Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Marketing Your Veterinary Practice

Precious Pets on Pinterest
Marketing a veterinarian practice today means there is a lot of competition for the customer dollar and positioning your vet practice as the one to go to needs attention, and a budget allocated. Just like any business. 

Customers are complex. They have expectations and access to more information and more options than ever before. And perhaps we are even more extreme in the way we make pets a focus of our life and are willing to spend on them. 

Do we have too many vets? Whether we do or not, for the veterinary services provider already operating the reality is that there is stiff competition and being able to differentiate your veterinary practice from the next will be crucial to being successful in the long term. For the customer looking for good care for their precious pet, they need to make a decision and what they base that decision on - will be largely up to the veterinary practice to determine. 

How Can A Veterinary Practice Influence Customer Choice? 

The vet clinic will affect that decision by the good word-of-mouth they generate with existing customers, their pricing models, their community outreach and all of that gets multiplied by the factor of social media and online presence. Or fail to generate. 

Even the referrals from other business associated with pets will be influenced by these factors, as well as the process in place that the veterinarian business has to nurture relationships with other businesses and professionals. 

This needs to be an ongoing constant commitment to getting good feedback and visibility to keep the vet clinic top-of-mind with pet owners. 

Industry Trends

According to one market research study into the veterinarian services industry:

 "Demand for veterinary services has been promoted by growing awareness of animal health issues and the increasing availability of advanced surgical and diagnostic procedures for animals. Due to higher incomes, people have been increasingly willing to spend more on vet procedures to prolong the lives of their pets. Despite flat growth in dog and cat pet populations in the past five years, the industry has expanded due to higher expenditure on companion animal vet care. Increased pet ownership over the next five years is expected to drive industry revenue growth."

Precious Pets 

Consumer Reviews

Meanwhile Choice last year, researching the veterinarian services industry, found a wide variation in costs and the potential that some owners may be paying more for their pet care and services than they strictly need. 

Let me give you an example of how touchy this can be. From my own experience I can say, the hairdresser pushing to up-sell their expensive potions to increase their margins can sell more product but unless done with sensitivity and finesse can just cut themselves out of return visits from customers who don't like to feel coerced. 

Methods of selling products, commercial relationships with other businesses all have the potential to increase margins - and drive bad feeling.

Online Presence And Social Media 

Your marketing needs to address all the concerns of the customer in setting up a strategy that can incorporate your business vision and communicate that strongly, together with your point of difference. That thing that sets your veterinary services practice apart from all others.  It can be a difficult concept to pin down and needs quite a lot of work to get to the critical elements. If you think it's easy - you probably don't have it yet.

This point of difference, the values of the business in expertise, operational efficiency, communications with customers and internally - all of these have  bearing on social media. That is the social media presence that Others give you.  For the practice, your 'voice' online needs to be crafted carefully and monitored diligently, and it should align with and be fully congruent with your vet service in practice. 

When you get this right, then you're on your way to getting that positioning that you want. Then your mission will be to Keep It. 

Lindy Asimus
0403 365855

Related posts: 
"Word Of Mouth. First Stop - Your Website." by @lindyasimus on LinkedIn 

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