Is it Time to Pull the Plug on Your Marketing Activity?

Recognizing that your marketing efforts might look or feel good but aren't producing the goods is difficult.

The learning curve to marketing success can be painful and expensive! It's why I am so insistent, when starting a coaching engagement with an entrepreneurial physician or a physician who is becoming more business-minded that we map out a realistic marketing strategy up front, rather than as an afterthought.

Recognizing that your marketing efforts might look or feel good but aren't producing the goods is difficult. We get attached to routines and to our "brainchildren" — the clever things we have spent hours dreaming up as ways to promote the business. Letting go sounds like failure — which in many cases it is. Not a failure of YOU, but a failure of this one effort — let's get a sense of perspective here!

While that may sound harsh, really effective marketing is about measuring the results of your efforts. This may take the form of surveys, focus groups, simply keeping track of where your business is coming from (mine is still more than 75% from the web!), using a few basic tools and tricks to figure out how your latest client or patient got to you (have a systematized way to try asking that patient or client), or applying some sophisticated marketing metrics to your efforts — although I am not a whiz at the latter!

So, to stay in integrity with this message, it's time for me to evaluate the effectiveness of this newsletter that I have sending out almost every month for five and a half years. While I enjoy writing and reaching out, I also need to be razor sharp about how I spend my time and my company's money.

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I recall the day I finally summoned up the will to dump my almost-full box of four-color glossy brochures, having recognized that I'd wasted a whole lot of money on design and printing. They were simply not bringing in any business and were instead cluttering up a closet! Likewise, when rethinking my business identity and brand in 2006, I had to discard a prior website — for which I had paid a fair amount — that was also not doing the job for me.