Marketing may not be the first thing on your mind, but it is an essential part of your business to ensure you stay visible, and in the mind of your customers – both current and new. You might think of ‘marketing’ only as an advert in a newspaper or magazine, or cheap give-aways with a logo, or maybe sponsoring a local football team. However marketing these days is easily accessible, quick, and often free – you just need a little time and patience.
Simply by sharing stories, information and advice via Facebook or Instagram, you remain part of the customer’s thought process and achieve ‘marketing’. However, given the work required, the question you always have to ask is; does it yield anything?
If you can’t measure it, it’s probably not worth it.
It’s hard to say whether the time you spend maintaining and executing marketing activities is worth it. There are ways however to track, compare and better understand how effective activities are. For example: posting something every day and interacting with followers on social media can do a lot for your practice brand recognition. But: is it scalable? What is the ROI? Does it increase ATF?
ROI and ATF, what are they?
Return On Investment (ROI) and Average Transaction Fee (ATF) are two essential terms for measuring success. They are used alongside Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Return on Investment (ROI)
The ROI indicates the return on investment, or simply, how much do you get out for what you put in? If the investment results in a loss, the return on investment is negative. Calculating the ROI for a specific marketing campaign provides insight into the overall success of the practice. Typically, the ROI is cost-based (e.g. cost to pay for an advert), but it can also be time-based (e.g. time to create something), or both of course.
Average Transaction Fee (ATF)
The ATF indicates the average value of one transaction in your practice (or the average amount invoiced to a customer during a visit to your practice).
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
KPI are agreed variables to measure the success of a campaign. They can also scale up to measure the success of a group of campaigns, or even a whole organisation. KPI provide insight and the progress of pursuing long-term goals. The ATF is an example of a KPI.
Putting it together
Now that you’ve read the above, you have the basics to measure your marketing activities to learn the ROI and ATF with the help of KPI!
Let’s say your KPI is to increase the ATF for preventive anti-parasitics. Your campaign consists of posting a brief, but informative article on your website about the “why”, and the “how” of preventive anti-parasitics. You link to this article via Animana’s Automated Reminder text message functionality, along with a couple of posts to your practices’ Facebook page. During this campaign, you can use tools such as Facebook page analytics, or Google Analytics to measure how many people clicked your links and read the article. To measure if the ATF has increased, you can use Animana reports or the powerful Animana Pulse dashboard to compare the ATF before and after the campaign.
Different types of practice marketing
For the veterinary practice, there are two types of marketing. Unlike a clothing store, people only come to your practice when they have a need – you don’t get casual browsers.
1. “Non-intent marketing.”
This is where a pet owner does not need to come to your practice – their pets are healthy and do not require any preventative medicine. In this case marketing focuses on “brand experience”, and is best suited to social media, newspaper or magazine adverts.
2. “Intent” marketing
Intent marketing is giving the right information at the right time – for example, a pet owner who has an active need to take their pet to the practice. Here your campaigns target a specific problem – or reason. An excellent example of this would be a vaccination reminder – an automatic text message (or perhaps a Google Adwords advert), linking to an article on your website addressing the problem.
Marketing for veterinary practices takes a lot of time. You want to do as much as you can with as little time and resources. Taking the initial time to track campaigns and understand ROIs is essential to help you learn about what works and what doesn’t – allowing quicker and better results next time around.
Using consistent KPI also allows you to experiment a little. For example, you may find that posting on social media and responding to comments contributes to the brand experience. However taking longer to post a more detailed article on your website (which is then indexed by Google), and sharing this on social media (and via automated text message reminders), has a more beneficial and long term effect on increasing the ATF. Additionally, in doing this, you are unconsciously working on the brand experience, because you are displaying the knowledge and skills of your practice.