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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Omni-Channel Marketing: The Recommended Approach

As the hearing industry gets more competitive, it is essential to have a marketing communication plan that incorporates streamlined messaging via every medium. The path to device purchase can start or end at any time, in any location or any device for that matter — to be a leader in this market, it is imperative for your business to provide a seamless user experience.

That is where the omni-channel marketing approach comes in to play: Delivering the same message on different platforms, which not only optimizes your advertising dollars, but also better engages your audience.

For example, take a direct mail campaign that you tie to an open house event or, better yet, a community event like a lunch and learn or educational seminar. Instead of relying solely on that direct mail piece, here are a number of other avenues that you can utilize to promote that event:

Follow up phone calls.

Every direct mail vendor that we work with will allow you to obtain a phone list of the individuals you mailed to for a nominal cost — typically about 10 percent of the distribution list. You can also use this as an opportunity to speak to your database as another way to generate event attendance.

When you actively call your OOW, TNS, Cancel/No Show patients, along with your direct mail targets, 1 in 3 will schedule an appointment!

If your practice does not have the staff to make these calls, Your National Call Center can help. They will work as an extension of your practice to bring you quality opportunities and save you time, effort and money.

Promote through digital marketing.

Social Media: Post the event details on any social media page associated with your practice. Upload the PDF of the creative or simply outline the details within the post.
PPC: If you have an existing pay-per-click strategy in place, work with your digital marketing agency to pull the messaging from the direct mail piece, convert it to an online ad, and capture leads.
Email: If you currently have an email marketing strategy, use this event as another way to speak to your patients. Even if they recently purchased, they may know someone who may be interested in attending the event.

Consult YHN Associates who are investing in digital marketing doubled their marketing spend in profit! If you need assistance with your digital marketing strategy, Consult YHN’s Marketing Team can help. We can provide insight on your existing digital marketing strategy or provide recommendations on how to get one in place. We also have free white papers that review how to implement digital marketing and social media tactics.

Run an ad in the local newspaper.

Based on our quarterly Associate marketing ROI analysis, ads drive more opportunities when they are tied to a specific event.

Event-driven ads tend to bring in more qualified leads, which yields a positive ROI. We develop ads for Consult YHN Associates, free of charge! Check out the variety of ad templates available via Marketsource. We can easily adjust the messaging to be consistent with your direct mail piece and work on your behalf to negotiate ad rates, reserve placement, and release the creative.

Utilize your network within the community.

Another idea to consider is speaking to your local network of businesses to see if they would be willing to help promote your event.

For instance, if you have a Practice Development Representative (PDR), your event is another opportunity to speak to local physicians. Print out the direct mail piece or let us help you convert it to a flyer for presentation in their waiting rooms. Apply the same approach to any senior center, supermarket or other local business that has an event board you can post to — they represent other great ways to get your practice’s name out in the community without having to spend money.

At Consult YHN, we have Wellness representatives that can help you implement a physician marketing and/or community outreach strategy that is suitable to your practice. Contact them about your own ideas and any questions you may have.

As a marketer, I am a firm believer in the omni-channel approach in order to generate more leads. By adding one or more of these options to your direct mail campaign, you will decrease your dependency on the success of the piece itself and increase your branding/exposure within the community.

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.

Common Elements of a Successful Website


Today’s marketing landscape requires a multi-media approach and digital marketing is an ever-growing part of a strong marketing strategy.  The Pew Research Center has found that now, more than ever, when people see a direct mail piece or newspaper ad, they are more likely to search for you online to evaluate if your practice seems credible.

A strong, hard-working website answers a few basic questions: “Who are you?” and “What do you do?” The best websites not only provide the most basic practice information clearly-office hours, phone number, and address-but also educate potential patients as to why they need to visit your practice over your competitors.

Great websites have a few things in common; here’s a list of key components to take into consideration when looking at your website:

  • Content Rich Website: A content rich website is imperative as we head into 2017. Having information like hearing health, device styles, manufacturers, and a blog, which is regularly updated ensures that visitors see your practice as the local expert. A “Frequently Asked Questions” section is also great information to include on your site and easy to develop; the questions your patients regularly call your practice to get answer for is where to start!
  • Mobile Responsive: Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is nearly required. Google has said mobile-friendliness now plays a role in their organic search rankings and sites get a ranking boost when they are indeed mobile-friendly. With more than 50% of the baby boomer generation access the internet through their tablet or smart phone, it only hurts a practice to automatically lose such a large chunk of online traffic.
  • Calls to Action: Your site should have several distinct calls to action. Guiding visitors around your site through clearly labeled pages, making sure they can find your contact information (phone number, address and contact form), and something as simple as stating “Schedule Your Appointment” are all key elements to engaging a visitor enough to have them reach out to your practice and not your competition.
  • Contact Form: Including a contact form is simply smart business in our digital era. Ensuring that your patients can contact their provider online, after your normal business hours, helps to engage with both prospective and current patients. Contact form submissions from your site are also very important when it comes to follow-up. A site visitor that completes a form is one of your best prospects since you know they’ve been to your website, probably read about the practice, and requested more information. These people must be contacted within 48 hours (and added to your practice management software to make sure the prospects are included in future marketing efforts.)
  • Reviews: In our digital world, word of mouth and great reviews can go much farther than any direct mail piece can when trying to make a prospect a new patient. Whether you include this feedback on your site through simple links to review sites, a dedicated testimonial page, or you utilize the Consult YHN Online Review Program, great reviews are worth their weight. Here is another blog post that talks about the importance of capturing online reviews Online reviews: WOM meets digital age.
  • Social Media Links: Social media should function as an extension of your site and promote your brand. Including upcoming practice events on your social media, which is then linked back to an events page, helps to engage visitors of both pages.

 While digital design trends will always evolve, having a website that entices prospects, engages current patients, and reinforces your practice’s brand, will ensure you’re the local expert. The Consult YHN Marketing team can provide website assessments if you feel it may be time to renew your . Need a recommendation for who should update your site or simply overwhelmed by the whole process? Consult YHN works with several digital marketing vendors so you can rest assured that the Consult YHN team will work with you and any vendor of your choice as a liaison during the entire process to make sure you can focus on what you’re best at — treating patients.

Boost Your Brand with Social Media

Once you have finally immersed yourself in the digital world with a strong web presence, the next step is to develop a strategy that will drive traffic to your website. Your website represents your practice online and the goal is to get customers from the web to your door.  As with every marketing strategy – traditional or otherwise – in order to be successful, you will need to implement various tactics that will engage your target audience online.

In the past few years, the scope of social media and its evolution of tactics have grown tremendously, revolutionizing the digital landscape through the ability to connect people via online communities. If done strategically and on a frequent basis, any business – including those in the hearing healthcare arena – can take advantage of social media to increase their online presence and foster customer interaction.

Here are some tips on how to move the digital needle in the right direction.

Identify Feasible Platforms

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Focus on two social media platforms at one time, determining which ones are best for your business.

The biggest challenge that many face is determining how to incorporate a social media strategy into their marketing plan. Research shows that for independent business owners it is more effective to only focus on two social media platforms at one time [e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter] in  order to build a strong online reputation. The best way to determine what platforms might work well for you is to check out what others are doing in the industry. By reviewing the competitions’ activity and monitoring relevant conversations, it is easier to determine what your audience is interested in.

Develop Strong Content

Once the platforms have been established, the next big step is developing strong content on a consistent basis that people will want to read and share with others, in order to generate viral content.  Getting your branding or other marketing messages out there to be shared within and among online communities is key.  Although there are various types of online content, the most effective are ones with a simplistic approach.  These will engage your target audience and will help you to build credibility as a knowledgeable expert in the hearing healthcare field.

Monitor Content Consistently

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Having a social media strategy is imperative: know your audience, post relevant messages frequently and monitor your social sites.

It is also important to monitor the content once it is developed and posted. It is one thing to have a presence, but it is essential to be engaged. One way to achieve this is to monitor comments on your social media sites and then follow up with responses in a timely manner.  Encouraging the audience to “like” or “share” the content is also a valid tactic, depending on which metrics you are measuring.

Promote Platforms Process

In order to promote these social media platforms, it is important to talk to your patients and encourage online sharing and reviewing. This process can be implemented into your process, where applicable, to encourage staff to ask patients after they had their appointment or made a purchase to submit an online review about their [positive] experience. Developing a handout with instructions on how to review via Yelp or Google+ to remind customers to go online is one idea to boost participation.  Reviews help establish business credibility online.

Interested in learning about social media and other digital marketing tactics?  Contact marketing at marketing@consultyhn.com.

Superheroes and Ice Cream Flavors

We live in a world with so many choices. Some are simple, some complex. The beauty of these choices is that we are able to make decisions based on our preferences. Take a moment to decide if you prefer:

Batman or Superman
Chocolate or Vanilla
Coffee or Tea
Dogs or Cats
Mac or PC

All of these options are comparable; it’s simply a matter of a penchant for one over another – plus what’s right for you. The same idea – believe it or not –applies to your marketing.

Your preferences impact your marketing choices

For all intents and purposes, marketing and advertising has become the cost of entry for many businesses. If you are not putting yourself out there, you won’t be in the game. But when faced with the choices of the different messages and offers available, how do you know which one to choose for your business?

Since there are so many marketing options, let’s focus on the #1 response mechanism for Consult YHN Associates: direct mail. As we all know, not all communication is created equal. We believe that in today’s market, direct mail used to target prospect customers fall into two categories – Traditional or Aggressive – with the categorization based on message style. It’s important to determine which category best reflects the type of communication you want to have with your target audience and what type of customer your practice is ready to handle.

Sample of Consult YHN letter packages

Sample of Consult YHN letter packages

Here’s an overview of each ‘type’ of direct mail, so you can determine which approach is right for you:

TRADITIONAL Direct Mail

Messaging
This type of messaging is the obvious or ‘traditional’ offer route; savings on a pair of hearing devices, a free demo, free hearing screening/consultation, etc.

Response Rate
Expect a .25% – .50% response rate with this type of direct mail communication; e.g. if you mail out 5,000 pieces, you should receive between 12-25 calls.

Audience
This type of mailer attracts prospect customers who are closer to making a decision to act on their [semi] recognized hearing loss. Your front office person will have an easier time scheduling the appointment and your Au.D. will have an easier time closing the sale if a hearing loss is present.

Sales
The traffic that this type of mailer brings in to the office typically results in less cancellations and a customer that’s easier to close.

AGGRESSIVE Direct Mail

Messaging
This type of messaging takes on more of a ‘gimmicky’ or ‘aggressive’ angle; offering a giveaway for simply showing up for an appointment.

Response Rate
Expect a .50% – .1+% response rate; e.g. if you mail out 5,000 pieces, you should receive between 25-50+ calls.

Audience
This type of mailer attracts prospect customers who are likely to be a more difficult opportunity. Your front office person will need to be well-trained in overcoming objections when scheduling these candidates for appointments and your Au.D. will need to invoke a different strategy to capture the sale if a hearing loss is present.

Sales
This customer is likely to be more of a challenge, prone to a higher incidence of cancellations.

Sample of Consult YHN folded driect mailer

Sample of Consult YHN folded direct mailer

So which one is right for you? 

Above and beyond your preference lies the factor of preparedness. With either message [but  especially the ‘aggressive’ one], it’s important to have strong processes

in place before a direct mailer is scheduled. From capturing the appointment through closing the sale, the tighter your methods, the more return on investment [ROI] you’ll reap. Depending on which format you gravitate toward coupled with the strengths of your process, will help easily determine the proper direct mail package for your practice.

The bottom line is that you have to feel comfortable with the message you are sending out – just like you want to feel good about any choice you make.

When choosing a marketing initiative, Consult YHN is here to help! Find out more about you direct mail choices by contacting marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.