Peter Drucker, the man who was said to have invented management, was a staunch believer in management by objectives, that is he understood that success could only be achieved through setting clear goals that can be measured. In fact, he is credited with saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This concept of measurability is pretty universal, applying not only to business management, but to essentially everything in our lives that we wish to change. For example, if we want to get healthier, we measure the change in various indicators, like blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, as a way to gauge our progress. Naturally this same concept also applies to marketing and is, in fact, a key factor in understanding what works and what doesn’t. It is only through measuring outcomes, among other things, that we can see how our clients’ practices have grown as a result of our efforts.
At one point or another, we have all stated that a particular situation or event “happens a lot” without actually having real statistics to back up the claim. We just know it in our gut. In reality, however, we really don’t know if it is happening a lot. Plus, “a lot” is a pretty vague term that means different things to different people. The truth is that, sometimes, we are just more sensitive to certain events, especially those we perceive as negative, and therefore it “seems” to us that they are happening more frequently than they actually do. This bias can also color our perception when it comes to outcomes, causing us to think that they are either better or worse than they actually are. That is why using real measurements to evaluate success is important, especially when it comes to marketing.
Along the same lines, our clients sometimes make general statements about how successful (or unsuccessful) they think a marketing campaign is based on their gut feelings, before we can provide them with the numbers. In their minds, they have all the information they need to draw a conclusion because of what they are experiencing in the office on a daily basis. However, they do not have the entire picture like we do, and that can only happen when we take measurements of real outcomes. Most of the time, once we have been able to show proof of the true results, they are far more positive than what the client may have perceived.
We achieve a high degree of success because, when we develop marketing campaigns or make changes to existing strategies, we do so based on real data and extensive research. We do not make guesses about what might work for our clients, and we certainly do not think up ideas and hope they stick. Our decisions have actual data and proven methodology behind them, which is why we are able to create real growth for our clients.
Marketing may not always be an exact science. There are some intangible aspects that are difficult to measure, but there are so many other aspects that we can measure, and that is how we know we are making improvements. When it comes to dental marketing, we definitely know what to do, how to do it, and why it will work, not because we’re psychic… but because we can measure success.