We were asked recently to participate in a webinar called the “Refractive Resurrection”. It was a one-hour candid discussion hosted by an industry partner, featuring a panel of marketing experts sharing growth strategies and marketing ideas in the days of COVID-19. Surgeons and practice administrators representing more than 100 ophthalmology and optometry practices attended this informative and hopeful event!
Our very own marketing expert, MPR’s vice president Amanda Polk, did such an amazing job talking about the importance of proper messaging in these strange days. Watch the full recording below:
At MPR, we feel so strongly about the importance of the message. In truth, the narrative always matters in your marketing efforts. But in today’s COVID-19 climate, with all the feelings, fears, concerns and unknowns surrounding it, nailing down your message has never been more important. Taking time to focus on both what your practice says (to your patients and to your team members internally) and how you say it, is time well spent.
Top 7 nuggets from Amanda’s part in the Refractive Resurrection webinar here:
- Staying quiet is not an option. Different parts of the country are at different places in dealing with COVID-19. Whether you have a few days or a few weeks left, you need to communicate. It’s not the time to go dark!
- Look inside first. At MPR, we have always taken the position that thoughtful internal messaging must precede any external messaging. And in today’s post-COVID climate, this has never been more true! You need to be communicating with your staff first. What are their concerns? How can you make them feel safe, comfortable and invested in the mission of your practice so that they can convey that trust and reassurance?
- Craft your external message from here and then own it, so it doesn’t just become another set of phrases you’ve slapped your name on. Make sure everyone on your team buys into it. Especially, make sure your call center team believes in it, feels confident about it, so that they can be well versed in communicating it with every person who contacts your practice.
- Let your message match the moment. Understand that the calls that come into your practice today will be different than before COVID. Lead with SAFETY AND HEALTH first. Things have been shaken up. Priorities have shifted. People aren’t sure what to believe. They’ve been asked to stay at home for weeks. Tell them what YOU are doing to go the extra mile FOR THEM. And communicate up front – don’t wait for them to ask you about it.
- Now isn’t the time to be ‘salesy’. But it is okay to sell. Sell reassurance. Sell trust. Sell your vision, your mission, your BRAND. People don’t want to hear about your LASIK spring-fling-sing-and-dance special if they don’t feel safe coming into your practice and that they can trust you with their vision. So be a little softer. A little more sensitive. Give your community a virtual “hug” – because we are all in this together.
- It’s okay not to be serious all the time. It’s OKAY to have a little fun; just be cognizant of your audience. Social media is the best place to do this. Have you done something good for the community? Share it. Do you just want to say “hey, we’re here for you.” Record a video and post it. This shared experience has created an opportunity to connect with your potential patients on a whole new level. Let your messaging reflect that connectivity. Be real. Be the solution to a problem they’re facing.
- Lead with humanity. After all, we live in the same world in which we sell. Your practice’s message should honor that truth. What kinds of things are you concerned about? Health? Safety? Proper hygiene? Financial recovery and security? The future? Your audience is concerned about the same things. Address these universal concerns in your scripting—in both the reassurance portion of your messaging as well as the sales portion. How can improved vision help in these same areas?
Not just in this season, but all year long, we talk to all our clients about taking that cohesive message that every single one of their team members should know – and believe – and making it known. Now is the time to use all of your available channels to make sure that potential patients know what you stand for, how you’re going about it and welcome them with open arms when the time is right.
And if you need help nailing down your message, call in a trusted and experienced marketing partner! This is what we do. It’s okay to ask for help!