Good deeds are your new Yellow Pages
Remember the old days of marketing your practice? You sent out mass mailings or placed an ad in the Yellow Pages. Today, marketing your practice and your caring philosophy is more about your hospital's story, which should be front and center on all of your marketing efforts. Remember, people don't buy what you do but why you do it.
If you want to compete with the hospital a mile down the road or the hospital that's open seven days a week, you must differentiate your hospital from theirs. An easy way to do that is to show people what your hospital believes in and supports. Stories, Facebook posts, blogs, and tweets about your involvement with a rescue group or a charity resonate with clients more powerfully than a mass mailing ever did.
Do-gooders in actionHere are a few examples of veterinary practices in my area that are doing their part to make the world a better place and let their communities know what they believe is important:
> Harmony Animal Hospital in Apex, N.C., raised supplies for the people and animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. When clients bring in a donation, they receive a discount for pet care services.
> Since 1997, Coats Veterinary Hospital in Rocky Mount, N.C., has held a monthly rabies vaccine clinic in their community. For $5 and a canned food donation, pet owners can get their pets vaccinated and support a local charity. Now, how cool is that?
I'm sure many of you already support causes, so make sure your existing—and future—clients know about it. Don't be afraid to brag about your community involvement. Post pictures of your staff doing good on your hospital's Facebook page or website, or even in your lobby. Not only will your clients think you're great, but they'll get a better idea of who you and your staff really are and what you believe in.
Dr. Rebecca Tudor, DACVS, is the owner of Tarheel Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Louisburg, N.C. She blogs as rebeccatudor on the dvm360 Community.