Practices often ask us, “Should I continue running an ad on this site?” or “Should I continue spending money on these postcards?” Our question to them is, have you tracked the results of the campaign? One of the biggest challenges with marketing is measuring results. While not all of your marketing efforts can be precisely tracked, much of it can.
With most of your marketing initiatives you can embed numbers or codes into the content that will help you measure how well that campaign is performing. For example, whether it’s postcard mailer or an online ad, include a unique and trackable link, phone number or form submission to that piece of marketing. You can then compare how many pieces of mail you sent or how many clicks your ad received against the number of phone calls or form submissions returned.
More often than not, however, practices rely on their patients to give them data on where they found them. This isn’t a very scientific way to measure how well your marketing is performing, though. Most people can’t recall where they saw, read or heard about your practice. They will lump all online activities into one and give general answers, such as, “I found you online,” or “I found you on Google.” On the other hand, they may tell you they saw your practice name in multiple locations, but don’t know which ones they were. What’s more, they might even tell you they saw you on a website that your practice wasn’t even listed on. If you are spending time and money on your marketing, it’s important to see which of your efforts are really paying off. This allows you to increase what’s working and stop investing in what is not.
At the same time, while measuring your marketing can help you better allocate your marketing dollars, there are marketing efforts that can’t be 100% tracked yet they are still needed to aid in overall marketing efforts. With Facebook, for example, you can see which posts are getting attention, and how many likes and shares your posts receive. This helps you determine what kind of content resonates with your audience. On the other hand, there is no way to see if a new patient saw your post and was motivated to call you based off of it. Another example of this is email marketing. Email is one of the best ways to stay in front of your existing patients. While you can track factors like open rates or click through rates on your email campaigns, the overall goal of email marketing is to provide your patients with valuable information and education that could deepen your relationship and lead them to referring you to a friend or family member. Will you always know that a new patient came from a referral from an existing patient because of an email you sent? No. The point is that your marketing plan should include trackable campaigns as well as tactics that can enhance your overall marketing strategy and are consistently performed so that you stay visible to existing and new patients.