield positive results. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to look at what you noted months earlier. Keep a spreadsheet handy and equip your front office personnel with the right online tools to capture opportunities as they are coming in!

Empower Your Team

We’ve discussed the ways that tracking can improve your marketing strategy, but capturing this information can also help identify areas where the practice can improve organizational efficiencies. For example, are you seeing calls come through from a direct mailer, but they aren’t converting into appointments? This may be an opportunity to identify any gaps in training and activate education for your team members. Maybe it is time to sit down with your FOP or Office Manager to understand how they are handling incoming calls and discuss the best ways to get the schedule filled.

Are the completed appointments not converting into units sold? It might be time to meet with your providers to discuss best practices for closing sales. It is important to own the patient experience from initial call/touch-point, to pre-and post-appointment, right through to purchase and beyond. Identifying where certain patients are getting trapped in the sales funnel can help your team focus on their individual role in generating more sales!

 

INSIDER TIP

Don’t ignore the patients who jumped ship along the way! Utilizing tracking can provide valuable details on where that patient is in his/her hearing health journey, so you can tailor any future messages directly to their situation. Reach out to your Tested Not Sold audience with personal phone calls asking why they haven’t chosen to purchase and follow up immediately with the Cancel/No Show audience, communicating that it’s important to you that they come in for their appointment with the provider.

Send Your Results to Consult YHN

One of the biggest challenges with amassing marketing data is what it all means and what to do with it! Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review provides valuable insight into what your marketing data means in real-time, helping you refine your strategy continuously. The benefits to Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review include:

  • Knowing where you stack up in comparison to other Consult YHN providers nationally.
  • Identifying areas in the marketing strategy that can be adjusted to bring more qualified leads into the practice.
  • Understanding your patient acquisition cost vs. the Consult YHN network benchmark.

To effectively market in today’s world, activities need to be tracked, measured, and refined.  We encourage you to get connected with Consult YHN Marketing to start tracking your activities today!

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.

The Importance of Customer Surveys

Most of us start the day raring to go – energized after our first cup of coffee, ready to tackle the day’s activities and anything that comes our way! Even though we may have the best of intentions and believe that we are expressing ourselves positively in front of customers, plus offering the best in class service, often, there’s a disconnect between perception and reality. What we believe to be true may not necessarily align with our customers’ viewpoint. That’s why it’s so important to solicit feedback from our customers – candid commentary regarding their experience on every visit.

Why Customer Surveys?

Beyond being a courtesy to customers – truly caring about their interaction with personnel by asking for their overall satisfaction – surveys gauge customer loyalty in real time. We all know that the records in the patient database are a primary key to business success, but did you know that businesses are fourteen times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new one? This means intimately understanding the patient journey and correcting any bumps along the way. Administering surveys and reviewing feedback regularly allows insight into any systemic issues within the business that need attention. Also, if there are any unhappy customers, reaching out ASAP to remedy their grievance is the best practice and may turn a soured customer into a champion.

The Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score IconsOne way to measure customer engagement is by establishing a business’ Net Promotor Score (NPS), a leading indicator of customer loyalty that has been adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies. The NPS, measured on a scale of zero to one hundred, establishes how connected a customer is to a business. Ultimately, every business’ score should be upwards of seventy, which equals “world class” service. The only way to evaluate whether a business’ NPS is on the “world class” level is to first understand the current NPS score and then make strides to improve customer experience, if needed.

As a consumer yourself, you likely know more about the NPS rating than you think. If you’ve ever rated a business via an online survey by answering the question “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” then you’ve helped a business better understand their own NPS rating!

By soliciting your customers’ opinions about their experiences, you are not only extending them a courtesy, but you’re actively evaluating how connected they are to your business. Your overall profit can benefit in a big way from keeping customers loyal to your practice – and that requires asking how satisfied every patient is with his or her experience after leaving your office.

Interested in learning more about customer surveys? Contact Consult YHN’s Marketing department for details about our exclusive Consumer Survey Program – 800.984.3272, option 8 or marketing@consultyhn.com.

About the Author

Keara M. Piekanski joined Consult YHN in 2010 and serves as Director, Product Management. She has over 13 years of marketing experience and develops products and services for Associates. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh, is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified, and is pursuing an MBA at Villanova University.

What You Didn’t Know About Marketing

Every quarter, we conduct ROI reports for Associates who share their marketing results with us. We then compile those results and look at the data from a broader perspective to determine marketing trends in our industry.

Here are three interesting insights from our most recent ROI analysis that we all can benefit from.

did you know

At 87% digital marketing brings in the highest ROI?

With an average cost per call of $13 and cost per appointment of $99, Digital Marketing has the lowest cost of acquisition and highest ROI.

If you aren’t sure how your digital marketing is performing, contact Consult YHN’s marketing team for a FREE digital marketing analysis and website assessment.

It is important to realize that a strong marketing strategy requires a multi-media approach and a robust digital marketing presence. To drive traffic to your website — and ultimately to your practice — you need to consider other digital marketing strategies above and beyond a static online presence. Consult YHN partners with several digital marketing vendors that offer a variety programs that can boost your digital marketing strategy.

did you know

With $1.4M last year, direct mail brings in the most profit?

Our Associates invested over $1.9 million in marketing and 87% of their profit came from direct mail – $1.4 million over the past year!

If you aren’t making a profit from your direct mail, let Consult YHN’s marketing team help you. We can determine what kind of response you should be getting and do a deep dive on your direct mail strategy to maximize your results.

While direct mail can be costly and response rates have declined, it is still the number one opportunity driver for our Associates. That is why it is important that you have a direct mail strategy in your marketing plan, but one that doesn’t consume your entire budget. We recommend allocating about half of your marketing spend toward direct mail and strongly encourage you to review your results on a consistent basis to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

did you know

Your $1 grows to $1.87 when you have a marketing strategy?

For every $1 our Associates invested in marketing, they made $1.87! Do you know how much money you are making from your marketing?

You don’t need an Consult YHN marketing plan for us to develop an ROI analysis. Send your results to Consult YHN’s marketing team and we will provide you with insight and recommendations.

If you didn’t know, Consult YHN’s marketing team offers consultation and design services for FREE to all our Associates. We work as an extension of your practice to determine the most effective ways to reach new leads and keep you in touch with your existing customers.

Call the Consult YHN marketing line at 800-984-3272, option 8, and one of our account executives will answer all your marketing questions!

The Value of the Experience

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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

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!