“If you think a marketing system is expensive, just wait until you see the cost of not having one.”
~ Debra Hilton
No Marketing System… BIG Problem!
Alan has been working with me for several years. We started working together soon after he started his own dental practice. Our first project was a single 4-week campaign that attracted over 100 new appointments. A few months later he called me up with an urgent need for new customers and we ran another successful campaign. During our conversations I realised that his problem wasn’t a simple lack of patients or greed, it was a lack of income predictability. That’s when we talked about his marketing system (or lack thereof).
Simply put, Alan had no marketing system.
He had a filing system, a billing system, a patient records system, a hygiene system, and systems for every imaginable dental process, but he had no marketing system. (He didn’t have a pricing system either, but that’s another conversation.)
This was 2010 and Google Adwords was quite effective so basically his marketing relied on Adwords or whatever trend his marketing salesperson suggested to him and, when he got desperate, he’d run a direct mail campaign. When I talked to him about systems he understood immediately because he’s a systems guy, but he’d bought into the old adage:
“Half my marketing doesn’t work, but I don’t know which half that is.”
So, we created an integrated system that took care of the 4 key areas:
- Lead Generation
- Conversion, Tracking, and Testing
- Client Retention & Promotion
- Referrals & Rewards
I’m not a business coach, but along the way we also looked at his capacity, overheads, pricing, and profits so that we could set realistic goals and measure the changes.
The Outcome: within 6 months he was filled to capacity, had predictable income, and was so profitable that he was contemplating whether to hire more dentists and set up a second office or stay where he was and raise his prices even further.
If you don’t have a marketing system you waste time, money, and energy reinventing the wheel…
… and guess what?
That creates financial pressures and stress… unnecessarily.
Without a marketing system you don’t know where your best prospects are coming from; what offer they are responding to; how to get more people like them; and why they do or do not come back after their first visit.
You also don’t know how much it will cost to get a new customer, how much they are likely to spend with you in a designated time-frame, and what resources you already have that you can offer them.
No system makes your marketing expensive, wasteful (time, collateral, energy), and incredibly frustrating!
The Efficiency of a Marketing System
Many of my clients don’t like marketing (at least at the outset) and see it as a necessary evil that distracts them from the work they love. This is especially true of my people-facing clients like coaches and health practitioners… they want to help people, not market to them.
Some of them eventually see marketing as neutral, but others start to see it from my perspective… as yet another opportunity to serve their clients and help them get what they want out of life.
It doesn’t really matter which point of view you have… a marketing system solves a lot of the problems that keep you awake in the middle of the night far more effectively than random, urgency-driven marketing will ever do.
You can start with a simple evergreen system* that addresses the basic of the 4 key areas I talked about earlier and creates predictable results. That will be enough to transform your financial roller coaster into a steady incline.
As you measure your results and progress from a few basic campaigns you’ll see ways to improve them and you’ll probably be inspired to set up new campaigns and test them against existing best performers. I always get a thrill out of chasing these improvements, but not everyone does. Some of my clients are just so happy to see their initial results that they’re happy to keep running the same campaigns for months or (in some cases) years.
* An evergreen system is a campaign or collection of collateral that is not time-sensitive and can be used repeatedly. For example, I have created seasonal mailings that are used every year or rotated every other year, election-year mailings that need minor updates, special occasion mailing that go out for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. Some of these have drawn increasing responses each time we’ve used them because the customer lists have been
A Note on Automation Systems
I love marketing automation. I’m a Keap / Infusionsoft Certified Partner because in my own business, automation ensures that repeatable tasks don’t take up my time and energy, nor that of my staff. Once they’re properly set up, you don’t have to remember anything, train new staff to execute the task, or cover for them when they’re sick or having a bad day.
That said, you can have an extremely effective marketing systems without any automation at all. You just need to have your files organised, your processes well documented, and everything set up to make it as easy as possible to automate.
If you are interested in automation I suggest you think about your decision carefully before selecting your system. I’ve seen too many businesses pick a system that isn’t right for their business, long-term goals, or budget. There is a very real pain of disconnect if you decide to change your system.
Automation systems are like any other major decision / purchase: “Each man sounds right until you hear the other side.” Know what you need and what you desire in the short term and in the longer term. Ask lots of questions. Remember there is always another sale ahead.
Do You Need Some Help With Your Marketing System?
You can work this all out for yourself, you can hire a marketing consultant who specialises in direct-response marketing system, or you can invest in the 25th anniversary edition of The Magnetic Marketing(™) Program which lays out the basics for you.
If you’d like to learn more about the underlying principles of a Magnetic Marketing System you can get a copy of Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing book for just $10 (includes shipping and handling anywhere in the world. Visit https://hiltoncopywriting.mykajabi.com/offers/CXivH6fe/checkout to order your copy.
If you’re in Melbourne, we’d love to see you at our Magnetic Marketing Mastermind which meets monthly on Tuesday evenings in Box Hill. To learn more and sign up for notifications visit https://memg.com.au. NB: This is not a sales or referral meeting.