Successful veterinary marketing takes more than just a rusty old website from the ‘90s. Nowadays there are many sophisticated ways to market your veterinary practice and also track the impact of those efforts. To dig into this and the role data plays in veterinary marketing, we sat down with top veterinary marketing expert Kelly Larkin Baltzell, M.A., President and CEO of Beyond Indigo Pets for a quick Q&A.
Question: Can you describe your experience with the evolution of veterinary marketing?
Kelly: When thinking of marketing in years past, I picture a little avatar in a video game, like Minecraft. The little person can wander down the street and up to a house. In this analogy, the avatar is a pet owner and the house is a veterinary hospital. In the past, the little figure could go no further. We could see how the avatar made it to the door, how long the journey took, the road it followed, and all sorts of other data, but rarely could we get past the door.
Sometimes, the little character could peek through a window and see into the house, which in our marketing world would be a form, but that is it. In real life, what happened once a pet parent walked through the door of the practice was a mystery. However, with the help of VetSuccess, Beyond Indigo Pets can now see through the door and MY OH MY what a difference it makes!
Question: How has data made a difference?
Kelly: We no longer have to guess what happens in the practice. What a sweet delight to have this plethora of information at hand!
Question: Can you give us a few examples of data in action?
Kelly: Sure. Here are a few examples of how we can now strategically choose marketing goals and gain results that add to the bottom line.
- We can monitor and check to see if the animal hospital is meeting the state benchmarks for vaccine compliance. If it isn’t, we can run a marketing campaign to existing clients, to encourage them to get their pet checked and up-to-date.
- We have the ability to reach out to lapsed clients who may not have been seen in the last two years. We can see how many senior cats, for example, have not come in for a visit in the last 12 to 18 months. Then, a marketing campaign just to reach that audience can be crafted to entice them to come in for a senior wellness check-up.
- How many new kittens and puppies have been seen lately? Some hospitals do not want new clients, but this number needs to be watched regardless. If the pet pipeline in the hospital starts to age out, who is replacing those clients?
Question: What does implementing this look like in practice?
Kelly: In the beginning of the marketing journey, we can take one of those above bullet points, craft a marketing campaign, and let it run. We can then gather data from Google, social networks, email campaigns, and other marketing tools that are used and see how much traffic reached the front door of the practice. Then, the little avatar can open the door and we can add to our information pile the story of what happened once a person came to the hospital.
If we ran a campaign about heartworm in the spring for a hospital in Minnesota, we could then see when that campaign made the hospital match the benchmark for the state. If that was the goal of the marketing push, then the focus could shift to another aspect of the practice that needs to be shored up.
“This is how one aspect of marketing is supposed to work—to bring in revenue where it is needed the most in a practice.”
Question: What does it mean to you as a marketer to have access to this veterinary marketing data?
Kelly: Having data at our fingertips allows us marketing people to hone in better to surgically craft marketing programs for a business. We can then monitor it and adjust as we move through the marketing journey to complete a marketing goal sooner and more efficiently. We no longer have to rely on a hospital to know how to run reports out of their practice information software and give us that data.
Right now, most hospitals do not have the time to incorporate this into their day. By being able to watch the data directly, we can keep monitoring the marketing from soup to nuts, and the hospital does not have to. Money allocated to the marketing aspect of the hospital can be used more efficiently because we are no longer guessing.
Question: What recommendations do you have for practices moving forward?
Kelly: Start using data in your marketing today! You won’t regret having the additional insights.
Many thanks to Kelly Larkin Baltzell, M.A., President and CEO of Beyond Indigo Pets for sitting down with us to talk about veterinary marketing and the importance of effectively using data to fuel growth.