Mike Shoun, CEO
Affordable Image
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Marketing Questions from 2014
By Mike Shoun, CEO

2014 is coming to an end, and as I look back on the year I realize that I saw a consistent theme of questions coming from my clients. These questions, as simple as they may seem, have doctors perplexed and almost frozen on choices they need to make in their practices. I would like to share a few that I think most of you will relate to.

“What is the most important marketing tool I should use?”  
This can be an easy or a hard question; it really depends on the target market someone is going after. I could list all the tools out there, from direct mail to websites, print to digital. The truth is, it isn’t a tool that you would think of. Actually, the single most important tool is consistency. It doesn’t matter what medium you choose, if you are not consistent with your marketing, you should have never started in the first place.

“I tried a company that claimed they could do my mail cheaper, but I am not seeing results. What are you doing differently?”  
I am not sure what the other company did, but Affordable Image’s team takes a unique approach to direct mail. We don’t just slap your logo and pretty pictures onto a template. We do an in-depth analysis of your demographics, target who is in your area in relationship to who you want as patients, analyze all of the data, and then our creative team creates a card with your brand in mind. If you don’t have a brand to actually market, we work with you to create one. It is incredibly important to make sure your brand is on all your marketing products prior to distribution. If you don’t, your marketing dollars will be for nothing.

“I am told that I can be guaranteed to rank on the first page of Google if I go with this SEO Company. Will you guarantee the same thing?” 
Absolutely not. We cannot ever guarantee a ranking on Google for any page. Google states this clearly and warns people to stay away from those who do. We respect our relationship with Google and our clients, and would not jeopardize those relationships by lying.

“Why do I need a new website when I already have one that I pay a small monthly fee to keep?”  
If you have a monthly fee based website, it means you don’t own your site. You are basically being held hostage by a website company to be active on the internet. You have no control over the site. You may think it’s cheaper, but add up all your monthly fees and over time you will spend more for the monthly site than if you created and branded one for yourself. And in addition to the fees, there is a higher chance of another practice having your exact same site. When you get a “template site” you don’t have as much exposure on the search engines because the same elements are being used. With a template, there is no brand recognition…and the whole point of marketing is recognizing you by your brand, which goes back to consistency. You need to keep your brand consistent in all your marketing.

“Why do I need a logo, my practice is my name?”  
Again, marketing is based on a brand. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you need to have a logo to brand. Branding came about from stray cattle crossing over into another’s ranch – without the “branding iron mark” the cattle’s ownership was up for grabs. Cattle were branded to mark ownership so others would know who they belonged to. With this rule, businesses “brand” their logo onto every marketing piece out there. Without recognition, the competition runs away with the herd.

These are just a few of the questions I received this year, but I feel most practices can benefit from my insight on them. With over 30 years of professional background in business and marketing, I feel strongly about letting clients know that I care and want the best for their practice. I don’t just want the one-time deal, I want lifelong customers. If you have any questions on marketing, feel free to email me at mike@affordableimage.com. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

Mike Shoun is the President and Owner of Affordable Image Dental Marketing Solutions - a full service marketing company dedicated to the client's overall success. 

Mike can be reached at (602) 265-2299 ext. 211, or email mike@affordableimage.com

Visit www.affordableimage.com for more information

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