As we all recover from New Year celebrations and get back to the daily grind of work after the holidays, it’s worth a look at how your hospital performed in 2011, and what you’d like to do differently in 2012.
If you’re like most veterinarians, life was good until about 4 or 5 years ago. You didn’t have to aggressively market your services. Maybe you put an ad in the Yellow Pages and a sign on your door and the clients just kept coming in. There was no need for a functional website, no desire to lean new-fangled social media, and other than a postcard or two (usually reminder cards), you didn’t have to worry about direct mail.
But the times have changed. In order to gain a piece of the over $14 billion dollars spend in veterinary medicine in 2011 (projected to increase in 2012), marketing has become a necessity for any veterinarian who wants to stay in business.
The Internet and Veterinary Marketing
The digital age has certainly brought some very wonderful opportunities to marketing, and some very frustrating challenges. Although it’s easier than ever to communicate with your prospective audience and current clients, the choices of which channel to use to do so can be overwhelming.
The key to knowing what technology to use is knowing your clients, and how they use it. In a highly urban, younger demographic, particularly if you have a small animal clinic, you’ll probably be doing a lot more mobile marketing in addition to mainstays like Facebook. Conversely, a rural equine clinic, or even a mixed-animal clinic in an area with a high number of retirees, will be hard pressed to gain any advantage using Twitter.
Of course, making the most of local search and your website are always critical. These days you just don’t look legit if you don’t have a website – even if you are in an older demographic area.
Next month we’ll touch on what role more traditional forms of marketing should have in the veterinary hospital. If you’d like more information before then, feel free to give me a call at 303-947-7880.
Happy New Year!