Wondering how you can attract more clients to your veterinary practice? Regardless of size or resources, any clinic or company in the veterinary industry should have its own marketing plan.
This article will explain how you can raise brand awareness, effectively communicate your services, and grow your business. Keep reading to learn how to create your own veterinary marketing plan, step by step.
What Is a Veterinary Marketing Plan?
In a nutshell, a marketing plan is a roadmap that will help you establish what objectives you want to achieve and how you will achieve them.
When a practice starts to test marketing strategies, it is very common to try isolated actions that are not part of an overall strategy. In these cases, the results are difficult to contextualise and often fall short.
However, if you want to be successful in promoting your business, it is necessary to make strategic decisions after analysing your current situation and your audience. This will allow you to specify exactly what actions you need to take, why they are key to your business, and what you are going to implement each strategy for.
In fact, the marketing plan is usually an open document, which will be transformed as the proposed actions are implemented. Having a global vision of the brand and a specific vision of each action will help you to know what changes you need to make to continue growing.
How to Create a Marketing Plan for a Veterinary Clinic
Having a marketing plan for your veterinary practice is essential. When creating it, you will need to take into account your competitors, the market, and your industry, but don’t panic! In fact, creating your own marketing plan is a task that combines strategy and creativity, and will help you move forward with your business goals. Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to create your marketing plan.
Step 1: Analyse Your Current Situation
In order to establish a realistic plan, the first step is to understand your current situation, both internally and externally. This analysis is usually done with the well-known SWOT matrix, which covers all the points you need to look at.
- Your strengths: a specialised team, resources to be able to hire a marketing person, etc.
- Your weaknesses: e.g. outdated instruments, poor online presence, etc.
- The opportunities of the sector: its growth in recent years, the rise of new technologies in veterinary medicine, etc.
- External threats: the increase in competitors, for example.
In short, the first step should help you understand your current situation: from the resources available to the opportunities you can take advantage of in the future. At this stage, it’s time to put on your research hat.
It is also important to define who your audience is. Take a look at their age, gender, and general characteristics. You can also ask yourself what motivates them, what concerns them, what social networks they look at, what their main interests are, etc. All these aspects will help you specify the action plan that you will draw up in the fourth step.
Step 2: Analyse Your Competition
Beyond your particular situation, it is also valuable to know what your competition is doing. To do this, choose three to five companies, and look at and determine the following:
- How they communicate.
- What is their brand positioning?
- How they use their main channels (social networks, website, etc.).
- What are their services and prices?
- What is their sales process?
Taking into account how your competitors do things will help you better define how you want your audience to perceive you and what changes you should make in your company. However, keep in mind that this analysis should be used to learn about their situation, not just to copy.
Step 3: Set Achievable Objectives
Once you have a global vision of the starting point, you should set realistic and achievable objectives. A very common mistake is to define unattainable objectives, without taking into account the real capabilities of your team.
To set goals that will really help you grow your business, you can use the well-known SMART goals, an acronym that defines a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objective.
For example, in your marketing plan you could define one of your objectives as “increased presence on social media”. However, it will help you know if you’re headed in the right direction by defining it more specifically: “publish three weekly posts and a daily story on Instagram to increase social media presence by 30% over the next quarter.” This way, you’ll also be able to keep in mind what resources will be needed to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Action Plan
Already have your objectives written down? The next step is to define a plan to achieve each of them. In fact, this plan should cover everything from general aspects to the small details, in order to be clear about what steps to follow and the priority of each of them.
To make it concrete, you can take into account the 4Ps of marketing.
- Price: Define the prices of all products and services.
- Placement: How are you going to be found and can you improve some aspect of that?
- Product: What is the positioning of each product, your plan to launch new products, etc.
- Promotion: Take into account the new digital marketing strategies for veterinary clinics.
This part of the marketing plan will be the one that will undergo the most changes as you work on it, since you will have to adapt to the new situations that arise.
Step 5: Review Your Plan
Once you have finalised your plan, it’s time to take action! Thanks to your well-defined objectives, you will be able to know if you are really going in the right direction. You should periodically review whether the proposed tasks are being fulfilled, how each strategy is working and whether it fits within the available budget. If this is not the case, you will have to review the actions to find other solutions.
Start Your Veterinary Clinic’s Marketing Plan Today
Your marketing plan will be a tool that will help you make better decisions to carry out actions with a consistent strategy…