Italy, 4th of July, and Marketing Auto-Pilot

You know you have a well run, competent organization when you can schedule time off, take a trip and not have the walls crumble while you are gone. Sure, you might get an occasional phone call or email asking a question from someone in your office who is just trying to be efficient, but it's nice once in a while as well to know you are missed.

The other benefit to having such an organization is that it is humming along smoothly and your business can afford the salary you take to plan a nice trip. Some of that comes after a few years of hard, ground grunting work. Some of it is due in part to the things you put in place that run automatically.

I'm happy to say the SmartBox Web Marketing has grown to this point. Over the 4th - and for about a week before - we were lucky enough to get away from the grind and go to Florence, Lucca and Pisa plus a few small towns in between. The sights were magnificent, the food was better than I needed it to be and we had a great time. 

But the trip made me realize and appreciate what goes on behind the scenes in any office. This becomes especially clear if a business is struggling a bit due to hard economic times or a lack of understanding of how things could be better and automated.

Marketing is a huge undertaking for any office or medical practice. In dental, chiropractic and medical offices it's not uncommon for this essential element to be left on the back burner...a kind of "I'll get around to it sometime" type of approach. Unfortunately it is the lifeblood of any practice. Sure, the medical professional went into his or her specialty thinking they were going to be a dentist, chiropractor or physician but the truth is that there is a business side to the practice as well and that means marketing...knowing what works, how to get the new, big cases through the door and being able to make smart decisions on how to effectively spend advertising dollars.

There lies the many are busy running the practice that marketing and a good working knowledge of marketing gets pushed back or even ignored. Some practices just do what colleagues are doing; newspaper ads, radio spots and brochures. The successful ones, however, break the mold and change with the times. They move forward either on their own or hire the experts to do it for them.

The medical community hasn't caught on to the vast array of benefits a good web presence can bring. That's obvious by the fact that only about 20% of practices have a web site. But even in doing something like planning a trip it becomes obvious websites have their place in this day and age. Booking flights, reserving hotels even looking for the best places to eat once you are there are carried out every millisecond by local consumers. The same is true of potential patients looking for medical specialties. The numbers of people looking online for that medical office that can fulfill their needs is growing rapidly and now surpasses the good ole' Yellow Pages.

SmartBox Web Marketing has thankfully grown to the point where I can take the occasional trip and enjoy time with my family. I owe a lot of that to the fact that I have a great staff and a well run office. I also owe a lot of it to my web presence. We are seen by countless practices who are jumping on the proverbial band wagon and are looking to build their book of business, especially in the big case area.

Web marketing makes sense for the medical community to do the same. How else will the savvy, tech friendly internet user of today find you? How else can you get the broad appeal your message will have on a well maintained and promoted web site? Brochures can't give your readers all of the information seen on a website. Yellow Page ads, radio spots and newspaper ads can't begin to get your total message out there. And when the site is well promoted and set up to deliver your message automatically the big cases do come.

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