If ROI was a game, it’d be chess. Why? Because chess involves strategy, planning, and most of all, patience. The formula for measuring ROI is simple: Divide your annual return by your original out-of-pocket expenses. There it is! With that one little calculation, you’ve got your ROI wrapped up in a beautiful percentage.
So, why is ROI important? It paints the picture of whether or not your overall strategy generated more revenue for your practice, and by how much. Yet, for many, this simple calculation seems overly complex when practice owners are talking to their marketing strategists. The reason it seems complex is because there’s another part of ROI your marketing strategists take into consideration: attribution. Without understanding this concept, you are bound to cut a key patient driver from your strategy.
Essentially, attribution is all about the buyer’s journey. As you formulate your marketing plan, you should not only take into consideration your end goals, but also the buyer’s journey and how each marketing tactic works towards driving new patients.
Okay – now for the fun part: The buyer’s journey.
When a new patient calls to ask for an appointment usually your front desk team will ask them how they heard about you. Now, the potential patient’s response will most likely be, “My friend.” But the truth is more detailed than that. Research shows that in most cases potential patients have had at least 3 touchpoints that happen before they even book an appointment. Now, the touchpoints may vary in which order your potential patient saw them in, but for the most part, they get a taste of your brand in 3 different ways before making a decision. Here are 2 scenarios of how touchpoints work:
Scenario 1: New Guy In Town
A new guy in town is thinking of getting his smile fixed. He’s driving to work and sees a billboard. He remembers the name on the billboard but not the website or the phone number. So, he googles the name of the practice. Now, he’s knee-deep in your website learning all he can about where your practice is located, what treatments you offer, and what credentials the doctor has. Later that night, as he’s surfing through Instagram, he gets served a social media ad from your practice. Maybe he remembers it. Maybe he doesn’t. But the next day, he’s in the breakroom asking his new co-workers if they’ve ever heard of you. And right there, you’ve got 3 touchpoints before he’s even picked up the phone to book an appointment.
Scenario 2: Moms Chatting It Up
Two moms are at a soccer game, and hanging on the fence is a banner you put up to support your community’s local kids’ athletic teams. As the moms are sitting there chatting it up about life, endless laundry, and jobs, one of them mentions this new orthodontist her kid is seeing. The conversation continues and nothing comes of it. Then, while she’s killing time scanning Facebook in the carpool lane waiting for her kids to get out of school she gets served a social media ad from your practice. Ding. Ding. That’s two touchpoints right there. And then, on her way home from picking up the kids – Ding – she sees a billboard for your practice, too. Her third touchpoint. Yet, when she finally calls to book an appointment, and your front desk person asks how she heard about your practice her response will most likely be, “I heard about you guys through a friend.” Even though, technically, the first touchpoint was the banner you placed at the soccer field.
The Big Takeaway
When you have multiple marketing channels working in tandem with each other, you’ll want to understand how to track each one individually to determine how each helped contribute to your overall ROI.
Each piece of your marketing plan is a touchpoint and each one of these touchpoints guides the prospect step-by-step until they say: YES! Let’s do this. And, sadly, rarely do potential patients say, “Yes,” after only seeing one touchpoint or having only one interaction with your practice. The key to a successful buyer journey is to have several different touchpoints, not just one.
In most buyer journeys, the last touchpoint is a website, google search, or patient referrals. And it’s that last touchpoint that your new patients usually refer to when they tell you how they heard about your practice. But, trust us, all those other touchpoints along the way helped to seal the deal and get them in your treatment chair.
Considering each aspect of the buyer’s journey and then matching that up to your marketing plan will give you a more accurate picture of where you should spend more and where you should spend less.
Other Ways To Measure ROI:
Brand Awareness: Views, Impressions, Unique Users
Looking at these numbers will tell you how many people you’re reaching and how many people are seeing your messages.
Increase Engagement: Likes, Followers, Clicks, Watch Time, Blog Post Visits
These numbers show you how many people are engaging with your brand as well as how long they’re staying engaged.
Driving Leads: Calls, Website Traffic, Landing Page Conversions, Form Fills
This aspect of measuring ROI tells you how many people are taking action and digging a little deeper into who your practice is and what you offer.
While the formula is simple, the concept is not. There are several factors that influence the overall success of your campaigns. By being mindful of how each tactic drives the consumer to the magical “YES” you are better prepared to shift touchpoints to make each one work harder for you.
Then, every month, when you see tracking returns you’re getting a clearer view of patterns and trends developing. Although, like watching the stock market, some days your ROI will be out of this world, and some days your ROI will be a little lower than usual. When you see that, don’t sweat it. Like I said in the beginning, ROI is a long game. So, don’t make any big changes to your marketing strategy because of brief drops or changes in ROI. Though, this does not mean you or your team shouldn’t discuss any warning signs or red flags that might suggest slight tweaks in your plan when they’re warranted.
If you want to talk more about ROI and how we can help you make the most out of every touchpoint, reach out. We’d love to talk.