How much should I spend on marketing?

So, you’ve decided to market your practice but have no idea on what you should initially invest and how much to expect in return? You are not alone. Whether you are an established practice or just starting out, marketing budgets are a sensitive issue. To quote Warren Buffet, someone who surely knows, price is what you pay – value is what you get.

If marketing was simply guess work, and trust me this is no way to go, but let’s just say it was, then most people would not invest substantially on anything that was unlikely to give them at least a 500% return. Sensible…yes?

So, given the unpredictability of any communications campaign how can business owners and marketers predict their return?

There are three main considerations which can be broadly broken down into market capacity, competition and timescale.

Market capacity

Market capacity should consider the scope, scale and profitability of your potential audience. One needs to consider lead time and conversion rate and profitability per patient along with average lifetime value. Not easy, but can be worked out through a basic assessment of the existing business and could be completed by your agency in a day – all things considered.

Competition

Competition is broadly not so much about numbers but about your potential to differentiate and resonate with your audience more effectively than what is currently out there. This needs some thought around messaging, delivery and how to build trust with your audience.

Timescale

Timescale is just that – how long do you want to wait?

So, if you have a small audience, low competition and not concerned about when, then perhaps you don’t need to invest a lot – or at all.  But if there is a suitable market appetite and high competition and a reasonable chance of making something substantial at the end of it then think about the numbers careful and be realistic. In our experience there is a point below which it is not sensible to invest as there is a false economy in producing something that only connects and engages in a limited way.

A bit like anything else in life, rewards come to those who plan carefully and commit fully.

Sam Beavan

Article by Sam

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