Campaigns can be expensive so it’s important you get them right, Chris Baker says.
Let’s say that you are running a marketing campaign that is targeting a whole range of potential patients across Facebook, email and local press.
You have placed the ads and have high hopes. Where do the enquiries go? If it is an advertisement in the local press this will be relatively straightforward and will likely be a phone call to the front desk. However, what happens to them then? Does the receptionist ask how they found about the practice/offer?
For any kind of marketing campaign to be a success you need to be able to measure whether it was a success. And, to do that you need to be taking and keeping accurate records.
If you are running any marketing at the moment and are not able to refer to a document within say, one minute, that tells you how many patients have booked in, from what source etc, you aren’t managing your campaign effectively.
1. ‘Campaign champion’
A member of the team (not the principal), needs to take ownership of the campaign and all that is generated. They are your ‘campaign champion’. They need to be in charge of monitoring the Facebook page and advertising account, have access to Google and also the practice email account. They need to prepare regular reports and be on top of the campaign. They need to ensure that all team members are ‘on message’ and know the offer inside out.
I suggest that they are incentivised to carry out this role. It is unlikely to be part of their regular job description and it will require a good deal of additional work. You need someone who:
- Is enthusiastic
- Wants the practice to succeed
- Has an attention to detail
- Is comfortable speaking to potential patients via telephone.
A series of systems needs to be put in place so potential patients and leads don’t fall down the cracks. It takes a lot of effort to get leads in the first place – the right systems will ensure that they’re dealt with correctly. You’ll need:
- A designated email address for campaigns that your campaign champion will monitor on a three-times daily basis
- A weekly meeting with the reception team to keep them motivated and advise of new information, changes etc
- Daily review of social media activity such as Facebook posts and responses, Twitter messages and so on
- Daily monitoring of Google and Facebook advertising
- A sales ‘pipeline’ to be created so that you know where in the process the enquiry is and what needs to happen next
- A set of weekly reports that will detail all of the above, number of leads, how the lead has been contacted, booked in, followed up and so on.
3. Follow up
This is an area where many practices fail. A potential patient may make an initial enquiry and then you are unable to speak to them for a week or two. Or a treatment plan is presented and after two follow up calls you cannot speak to them and they don’t return the call. At many practices, the team assumes that they are not interested and they are left alone. This is a huge mistake – even if the patient says ‘no’, very often it is a ‘no, not now’ rather than a ‘no, never’.
Agreed timeframes need to be put in place as to how and when you follow up, but follow up you must. And, I would recommend that if they enquire about invisible braces for instance and they don’t immediately proceed, they then receive a series of emails that encourages them to attend the practice and take up an offer.
When you do all the above effectively, you will have the facts and figures at your fingertips and will be able to make more informed decisions about future campaigns. It will save you money and mean that future campaigns are more targeted and successful and make you money.