Veterinary practices face the same challenges as any business. Where pet owners now have more choices than ever to care for their furry family members. Marketing is an essential activity for practices both large and small to retain clients, reach more pet owners, and thrive in a competitive market.
As a veterinarian, you know that marketing for your veterinary practice is essential to the success of your business. You need to set a marketing plan to succeed in your vet clinic. But what does a strong veterinary marketing plan look like?
What is a veterinary marketing plan?
A veterinary marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines the goals, strategies, and tactics that will be used to promote a veterinary practice. The plan should take into account the unique characteristics of the veterinary industry, including the fact that veterinary services are often purchased on an as-needed basis and that pet owners typically have a strong emotional connection to their animals. The veterinary marketing plan should also address the specific needs of the veterinary practice, such as increasing brand awareness or generating new leads. By taking a strategic and targeted approach to marketing, a veterinary practice can achieve its desired results.
Here are five key veterinary marketing plan components to include:
1. Understand your target audience clearly
Veterinary clinics that want to be successful need to take the time to understand who their target market is and what they are looking for in a veterinary clinic. This means you need to take a close look at the types of pet owners you want to reach.
Considerable audience factors for veterinary marketing:
– The type of veterinary practice (e.g., small animal, large animal, mixed animal)
– The geographic location of the veterinary practice
– The demographics of the area around the veterinary practice (e.g., income level, age, education level)
– The preferences of the veterinary clients (e.g., pet owners who are willing to drive long distances for veterinary care, and pet owners who prefer holistic care options)
For example, if you’re trying to reach pet owners who are concerned about health and wellness, you might highlight the importance of preventive care in your advertising. Or, if you’re hoping to attract families with young children, you might focus on the importance of finding a Veterinary Clinic that offers convenient appointment times and kid-friendly staff. By taking the time to understand your target audience, veterinary practices can create marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with potential clients and lead to new business.
2. Set a budget for Vet marketing activities
A veterinary marketing budget should be set as a percentage of your projected annual veterinary income. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 2-5% of your veterinary practice’s total revenue toward marketing activities. This will ensure that you have enough money to invest in marketing efforts that will reach more target audiences, generate new leads, and grow your business while still maintaining a healthy bottom line.
When creating your veterinary marketing budget, be sure to consider the costs of both digital and offline marketing activities. For example, you’ll need to factor in the cost of designing and implementing a website, as well as the ongoing costs of hosting and maintaining it. You’ll also need to consider the cost of developing marketing collateral such as brochures and business cards, as well as the cost of advertising in print and online.
Do you know your ideal clients for your vet practice? What are their needs and concerns? What are their needs and concerns? What motivates them to seek out veterinary care for their pets? Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can develop a targeted veterinary marketing
3. Unlock the power of pet owner education
When pet owners walk away from your practice with trusted client education material that helps them better understand why diagnostic tests and treatments are needed, they’re more likely to comply with veterinarian recommendations. This not only helps to improve patient outcomes and attract new pet owners from word-of-mouth advertising by happy clients. Client education material establishes your veterinary team as knowledge leaders and a go-to resource for pet owners, which builds trust and repeat business for improved practice profitability. So, it’s important to invest in customer education to create a veterinary marketing plan
4. Open up the lines of communication
Two things are true about today’s pet owners:
They want to be involved in the health care of their pets, and they’re willing to spend large to take care of their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), spending on veterinary care increased by 6.1% to $18.1 billion in 2018, and the APPA projects future spending growth.
- Today’s pet owners are busy and rely on practices for effective client communications when it comes to pet appointment reminders, updates on surgery status, and more.
Effective client communications are ultimately a service that ideally saves pet owners time and trouble and is also essential to make a better veterinary marketing plan. The more you show clients that they can rely on your practice for appointment reminders and other important pet health communications, the more you nurture relationships with pet owners, which gains client loyalty, garners repeat business, and can lead to referrals.
The key to any effective client communications system is flexibility. Some clients prefer email appointment reminders. Others prefer two-way texting in addition to a client request system for patient updates and prescription refills.
Effective practice marketing means reaching more pet owners where they consume information without having to spend more time doing it, and that’s exactly what the ALLYDVM Communication + Retention System was designed to do.
As one of the veterinary industry’s most powerful software solutions for improving client communications, engagement, and patient health, the ALLYDVM solution includes a convenient client-facing mobile app and an optional, engaging Loyalty Program.
According to Veterinary Advantage, one group of practices saw a 17.9% drop in missed appointments and $59,000 in additional revenue over nine months after using ALLYDVM.
5. Optimize your vet marketing plan with experts
Whichever aspect of veterinary marketing you seek to dominate first, be sure to establish a killer strategy to make the most of your time and effort. Optimizing your veterinary marketing plan is all about getting analytical to identify underlying issues or areas for improvement in your vet practice to grow.
Not sure how to get started?
Not a problem. LifeLearn has a proven track record of helping the animal health industry prosper by providing reliable veterinary practice solutions including customer communications, customer education, and Telemed.
Here’s all you need to do.
- Click here to go to LifeLearn’s free consultation booking page.
- When you arrive, click one (or more) of the eight checkboxes that best identify what you need to optimize your vet practice.
- Drop us your name and contact details.
The consultation is free. There’s no obligation and only takes about 10 minutes. That’s it. Lifelearn Solutions Specialists will follow up with you to suggest which of LifeLearn’s customizable online solutions can best serve you. Improve your vet business with LifeLearn!