ECP Marketing For The End Of 2022

With the end of 2022 on the horizon, we are seeing ECPs across the country looking for ways to maximize their profit margins. Most of us in this industry expect the ebbs and flows throughout the year, and with the back to school rush behind us, how do you end the year in the black?The last few years have been "interesting" to say the least. We've all learned that we are much more resilient than we ever thought possible, but numerous factors have caused a dip in sales for many as the year draws to a close. Often, we think the best thing to do in a tough economy is to lower spending in all areas. Yes, cutting your spending can help overcome some losses in sales, but be careful not to add to your lack of sales with poor budgeting decisions.

I've had a few customers tell me they plan on saving some money by cutting back on their marketing budget so they can open 2023 with a big push. I can't stress this enough, DO NOT DO THAT! Think of your marketing as a snowball. It has a cumulative effect even if you're not seeing immediate results.

Instead, consider how you are marketing to your patients. Here are three avenues you may want to shift your focus towards without scaling back on your marketing efforts.

1) Creative Marketing 

We've talked before about non-traditional marketing ideas like partnering with another local business to help each other out with exclusive coupons or referral discounts. With the back to school rush over, take a look at your local schools and see if you can Adopt-A-Class. Not only does this help your community, but many schoolsCreative marketing is a great way to bring in more customers offer thanks by promoting your business on their marquee or through their social media channels.

You can also take a look at promoting your optical with local pee wee/junior sports leagues. Sponsoring a team or buying a signage at a local little league field has guaranteed viewers every weekend. Another avenue to consider is only target ads via Google or social media.

Now is the time to get creative with your marketing. The old adage of thinking outside the box can truly lead to unexpected growth.

 2) Focus On Existing Customers

Your existing base of customers continue to be your best source of revenue even in an economy that is shifting into a recession. Your focus has been everywhere these last few years. You have been forced to find alternative sources because of supply chain orders or just to cut some costs. You have had to focus on making your business safe all through the pandemic. 

It is now time to bring your focus back to your customer base. Put out some email blasts, send a post card or just write them a letter. Make sure you are reaching out and welcoming them back to your business. They might not have heard from you in 2 years.

 Hopefully, you already have plans in place to reach out and remind patients after 1 year that it's time for a new pair of glasses. Don't stop there though, lean into that by offering special discounts or promotions at the 6 month or 3 month mark for polarized sunglasses, blue blocking option, etc. Putting in some extra effort into your existing customer base can pay off big for you by the end of the year.

 3) Don't get too cheap

As I mentioned above, the natural defensive reaction to tough financial times is to cut spending. It might seem like a good idea to save money by cutting back on marketing, but that could not be any further from the truth. You need new patients more now than ever.

More often than not, these prospective customers are looking for value. Make sure your marketing effortsDon't be cheap on your new marketing plans for the new year purveys value. Promoting value over low price will win the day. During tough times consumers do not stop purchasing quality products, they still will spend money. Value often wins over cheap pricing.

The good news here is that as Americans, we have gone through tough times before. We have risen out of many recessions and financial downturns. While many believe the last 2 years is the "new normal", I believe that we will see better days ahead. 

Plan for the future. Continue to wisely invest in your business by marketing and advertising your value proposition. Consumers are looking for what you have to offer. Go out and find them.

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