The text below is an edited transcript of the above video.
So one of the things, that we encounter a lot is folks who come to us after they’ve initiated their practice, is they’ve reached a plateau and they’re in a problem situation. They’re stuck. A big part of that is because they’ve spent some resources in a variety of different ways and they haven’t gotten the value for it. Can you tell us a little bit about some of what you’ve heard, because you speak to these people every day?
Yeah. Probably the most common thing that I get and come across at conferences and when I’m talking with people is, well, marketing doesn’t work or this tactic doesn’t work or paid traffic doesn’t work, i.e. Google AdWords. I think that if we take a step back and look at that, what they’re really saying is that they’ve tried something that somebody offered and we didn’t get results with it. They’re throwing out the baby with the bath water.
So I think in terms of looking at waste in marketing, it’s monumental. I think that there’s so much of marketing that just doesn’t work. And actually, we believe that most marketing out there is quite bad, poorly executed and not professionally done.
And so I think that the number one thing that we see in terms of wasting money – logos.
It’s not all about the shiny logo
So spending an inordinate amount of money on a logo and brand before having any idea of what service somebody is providing or an understanding of who they are in the market. Any understanding of the competition that’s in the market and just jumping right in, getting a really cool logo, spending 10,000 pounds or even a thousand pounds is too much if you don’t know who you are and what you’re offering, feeling like that logo is going to basically do it for you; sell you.
– Pro tip, it won’t.
Yes. I mean, at the beginning a box check logo, something that looks professional enough, but really don’t spend your money on that. Another thing not to do is invest in a ton of facilities. I get surgeons that come to me and say: “Okay. Literally tomorrow or next week, I’m going to start to spend 5,000 pounds a month or 10,000 pounds a month on a facility. I need your help now.”
And the reality is that marketing is not a quick win. If you’re doing it right, you build up a foundation. There are assets you have to put in place. There is an understanding of what you are offering in the market that doesn’t… You have to really think about it and work with a marketing partner to figure it out.
And so to have a facility too soon, the longer you can hold back, maybe do something part-time, have a side gig or a “side hustle”, as many people say, and really just figure out… It takes a while to figure these things out, test things, throw things up against the wall, figure out who you are and who you want to attract. Really what do you want to get out of your life? This is really about you and your lifestyle.
So don’t jump into a facility until you have a plan and you have a website operating and you’re getting leads. You actually have leads coming to you. Then you know you have, okay, we’ve started to figure this out. We have some revenue coming in. Okay, we can take the risk. And it is a risk to have a facility.
Ditch the random acts of marketing
Other things that people come to us with is, yes, they will try a tactic. So you name it. They’ve tried it. It’s offline. Often it’ll be magazine, they’ll put money into… When you open a clinic, people start phoning you every day. So they’ll say: “can you advertise in X, Y, Z? So can you advertise in this online directory? Can you advertise in my local rag, my local newspaper, because you know of X, Y, and Z”. So they’ll spend a thousand pounds. And it may not be a lot of money, but it adds up. So it’s 500 pounds here, a thousand pounds here. And I tried this and really I got one lead or two leads or five leads. So there’s-
Or you weren’t able to measure it at all?
Yeah. True. Yeah, exactly. I think it’s working. I’m getting some leads, but who knows? Chances are those are coming from referrals probably. And it wasn’t the actual newspaper itself. So there’s a lot of offline money wasted. And then online as well. Online isn’t a magic bullet either. Doing Google AdWords, you can’t really do Google AdWords on its own as a tactic. It’s not something that is, again, magical and will drive leads. If you don’t have a clear message, if you don’t have a page on your website that is specifically set up to turn a browser into a conversion for a first appointment…
Not even for what you sell, but just the first step of the sales process, which is to talk to somebody, if you don’t have that process set up, it’s probably not going to work. And if it does, you’re probably just lucky and maybe in a non-competitive market, and maybe you just happen to offer something that everybody wants and there was an unfilled need in the market. But that’s really rare. So I think those are probably the most common ones that I get in terms of things that people waste money on.
Yeah. I’d only add to that. Many times doctors are aiming to leverage people that they have on their staff. And I mean, obviously you want to do that. That makes sense. You employ people. You want them to be busy. And in the initial days, the phone’s not ringing. Not a lot of patients are walking through the door. So you say, “Okay, well, look, you have a Facebook account, you do Instagram marketing, market my practice.” Right?
And news flash, that one in a million chance, that’s going to work, because what you do is a professional discipline. So just like I wouldn’t go to a local healer to help me remove my glasses through their healing eye exercises, I wouldn’t go to my secretary, as good as they are at being secretarial, to manage my marketing campaign.
This is an important thing to understand. Marketing is a professional discipline. And we’re not just saying that because we’re marketers and we need to be respected. No, the key thing is you have to understand that just like there are poor doctors… I can say that, right? There are some poor doctors. All doctors are not created equal. There are some really, really good consultants out there. There are folks who really, really keep up, there’s folks who really, really try, really care about their patients and do the very, very best by them. And there’s those who don’t do that so much. Just like that, there are marketers of all different breeds, of all different trainings, of all different schools and those who will offer you things that even they might not even believe are going to work, but they need to get you involved with them and want to move forward to effectively capitalize on your naivety.
So the key thing here is to really define what the principles are behind the marketing that does work, versus the marketing that does not work.
So I’ll begin with one and then maybe you can chime in with a few more. So number one, many people ask us, “Do you think it’s important for us to consider digital marketing?” Okay, let me be really, really clear.
All marketing is digital marketing
20 years ago, digital marketing was something that was considered as an offshoot. It was like a style or a potential branch of marketing. Today, doesn’t really matter what business you’re in because even the guy who opens up the pizza parlor down the street is going to have a website. All marketing is digital marketing. So I need to put that out there really, really clearly. All marketing is digital marketing. Because even if you put out newspaper ads, most of the time you’re going to try to get those people to come to your website.
So your website matters. Now, websites are a lot of what people imagine digital marketing to be. But digital marketing is a massive scope of options and tactics, which include video marketing on YouTube, social media marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization on a website, testing, website design and development, SMS. I mean, there’s loads and loads of loads of things that digital marketing encompasses.
And the beauty of digital marketing versus traditional marketing that you’ve alluded to already, is the fact that you can measure it, right?
So with digital marketing, you can precisely know how many leads you’re generating, as opposed to putting an ad in the newspaper, putting your phone number in that ad, and basically gauging it on the basis of whether or not the phone rings or not.
You don’t really know whether or not that ad is pulling from that magazine or that ad is pulling from that newspaper, or that ad is pulling from the yellow pages. You just don’t really know unless you’re highly sophisticated and set up different phone numbers for all this stuff.
So again, much less chance of wasting money.
Absolutely. That’s the key thing. One of the things about marketing is, those who win are who do it consistently and who do it cost-effectively?
Creativity has a place, new has a place, but consistency and cost-effectiveness trump the day, every single day. So that’s the key. Focus on those two key metrics.
And now I think the other thing that I alluded to earlier was besides offline, was branding, so logo. So why is a logo, “a waste of money”.
Do you need branding in the early stages?
It’s because that is much more focused on a larger company type of activity, which is branding. And I think a lot of people come to us and say, “Can you brand me? Can you create my branding?” And there’s nothing wrong with asking that. And we appreciate you want to do your job and you’re just asking for help. And so there’s nothing wrong with that question.
But I think what branding is really not what you need. You need to have a response. So you want actually more direct response marketing. You’re looking for something that brings in a lead, something much more direct.
And so you can do that primarily with digital, as Rob was talking about. But you can also do some things offline in terms of copywriting and sales letters and things like that to actually convert people once they’ve entered into your practice and maybe haven’t actually booked a consultation.
So there’s a lot of things you can do with direct response. And that’s where you want to invest your money.
But in terms of branding and putting your ad on a billboard or on a bus or on the tube or wherever it is that you’ve had the idea to put your message in your logo, if it doesn’t have something, a specific demand that you’re asking people to do to take a step that you can track-
I call that a call to action.
Yes. So if there is no call to action on the piece, then you don’t want to be doing it at the beginning. There are exceptions to this, but unless you are a multi-million pound business that is running at a very, very different level, generally for an average consultant, that’s starting up branding is not something that you need to spend money on. So we want you to put your money somewhere else.
The thing about digital as well, that I want to come back to… And everything we’re talking about is effectively the same thing. Is that
who you’re trying to attract are people who already want what you offer.
Okay. That’s a massively cost-effective approach, as opposed to things like, I’m going to put a newspaper out there and hope that somebody who’s remotely interested in what I offer is going to happen to open up that… Buy that newspaper, get it in their hands. A lot of people aren’t reading those things anymore. Open up to the ad, find it, see it and then out of all the… Be interrupted in what they’re doing, because they’re actually looking at the news. And read that ad and respond to potentially a very, very subtle or non-existent call to action. So that most likely won’t work.
So the idea that we’re trying to do is, you liken it to, we go to a traffic store, okay. And a newspaper is a traffic store. Because you basically go and you buy an ad at the traffic store. But the thing is that everybody around that traffic store is looking for a whole bunch of things that have very little to do with what it is that you offer. This is why search engines work so well. Because in search engines, what people are doing is they’re actively looking for what it is that you do. And they are primed in that moment to be highly attenuated, to identify offers that appeal to them. So you are effectively marketing through paid search as an example, pay per click AdWords.