Hearing Aid Direct Mail Sourcing Strategy
Should you keep it In-House or Leave it to the Experts?
Hearing Aid Professionals – you know you need marketing and direct mail is a proven form of driving responses from the Senior market. The question is, do you keep it in-house or leave it to the experts?
Unfortunately, hearing aids are not the “doohickey everyone wants to buy”. It’s not surprising that the average delay between the onset of hearing loss and seeking a professional diagnosis is five to seven years.
And that’s why marketing is so important in our industry. Our marketing efforts are not so much about selling a product as they are about changing a behavior. We have to find a way to emotionally connect with people who have likely been ignoring their hearing loss for years and motivate them to do something they would rather not think about – pick up the phone and seek help. After all, we can’t help anyone until they take that step.
The development and execution of a direct mail strategy is a key part of any successful practice’s marketing mix and long-term profitability. So how do you decide who should manage it?
A Few Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Marketing Sourcing Strategy
1) Time – Do you have it?
Maybe you are thinking, “I know my industry. I don’t need any help.” Even if you enjoy marketing and you’re good at it, do you have the time?
Constantly creating fresh and innovative concepts and developing a successful direct mail plan is time consuming. Working with the right industry expert can save 15-20 hours a week otherwise spent managing the process and developing the right creative – and that’s a trade-off with helping patients and running your business.
2) Effectiveness – Do you know what works or are you guessing?
Copy, creative, offer, size, format, demographics, and market timing all play a role in response but are you familiar with how the nuances in direct mail like copy placement, colors, stamps, and PS lines can also make a difference when marketing to seniors? All of these factors need to be tested in a number of different territories nationwide. Even if you decide to hire in-house and you have found Mr. or Mrs. Top-Notch-Marketing-Expert, do they have the industry knowledge? That’s a huge advantage for us as a hearing aid marketing company. We know what works in our industry because we’ve tested and proven it ourselves (in our own offices and for our clients nationwide).
3) Budget – Do you have Buying Power?
Even if you have developed your own pieces that have worked, and you are ok with spending the time developing and managing the direct mail process, you may still be spending more money than you need to. Since we run thousands of drop shipments a year, we have the ability to leverage volume with buying power. We’ve found that even clients who are managing sizeable direct mail programs on their own tend to save money by partnering with us.
4) Do you Love Marketing?
Marketing is a process where years of business experience and creative intuition meet entrepreneurial spirit. It’s macro-salesmanship. And watching that process ultimately unfold and yield tangible results that impact lives is so much fun (for some of us).
Admittedly, marketing is a lot more exciting to us than most normal people. Are you not quite as thrilled with the challenge that marketing presents in our industry as we are? Would you rather concentrate on your patients and running your practice than worry about how to fill up your appointment book each week?
Then why not partner with an industry specialist who savors the challenge? We take a genuine interest in your business and we actually care enough to develop a customized marketing plan that makes sense for you, develop a robust program that gives you peace of mind, and follow through by (wait for it, here’s the kicker) actually monitoring and tracking campaign results. Effective tracking is something overlooked way too often in our industry.