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Understand Which Marketing Activity Gets Results

By on November 26, 2014
Previously we discussed how to test and measure those new ideas; here is an example of one activity that definitely needs to be measured – and rarely is!


Dozens of independent practices talk to me regularly about how to gain new patients. I frequently hear that some previous marketing efforts have failed; most notably leaflet drops and advertisements in local newspapers.

In practice it is very easy to measure success based on ‘gut feel’, and often we can assume that something hasn’t worked when the numbers might say otherwise. So how can opticians measure which marketing activity works for them?

When managing practices I had a very simple way of understanding what worked and what didn’t. My method only required pen and paper (and some diligent team members)!

I simply created a tally chart that sat on the reception desk. It became the responsibility of all employees to ask patients where they heard about us (if they were new) or where they heard about the promotion (if they were existing). A tick would simply be marked on the tally chart next to the relevant activity; for example leaflet, poster in window, referral from friend, newspaper advert and so on.

For each marketing campaign the results might be different, so a leaflet drop might work best to communicate a sale, but for a dry eye clinic, the newspaper advert might get the best response. With this data collection method, over time you can then direct your marketing budget to the activities that generate best return, rather than the ‘spray and pray’ method so frequently seen.

In the following blogs we will look at other examples, such as how to determine the best price for your eye examination and what to do when you have two very similar products for sale. For now – Happy Testing!

To book a call with me to discuss how you can grow your practice click here.

About Rebecca Thompson

Rebecca Thompson has worked her way from the ground up in optics, starting as receptionist, she moved to Dispensing Assistant and then to Dispensing Optician, then Store Manager then Group Manager. This has given her a unique insight into the workings of Independent Optical Practices. At Practice Building she has found a home for sharing her innovative ideas for making running Independent Optical practices efficiently, profitable and enjoyable.

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