When I am chatting with my ad reps from the different local papers the same theme comes from each of them. How people are pulling back from their Marketing and Advertising budgets. The things that work take time and need a strong foundation, not a quick fix. Building your referral base of existing patients (or consumers where ever your preference is!) and from professionals such as Family physicians, and Networking colleagues. One area that really has been hit is real estate. One of the strongest companies here in Tucson, is Long Realty, they have 30% of the market share in Southern Arizona. For the past 3 years they have cut their newspaper, TV, radio and other print ads down significantly. Where they have relied heavily to set them apart is Education. Not only are the relators encouraged to take continuing education, but what they send out to the public is geared to educate the public as well.
Do we think of educating as marketing? We could pick a topic a month and educate different sectors of our referral base. We can send out emails to our patients once a month or every quarter. But educating instead of “selling” may pay off better in the long run. If you can use as many different mediums to educate then maybe your office will be the one in mind when someone needs to have their hearing checked or are FINALLY ready to make that purchase!