14th September 2016
The top five reasons why your marketing fails
You’ve been marketing like a crazy person, paying money hand over fist for campaigns to promote your clinic, grabbing every opportunity to advertise both locally and nationally. Despite this, the phone isn’t ringing, your appointment book is half empty, and you’re just not seeing a return on your investment. Sound familiar?
Many new clients come to us at Cosmetic Digital feeling completely mystified about why their marketing efforts just haven’t seen results in the past. In our experience, it’s usually for one or more of these reasons:
Reason 1: A poor marketing strategy
A surprisingly number of businesses across all industries neglect to plan their marketing strategy in any real detail. One of the most common reasons marketing fails is because it hasn’t been properly targeted to the right audience. Many individuals believe that if you cast your net widely enough you’re bound to catch some fish. Or throw enough balls at a coconut and some are bound to hit!
In reality, this kind of ‘spray and pray’ marketing rarely works. It might feel proactive to grab every marketing/advertising opportunity that presents itself, but this approach rarely delivers a decent return on your investment (ROI).
The single most important thing you can do to improve the impact of your marketing is to create a strategy that everyone in your business understands. To do this, you need to identify your target patients and market solely to them. You may be targeting fewer people but you’re bound to see more new patient enquiries and appointments.
Reason 2: Lack of commitment
If you have a clear marketing strategy, you should find you need to spend less time carrying it out because you will be able to make decisions about how and where to market based on your strategy. This is important because a lack of commitment and consistency is another big reason why marketing fails.
We always recommend being realistic about the time you can devote to your marketing or what you plan to outsource to a marketing agency, and to build clear and measurable goals into your marketing strategy so that you can commit to a specific outcome.
Reason 3: Lack of a clear benefit
There are two sides to this. Firstly, you must understand why you are committing to a specific marketing campaign. What do you want to achieve? What are the benefits to your clinic? If you’re not sure why you’re doing something, you need to take a step back and decide whether it’s right for your business.
Secondly, every piece of marketing you do should give potential patients a clear call to action telling them what they need to do next, as well as showing them the specific benefits of taking that action. How will their life look better if they do what you’re suggesting? What problem can you solve? What positive difference will you make to them?
Most of us ask, even if only subconsciously, “Why should I buy from you? What’s in it for me?” Your marketing needs to make the benefits clear.
Reason 4: Poor positioning
Positioning is essentially how you present your clinic within the marketplace. The ultimate goal is to stand out from your competitors and to be instantly recognisable as a brand. A well-positioned clinic shows what it offers at a glance, how it’s unique and why potential patients should pick it from all the other clinics in the marketplace.
Poorly positioned clinics often look very similar to their competitors, their offering isn’t clear, their voice and brand are bland, and there’s nothing about them that grabs attention. It can often feel like they’re talking to everyone or to no-one in particular.
To position your clinic effectively, you need to identify what it is that sets you apart, who your target customers are, what benefits you offer, and what is unique to your practise.
Reason 5: They’ve forgotten to KISS
In the 1960s, the US Navy coined the KISS design principle – “Keep it simple, stupid” – which remains at the heart of successful marketing. A sanitised version of the same principle is to “Keep it short and simple”.
People are time poor, they consume bite-sized snippets of information, now more than ever, and they want to see what you’re offering and how it will benefit them at a glance. One of the cardinal sins of marketing is to over-complicate the message.
Before you sign off on any marketing campaign, it’s important to look at it with fresh eyes or invite some feedback from someone outside of the clinic. Have you kept the message short and simple? If not, it’s time to make some changes with KISS in mind.