General, Marketing with Mansfield

Spread the Love!

Welcome 2021! 2020 was an unhappy year. World turmoil and weather catastrophes and COVID-19…death, destruction, and despair. It’s been a tough time. I think the nice thing about February is that it brings us Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to give all your “fans” some virtual love.

Who should you “hug”?

Now is the perfect time to spend some quality time with data and analytics — time to decide how you want to thank all your stakeholders for being there for you this past year. Messages of thanks are always appreciated, but who do you usually thank?

Back in the day, we made sure our referral sources were acknowledged and felt appreciated. That was a different time when referral sources were actually sources of referrals and not constrained by insurance directives, contracts, networks or whatever else gets in the way of a direct referral. Yes, referral sources still exist and you should make sure you send them some love.

Staff, patients and vendors

You cannot do what you do every day if you do not have the support of your staff. Make sure they know that. I am a big fan of the “celebrate us” day off of work. Even if you cannot manage to close the whole office for a day, why not have a barbecue, catered lunch or a post-work event specifically designed to thank your coworkers?

Thank your patients. Let’s be real. If you are in patient care, the only reason you have a job is because there are patients who need care. We get caught up in the drama of providing services to others and the toll the bureaucracy and battle for reimbursement can take on our spirit. It can be easy to forget that as difficult as our days might be, we are beholden to our patients.

Patient appreciation days are fun. Who does not want to be appreciated? Everyone wants to be appreciated! If the thought of putting together a socially-distanced, masked, outdoor event is too much, why not send cards — actual cards that are signed by everyone in the office? You can always send a “Happy Valentine’s Day” card since everyone is eligible to receive a Valentine’s Day card and you do not have to worry about offending anyone or leaving out someone.

Thank your vendors, manufacturers, suppliers and sales reps. If you have never been on the selling end of O&P and you think you get beat up by insurance companies and payers all day long, then you have never ridden with, or been, a sales rep.

I have been involved in O&P since 1987. I can tell you with certainty that we have some of the nicest, most helpful sales professionals around. While you may expect them to thank you for your business, how about you tell them how much you appreciate their support, too?

February and Valentine’s Day always provide a great opportunity to start the year off right and show some appreciation. What are you going to do say thanks? Let me know!

General, Marketing with Mansfield

What’s the plan? Where do you want your marketing to take you for 2021?

Happy New Year! What are you most looking forward to – marketing-wise for 2021?

It’s been a TOUGH year but the beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the results of last year’s marketing plan and to consider what changes you’re going to want to implement for 2021.

I’m willing to bet that your 2020 marketing plan took a back seat to some of your other business-related plans. Not to worry. It’s a brand new year, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and we can take what we learned last year and start making a new plan.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

The keys are flexibility, adaptability, trend-spotting, and commitment – and a map. If we’re going to get where we want to go then we need a map.

Begin with the end

Oftentimes when it comes to a marketing plan some people don’t start with the final destination, where they want to be by December, in mind. Instead they start heading off “down the road” – destination to be determined.

I spent the weekend of March 7-8, 2020, at the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C. It is a convention for people who, obviously, like to travel but it also includes sessions for people who like learning about how miles and points can enhance their travel experience. It was perfect timing because all my travel and loyalty program calculators had reset to zero at the end of 2019 (just the calculators, not the accumulated points or miles). This is important because in order for me to achieve my travel-related goals for 2020 and beyond, I needed to know by the end of the year how to structure my travel plans.

Well, 2020 was a bust as far as business or leisure travel so whatever miles and points plan I had originally made based on traveling 10 out of 12 months a year was pretty much useless. (Same thing could be said for the face to face education-based marketing and in-person meeting & event marketing plans!)

If my original goal was to acquire a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass in 2020 so that I could bring a companion along for free in 2020 and 2021, then I would have needed to determine what strategy I would use to acquire the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points I needed to receive the pass. The final destination – 110,000 points. I could keep the same goal but I’d really need to re-think my strategy since it would’ve been really difficult to accumulate 110,000 without stepping foot on a plane, renting a car or staying in hotels or having a reason to use my Southwest Visa card. Probably wouldn’t have been impossible but, it made sense in March to take that “destination” off the map for 2020.

Know your starting point

A lot of things in the travel industry have changed since last March. Airlines have been hit hard and they’ve adapted and pivoted so what seemed like a very difficult destination last March might not be so difficult this year. You might think that there is only one route to get there – not true. Route 1 equals flying. Route 2 equals a mixture of flying and buying things through the Southwest Airlines online shopping portal. Route 3 equals getting a Southwest credit card that will give me 50,000 points after I spend a certain amount in a certain time frame, plus flying, plus shopping. Those are just three examples but there are a plethora of routes. Some that will take me all year to get there. Some that will take me a matter of months. Some that will be cost prohibitive and some that will be relatively inexpensive. The two things that I know for sure are where I am right now and where I want to go.

Know your route options

For example, you know that you have 27 newsletter subscribers as of today but that you want 2,499 subscribers by the end of the year which route are you going to take? Just like getting the Companion Pass, there are a lot of different routes with different time frames and different cost.

In our newsletter subscriber example, we have a clear goal of acquiring 2,472 new subscribers. We want to make sure that all of our new subscribers are people who are relevant to the success of our business and not just route “detours” for the sake of pumping up the numbers.

How can you get there? Which routes?

http://www.cecpo.com/

Sign up form on your website (of course!)

Sign up form on your business facebook page

Incentives in your office waiting room or fitting rooms for signing up

Those are just a couple “routes” for you to take.

Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? We’ll talk more about tools and budgets in the next post….

General, Marketing with Mansfield

Time to “Fall Forward” and Freshen Up!

Summer is over.

“Back in the day” (aka last year) this is the time of year that I would avoid Staples, Walmart, Office Depot and Target at all costs. That’s because it was back to school time and because everyone needed new items for school. A+B=insane, Black Friday-esque, crowded stores.

You can’t take notes in an old, used-up notebook. The locker might not even be the same size as last year so you couldn’t use the same old stuff. Your markers were probably dried out. You needed new binders. But you wanted to make sure you went through old school supplies first. Maybe there were a couple markers you never used. There was probably a mirror or a locker shelf you could’ve used again.

The outlet mall was just as bad if not worse. You needed new clothes for back to school. New dress code or you might have grown or old clothes were just plain worn out. If you needed new clothes, then you probably needed new shoes for all the same reasons. It would have been silly, however, to have gotten rid of everything and just gotten all new clothes and shoes. It would’ve been a good idea to try everything on so you could’ve decided what to keep and what to toss.

Freshen up

What can we learn from this back in the day, back to school frenzy?

Clearing out, cleaning up and freshening up your resources are exactly what you should be doing with your marketing materials!

By marketing materials, I mean your online materials, digital tools and social media marketing platforms.While you’re at it, you might as well take a gander at your print materials, too.

As far as brochures and other print materials go, you want to make sure the information contained is up to date and accurate.

Make a to do list!

Have you changed your logo?

Did the area code change?

Are the people listed still employed?

Have you added people?

What about your services?

Sometimes when I am working on a customer’s email newsletter, I will send a draft to the client and I receive an email in return that reads “We haven’t done mastectomy since 1998. Can you take that off the list of services?” Of course I can, but guess what, I got the list of services from the website so you should probably update it there, too.

Update online resources

It is easier to go “back to school” on your online materials and digital tools, but it still takes time and energy to keep these updated. Here is a tip. When you are putting together your website, Facebook page, instagram, LinkedIn or other online portal, don’t use a photo of your entire staff. Rather, use photos of individual people. It is a nice touch to have pictures and bios on a website, but there are many O&P websites with photos that include people who no longer work there. It is tough enough to get photos of individuals, try taking a new whole staff photo every time you add or subtract staff!

Do all the links still work on your website?

Do the contact us forms work?

Test all the actionable content on every page.

Check every link.

If you have a “click here to email us” button, then make sure users can actually send an email by using that button AND make sure the person who is supposed to receive it is still receiving it.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Why wait until the holidays to go “back to school” on your marketing materials? Do it now.

Need help? elizabeth@cecpo.com

COVID-19, General, Marketing with Mansfield

Dinner and a Roll

My mantra has always been “marketing is marketing.” To me that means that there are so many clever, fun, interesting, educational and unique ways people use to market their businesses that you can always find inspiration in someone else’s marketing efforts.

What about now? Yes, even now.

Case in point. Toilet paper. Dinner and a Roll.

My son, Jennings, called on Saturday to check in. He is an amazing cook and he’s been outdoing himself on pretty much a daily basis but he wanted a break from being creative and he wanted to make sure to support a local business. He and Emily ordered dinner to go from Mombo. Win. Win. Win. They didn’t have to cook. They supported a local business. They got a free roll of toilet paper with their dinner. And…if you pay $10.00 with your order then they will donate a free meal to those in need – so Win. Win. Win.  Win!

toilet
photo credit: Mombo Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH

What else?

Face masks.

They aren’t going away any time soon. (I was surprised I hadn’t seen or received anything so far but maybe that’s because PPE has been so hard to find.) But, I saw my first “Your Name Here” on a face mask ad yesterday.

Hand sanitizer.

pelHand sanitizer as promotional items have been a thing for a long time now. Most of the ones we’ve been using we got as promo items. PEL, OPGA, FAOP are just some of the pre COVID-19 hand sanitizer promo users.

What else?

There’s always the best-thing-since-sliced-bread marketing juggernaut.

The. Email. Newsletter.

If you never had one before. Why not?

If you don’t have one now. WHY NOT? You needed one before COVID-19 and you definitely need one now.

Keep in touch. Without touching.

Quite simply it’s the best way to market.

Call me 844-347-0738 or email me  – elizabeth@cecpo.com

 

General, Orthotic Prosthetic Continuing Education

Partnering with Physical Therapists – Getting More Attention

The O&P Almanac’s December 2019 cover story is titled, Team Building, O&P Partners with PT in a More Collaborative Approach to Patient Care.

The article emphasizes the importance of a team approach to patient care in regards to limb loss. Christine Umbrell, contributing writer and editorial/production associate for O&P Almanac, speaks with four prosthetists and explores their relationships with the therapy community. Each practitioner explains how their collaborative efforts with physical therapists improve outcomes and the overall patient experience.

Betta Ferrendelli wrote an article for the The O&P Edge earlier this year, Partnering with Therapists: Improving Patient Access and Outcomes Through Collaboration. She wrote, ” When it comes to optimal patient care, the best recipe for patient success involves physical and occupational therapists and O&P providers working hand in hand.”

Clinical Education Concepts‘ Clinical Director Marc Werner, CPO, talked about providing continuing education to physical therapists in Deborah Conn’s July 2019 article in O&P Almanac’s Member Spotlight, The Human-and Animal-Connection.

“It makes sense that orthotists and prosthetists educate the therapy community about patients with limb and functional loss,” Werner said when asked about the article. Long Island O&P has provided over 1200 continuing education credits to over 900 therapists. 260 courses at 45 different therapy facilities since 2010! Collaborating with physical therapy is imperative to continually improving patient outcomes.”

Clinical Education Concepts provides course material to orthotists and prosthetists that can be presented to physical and occupational therapists. Contact CEC