Working with Ophthalmologists and Optometrists by leading a Marketing Bootcamp inspires me. Last weekend, I worked with South East Eye in Brunswick, Georgia as part of their annual educational conference and helped attendees learn about marketing. In the 40 person audience were a mix of ophthalmologists and optometrists.
Conducting a Marketing Bootcamp is a lot of fun for me. Fun because my passion is to help people understand marketing, instill enthusiasm for its importance in running a medical practice and learn from those in attendance about their challenges. The Sightpath Creative team helped me create the content for this educational workshop.
My experience in planning these events caused us to focus on three topics: Segmentation, Competition, and Campaigns. During this session, I came away with five critical learnings:
You Need a Plan and Budget
A quick survey of the audience revealed only two practices had written marketing plans and one had a marketing budget. During this Marketing Bootcamp, we stressed planning, creating a budget and reviewing both of these throughout the year.
Social Media is Real
Several participants expressed their frustration with social media. Specifically, how do you deal with a patient who posts a negative comment where there is another side to the story. We stressed the importance of staying positive, avoiding finger pointing in a public discourse and making an effort to continue the conversation off-line.
We stressed the importance of staying positive, avoiding finger pointing in a public discourse and making an effort to continue the conversation off-line. Also, encouraging positive feedback and stories from happy patients is a smart way to beat-out any negative comments.
Learn How to Segment in a Marketing Bootcamp
No practices in the Marketing Bootcamp were aware of the concept of segmenting their market. Once explained, the concept resonated with the group and many took notes as I explained the concept at a high level.
Using a patient questionnaire is one example of segmenting your market. Using segmenting tools to better understand patients, how they think and strategies to reach them are the keys to successful segmentation. Also, a terrific new tool for understanding patients is the Clear-Up software platform from Surgiorithm.
An excellent resource for learning more about segmenting markets is called, Market Segmentation: How to Do It and Profit From It.
Understand Your Competition
The SWOT concept is only the beginning of the competitive analysis. Most in the group were familiar with SWOT and no one admitted to using the exercise. As a result, many asked questions about competitors and how to deal with their actions.
As for competition, it’s best to be aware, understand, and respond to their actions in a way consistent with your values. What I mean is, don’t react and be a follower. We talked about winning a race to the bottom with pricing as a pyrrhic victory.
Focus on Campaigns
For most medical practices I work with, keeping marketing simple is important. Mostly, focusing on three areas of influence leads to an actionable plan. In this Marketing Bootcamp, we focused on segmenting, understanding competition and campaigns.
Using campaigns is a simple, strategic and agile method of marketing for a medical practice. Most noteworthy is to develop campaigns, implement and iterate according to segments, budgets, and results.
In conclusion, I am grateful to the team at South East Eye for inviting me to conduct a Marketing Bootcamp. I enjoyed the engaged audience and hope they learned from the content.