Friday Finish – February 21, 2020
“One is the loneliest number.” This song by Harry Nilsson topped the Billboard charts in 1969, and it’s lyrics still ring true today.
According to Investor’s Business Daily, “On Monday, Apple warned that it likely will not meet its guidance for the current quarter because of business interruptions related to the outbreak of the current coronavirus strain known as Covid-19.
‘Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,’ the company said in a note to investors. Apple said its worldwide iPhone supply has been constrained by the factory closures in China due to Covid-19.”
This brings up an important point regarding your marketing, and your source(s) of new patients.
HOW MANY GOOD SOURCES DO YOU HAVE?
I hope, and could probably guess that Apple has a backup plan in case their sources of electronics in China ever dried up, but can you imagine if your supplier of parts and pieces of your iPhone and other Apple products suddenly cut you off?
What are your best sources of new patients in your practice? How many do you have? Do you review this weekly with your office manager or marketing team?
If for example insurance is your main source for new patients, and suddenly a large local employer drops that plan, how will that impact your practice? Google changes its algorithm weekly, if not daily. If you’re new patients come primarily from Google search, like many of ours do, and out of the blue Google drops your listing or says your ads are no longer approved, how will this affect your practice?
Imagine you are filling a large bathtub when growthing your practice, not only do you need to plug the leaks to prevent it draining (and there are always a few leaks that you can never fully stop, but you should contain and slow them to a very small drip), but you also need to constantly find new ways to keep the faucet flowing.
If your practice only has one “faucet” or source for new patients and that faucet breaks, how long until you have it fixed? What ways will you be impacted in the meantime?
A year or so ago, someone who was managing part of our online marketing, let Google change our listing type into a hospital instead of a dental office, and guess what happened? You got it – boom – no more new patients from Google for weeks until we figured it out. We weren’t coming up on any local searches for the word “dentist” at all. Luckily, since we watch the numbers on a daily and weekly basis, we noticed the problem internally and made quick adjustments. We soon had to fire our online listing manager for being so neglectful. His job was to monitor this regularly, and he let weeks go by without even noticing – we had to find it on our own.
Fortunately, this was not our only new patient source so we recovered just fine. But if we had no other marketing sources except this one, we could have been in deep trouble or even financial ruin, especially if we were the size of Apple. (A big advantage of running a small business is it’s usually easier to turn the ship around when you approach dangerous waters.) We had more than one “faucet” filling our tub so we weathered the storm just fine and learned from the experience.
The message this week: always be looking for new ways to improve your current lead sources, and find the new one’s that are performing with at least a 3:1 front end ROI. Make your marketing plan multidimensional, always with a contingency plan.
Have a fantastic weekend!
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