"It takes a lot of effort and time to market your equine veterinary practice, make sure what you are doing is worth the cost," said Mike Pownall, DVM, MBA. Pownall is a Canadian-based veterinarian and a partner in Oculus Insights. That company is focused on helping veterinarians and other members of the animal health care industry improve their businesses.
"It takes a lot of effort and time to market your equine veterinary practice, make sure what you are doing is worth the cost," said Mike Pownall.
Pownall said you need to know where your clients are on social media, because they all don't use the same platforms. He said if you expect your efforts on social media to be your main marketing outlet, then you might be disappointed by the results. For example, he said on Facebook, only 10% of your followers see your post unless you pay.
The Business of Practice podcast is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.
"We had what we thought was a robust social media," said Pownall, but he learned a lot from a survey of his clients and actually sitting down and talking to them one-on-one.
He said one of the problems with his practice's marketing was that they "didn't pay attention to what our clients value." He said that it became important to ask what they valued and what they would like from their veterinary practice.
From his surveys and face-to-face interviews of clients over the years, he learned that trainers are not on social media because they are too busy and live in the country without good internet. The horse show crowd was active on Instagram. Their race clientele was on Twitter.
Pownall also suggested that veterinarians—especially practice owners and managers—read the book "Good to Great."
Pownall said in marketing, there is a cot for everything. To determine client acquisition cost, add up all of your expenses to obtain that client and divide it by the income that new clients bring to the practice and how long they stay with the practice on average. Pownall said his practice found that new clients spend about $600 per year for five years.
One marketing tool that has worked well for Pownall's practice is an email newsletter to existing clients. He also said a good website is a must, and you should learn how to use Google analytics. If you or someone on your staff doesn't know how to do that, look for Youtube videos. (You can go to youtube.com and search for how do use Google analytics, or how to install Google analytics on my website.)
The Business of Practice podcast
is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.