“Be careful what you wish for…”

Posted on: July 21st, 2017 by Maria Markusen

“Be careful what you wish for…” is supposedly a very ancient Chinese proverb. Apparently, people have said it since the beginning of time.  Lately, the retail team is secretly mumbling this ancient wisdom under our breath.  Why you ask?

For years the VGM Retail team has said, “Great looking stores are important.   But, great looking stores only matter if you have customers.  Success depends on driving traffic to your stores with a solid, consistent marketing plan.”

Here’s the good news: some of you are paying attention to our saying! Some of you created a marketing plan.  A solid one.  A plan specifically targeted and based on your existing patients and customers.  And some of you even targeted people who you don’t know you yet.  You have been aiming for the customer of whom, you want to show up in your store, so you can wow them with your products, your store environment, and your superior customer service.

You’ve created a real plan. A multi-faceted, multi medium plan.  One that uses a combination of print, radio, tv, direct mail, social media, a solid website and SEO planning.  One that’s tracked daily, weekly, and monthly.  A plan based on data, competition, demographics and the marketing mediums that matter most to your customer in your, specific market.

If good plans are being created, then what’s the problem?  Why again are you VGM Retail people mumbling? You ask, “We’re doing what you told us to do? Sounds like a Goldilocks moment to us.”

Not only have you created the marketing plan, now you’re asking us the hard questions.  The questions marketing experts and professionals ask.  Questions like: What’s the expected return on our marketing investment?  How much should I budget for marketing?  How do I know if my marketing campaign is successful?  How do I prove the numbers to my boss?   How do I know that our marketing spend has value?  Where and how often should I be marketing?  What should it cost me to acquire each customer?  All excellent questions.

So, here’s the conundrum:  we don’t have all of the answers about marketing outcomes yet.  The market place is changing.  And it’s happening fast. Healthcare is the ultimate unknown right now.  What worked before, doesn’t necessarily work now.  And many of the tools we use to market aren’t tested.

Why bother?  Why get expertise?  Why spend 5%, 7%, 10% of expected revenues to generate revenues and drive traffic? Why use social media?  The answer is this:  In an ever-changing environment, the only choice is to do the homework to know your market. Create as much buzz, excitement, and awareness as you can.  Test stuff.  Be thoughtful about the amount you spend.  Budget.  Spend with a laser like focus.  Make sure your website is solid. That people can find you with a search engine.  Budget and track your results. Know that what works in your market, might not work in the next town over.  The only certainty you have is that you won’t have all the outcomes and information for a while, maybe ever.  And finally remember, If you do nothing, you’ll get nothing.  Results and proof are always good.  But right now, that might not be fully possible.

Need a place to start? Read our blogs that focus on marketing tips and trends. Lastly, always feel free to reach out to any of our team members! 

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