Marketing Your Practice

Developing a marketing plan to promote your practice

At any time in your career, as an associate or an employee, you have a serious responsibility for the success of the practice in which you find yourself. To survive in this competitive environment as a young doctor of optometry, the AOA will help you understand some fundamentals of professional marketing.

Growth and development happen when you market what you have to offer

Below are some ideas on how to promote your practice and market yourself as a competent optometrist.

Have a marketing plan—Marketing is a planned, systematic process of identifying needs in your practice community, planning ways to meet them, and letting people know about it. Develop a concept, stick with one advertising medium at first and always emphasize the value of your service.

Find your niche—Any marketing program will be more effective if you concentrate your time and financial resources on groups you are most likely to want in your office. Consider geographic, economic and demographic elements.

Where to begin—Finding recognition, when you are getting established in any community, calls for developing a consistent integration of many factors. Once you have chosen a name for your practice (preferably your own) and logo, everything you do should reinforce that identity.

Printed materials—Consider stationary and brochures. Through  AOA Marketplace, you can obtain professionally written and designed materials covering nearly every aspect of eye care and members of the AOA receive discounted pricing.

Direct mail—It’s important that it bear your identification. Brochures should always be imprinted with your name, office address and telephone numbers, making it easy for a recipient to get more information or make an appointment with you.

Telephone director —As you begin networking, consider business groups, service clubs and fraternal organizations, civic and charitable events, athletic activities, volunteering and social functions.

Marketing yourself—Opportunities for marketing yourself or practice include speaking engagements, political activities, informing consumers about optometry at seminars and educating the public at eye care events.

Other mediums—Additional marketing opportunities are in print advertising, broadcast media, television (costly but effective), radio (costs less than TV) and utilizing web sites and email campaigns.

Choosing a marketing consultant/agency—Seeking such experienced advice will usually be to your benefit. Try to select one that understands your field and fix a firm budget.

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