There is an old cliché we all know and almost count on as the gospel truth: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it! There are hundreds of things in life where this may be good advice but your marketing budget is definitely not one of them. In fact, I’ll prove to you that you probably don’t even know if your marketing and advertising is broke or working.
Do you know the exact ROI of any ad or advertising method you use? Most dentists use a combination of things that launch at the same time; radio spots, newspaper ads, websites, TV commercials and maybe direct mail. The public may respond, but which method got the most attention? Was it the most costly one? It’d be great to learn for sure so that you could save money. But how do you know? This leads many to simply continue spending and doing the same things because “it’s not entirely broke, so let’s not fix it”.
Do you know how much you should be paying for advertising or where you should be doing it?
In our individual communities there are limited options; a few radio stations, one or two newspapers, maybe one billboard company and, if you are in a larger area, one or two TV stations. All of the ad reps have their hands out and will compete against one another. The radio rep will compete against the newspaper saying radio is more lively. The TV reps will compete against the radio saying they have the added element of video. But can they tell you or definitively show you that for every ad they run you’ll get “xxx” numbers of responses? They also won’t tell you that large corporations who buy advertising nationally pay less per ad than you do. Yet most local businesses, dentists included, emulate the national corporations with deep pockets as role models. So are your advertising and marketing efforts broke? Do they need fixing? The only thing you know for sure is that they are keeping you broke.
Free isn’t free, and a good package only comes from under a Christmas tree with a bow
Many advertising reps will offer you a package deal; if you sign up to buy so many spots or so many ads they’ll throw in a ‘free’ run. Is that really a good deal if the runs or ads you paid for aren’t making you any money in the first place? What good does a ‘free’ ad do if it offers no results? Another tactic they’ll offer is free copywriting for your ads so “you don’t have to!” Sorry, most writers the newspapers and radio stations use for advertising are people pulled off the street with little or no training. But because they don’t have to prove their results it doesn’t matter that the ads they write don’t work. Nothing appears broke, so nothing gets fixed.
Let’s face it: If we didn’t need to advertise we wouldn’t do it.
It is expensive and a means to an end most of us put up with. But that doesn’t mean your advertising campaign doesn’t need fixing. Most businesses run the same ads or use the same advertising medium year after year without questioning it simply because they know they have to do something, something is better than nothing and out of a lack of time as a small business owner they plod along without really knowing whether something is broke or needs fixing. That’s expensive and leaves too much room for doubt.
SmartBox lets you know – for sure – exactly – definitively – what every advertising campaign you embark on returns to you in cold, hard cash. Our Zetetics™ program will track every ad, every campaign and turn ‘guesses’ into nailed down statistics so you can see what works, what is broke and what needs fixing. Just this one aspect of our services can save dentists enough in bad advertising to pay for everything else we do.
Sometimes we need to dump the clichés. We just need to know which ones work, which ones are broke and which ones need fixing for sure. It’s the same with our advertising budgets.