How do I…

Developing a marketing campaign

BBR Optometry's Nick Rumney shares his insights

Nick Rumney

BBR Optometry was excited to find out that we had won the 2015 AOP Awards Marketing Campaign of the Year accolade. We have developed a reputation for our clinical services, and when we have won awards previously it has been in this area of enhanced services. So what was the stimulus for our marketing campaign? What steps did we take and could any independent practice replicate them?

Firstly, as a practice, we had a great relationship with our major supplier, Zeiss, which is responsible for 85% of our spectacle lens orders. This enabled us to develop a great supply chain with a good service and attractive discounts.

Identify the topic

My first tip on developing a marketing campaign is to identify the product, or service, you wish to market. In our case, it was a new type of ergonomic occupational ophthalmic lens. This would fill a niche of added value over conventional single vision lenses. One of our optometrists had a conversion rate three times higher than the average for this style of product.

Do research

Having data regarding the exact proportion of patients for this product pre-campaign is vital. Clarifying the product for the campaign led us to highlight the target market and an electronic database of age, spend and prescription meant we could directly identify potential customers – those very patients who had left email addresses were, of course, computer users.

Decide on the offer

Our next step was to firm up on the “offer” – a two-month period of a 50% reduction in the wholesale cost of the lenses which we would pass directly onto the consumer as a 50% discount. The actual production of the marketing email was simple, using artwork provided by the supplier. Two emails were sent one ahead of the start and then one five weeks into the eight-week campaign. All our practice staff were trained by the supplier on the product use and particular attention was paid to the initial optometrist/dispensing optician handover.

Measure results

Finally, the last step was the integration of data so that success or failure could be measured and the change in culture monitored. Ultimately, the practice’s average dispensing rate at the start of the campaign was 1.5%, with the top optometrist achieving 4.5%. For the duration of the campaign, the rates rose to over 7%. Two months later and beyond, this remains unchanged.