Marketing Initiative of the Year

Davies & Jones Optometrists have won the Marketing Initiative of the Year 2017

Winner: Davies & Jones Optometrists Rugby is a contact lens sport

Davies & Jones Optometrists’ campaign, Rugby is a contact lens sport, successfully raised awareness of contact lenses among the practice’s patient base in the rugby-loving Welsh valleys.

While contact lens sales in the independent practice were “good,” says optometrist and practice director, Andrew Hobby, an audit revealed that sales had levelled off. This motivated Mr Hobby to plan an initiative to increase new fits and make existing users aware of product improvements.

The practice decided to time a marketing campaign to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. Explaining the rationale behind the idea, Mr Hobby says: “Not only are contact lenses ideal for playing sport, but international matches are big, all-day social occasions in the area where we are based— slap bang in the middle of the rugby-mad South Wales Valleys.”

The strapline and hashtag, Rugby is a contact lens sport, was devised. To build interest the practice sent letters to patients advising them of the campaign, updated the practice’s window display, and created social media content.

Due to the practice’s good relationship with its CooperVision area business manager, training sessions with practice staff about the latest product developments were also provided before the campaign launched, along with trial lenses.

Through the campaign, Mr Hobby believes that patients are now better informed about contact lenses. “They are more aware of the existence of multifocal and toric lenses, as well as the single vision option,” he says. “This made the actual contact lens fitting procedure more enjoyable and efficient. Patients were more receptive to upgrading to more modern, healthier contact lens designs and materials, as they felt better informed,” he adds.

Post-promotion audit showed that new contact lens fits in the practice had increased by 300% during this period.

Reflecting on the campaign’s achievements, Mr Hobby says: “Patients are more aware that not all contact lenses are created equal and cost should not be the guiding factor in deciding which ones to wear. Multifocal contact lenses are now as popular as single vision, and we have also noticed a drop in requests to supply prescriptions to online sellers.”

Runners up

Finalist: Vision Express The Vision Van

Vision Express toured the UK in 2015 in its specially-commissioned Vision Van, a high-tech mobile testing unit.

Taking to the roads during National Eye Health Week and Road Safety Week, the campaign aimed to tackle the nation’s eye health by offering free eye tests on the van, with locations selected where the highest prevalence for specific eye conditions were reported.

Finalist: Eye Health UK National Eye Health Week

In 2015, National Eye Health Week (NEHW) was supported by over 2500 organisations, which hosted thousands of awareness-raising events across the UK.

NEHW is held annually to encourage the public to have regular sight tests. Following the 2015 initiative, 12% of UK adults surveyed recalled seeing media coverage, while 77% of these said it had encouraged them to take better care of their eye health.